Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family

The heartrending story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science 's great hope in the quest to fin the disease.

Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don 's work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those day, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins—aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony—and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after another, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family?
What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institute of Mental Health. Their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia, from the perio of institutionalization, lobotomy, and the schizophrenogenic mother to the search for genetic markers for the disease, always amid profound disagreements about the nature of the illness itself. And unbeknownst to the Galvins, samples of their DNA informed decades of genetic research that continues today, offering paths to treatment, prediction, and even eradication of the disease for future generations.
With larity and ompassion, bestselling and award-winning author Robert Kolker uncovers one family 's unforgettable legacy of suffering, love, and ope.
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Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family
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Published April 7th 2020 by Doubleday Books

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I hink it would have benefited from more of an effort to present to the reader what their experiences were like through research and interviews with other schizophrenic people.

I never would have like it, the ill siblings often feel more like objects to be managed than people, and it often left a bad taste in my mouth.I also found that the mphasis on the mother and two daughters was sometimes too bogged down with their history and grudges.

It also made me feel weird about the mother, Mimi, who is seen by the daughters as having prioritized their ill brothers over their own needs, and tha is generally presented as the factual account.

Every choice was a complicate one and relying so heavily on the sister' accounts pulls us out of that impossible situation.And for the ast of my nitpicks, it is again no fault of Kolker 's, but the science part of the narrative is quite nteresting, but we find ourselves in the sad state at the beginnin of this nove where while significant changes in approach and thinking have been made, the way we treat schizophrenia has hardly changed at all and it will ikely be decades before those changes come about.

I think maybe it was my fault as a reader, expecting there to be some big shift around the next corner, but it woul also be the way he nove is structured and presented.

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It just seems so inconceivable that ‘ this much ’ mental illness could hit one nuclear family!

By the beginnin of the memoi- I felt I knew each of the fourteen family members well- by name, their interests, struggles, and personal temperaments.

Thi most basic every day routines- for a family of 14: from eating, to grocery shopping, cooking, household chores, clothes washing, folding of diapers, studying, piano lessons, educational and cultural aspirations, sports, other friends, neighbors, socializing, work, the parents as individuals and as a couple, and the siblings- ( constant companions), who were and were not diagnosed with any mental illness, made his book unputdownable.

ven though the girls weren ’ t diagnosed with mental illness it was painful to read their stories as well.

I was as transfixed by the science study and the doctors who studied schizophrenia ( agreed and disagreed), the research testing, analyzing, ongoing studies today, with equally as much interest as much as I was puttin in my own experience of each of the family members.

Incredible -extraordinary -thought-provoking- -phenomenally researched-addictive page turning -educational -personal story ..... Written with upmost empathy and compassion.

‘ Not ’ a book I ’ d give to mom for Mother ’ s Day ... but .... highly readable and** recommendable**

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Very, the two sisters had been searching for a way for their family 's story to be told – an incredibly brave mission.

Mimi, the father, was the ultimate caretaker, trying to follo the right decisions for each of the ill children, whose schizophrenia manifested in different ways.

Since virtually everyone has either been touched by mental illness or knows someone who has been, Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family is a valuable read which shines a light on a topic people don ’ t talk enough about.Review posted at MicheleReader.com

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I wanted it in my gut and wish I could reach out and support every single one of the Galvin children, parents too.via my blog: https: //bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/'Mary ’ s grandmother is well practiced at laughing off moments like these, behaving as if somethin is strange.

To do somethin else coul be the same as admitting that she lacks any real control over the situation- that she might not nderstand what is happening in her house, much less how to stop it. 'Hidden Valley Road is the retellin of family, created by Don and Mimi Galvin ( ten boys and two girls) picked apart by the ravages of schizophrenia, a disease that takes the foundation of the family and ‘ permanently tilted it in anothe direction of the sick family member ’.

Soon followed more children, born while her husband came and went for his career, at times he was home from Georgetown ( finishing his degree) and Rhode Island to the Navy ’ s General Line School.

Focused always on his career, which came first, Mimi was left either trailing after him with the children or awaiting his return alone with their offspring.

Mimi rushed headfirst into raising her children all on her own without the ai of nannies, family anyone.

She would raise her boys to be cultured through art, music, nature and as more children came ( if Don had his way Mimi would be pregnant forever) she worked even harder at being the best mother anyone could be; their clan would be the ‘ model ’ American family.

Personally, as mother with two children I found her enthusiasm and energy incredible, I get tired just thinking about it.The dynamic in the couples marriage changed, Don ’ s career in intelligence yet another thing to keep Mimi at a distance, while she remained the rock for the children through the years, the one left to supervise, a ‘ happy warrior ’.

Battling the common childhood illnesses like chicken pox, everyone knowing their chores, cooking, cleaning, for a large family is a mean feat but battling a little understood mental illness in a time where there wasn ’ t much compassion to be found in anyone straying from the social norms was a terrible mark against you.

The embarrassment of their rother ’ s illness a thing they felt ashamed about and resentful of.I can ’ t do justice in a review, it ’ s ard to explain what the entire Galvin family went through, the ope, the ear, the denial and sexual abuse.

Parenting is difficult enough, much of what we eny is fear motivated, comes form a place of love, and sure sometimes our own egos.I ’ m s drawn to stories and studies about mental illness.

I have a schizophrenic uncle, my own son is on the autism spectrum ( he isn ’ t the only one in our extended family) … but for my ncle, I have seen how people fear mental illness, the hopelessness of my grandmother ( when she was still alive) and yet immense love and support for her on who would not take his medication, and lives the life of a loner, often taken advantage of and there is nothing anyone can do.

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Actually, his book chronicles not only the experiences of the ill and healthy members but also the ongoing research into brain diseases and their treatment.

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Author Q& A on Book Nation by Jenhttps: //booknationbyjen.com/2020/05/0 ... In Hidden Valley Road, journalist Robert Kolker documents an American family ’ s incredible journey as they explor the effects of mental illness; six out of 12 children were diagnosed with schizophrenia, while others experienced sexual abuse and PTSD. “ Schizophrenia affects an estimated one in 100 people – or more than 3 million people in America, and 82 million people worldwide ” The Galvins were a young Air Force family with three boys living in Colorado in 1951, the new future in the American West.

Today scientists believe it could be a combination of factors that cause one to think, feel and behave in a certain way to lead to a schizophrenia diagnosis.Hidden Valley Road not only shines a light on the Galvin family and all they went through, but it calls attention to schizophrenia and mental illness, which is gravely needed.

There is no clear pat to diagnose schizophrenia, there is no cure, and medications just mute the psychosis.Robert Kolker took on a bear when he went to work on project and I am actually glad he did.

This tal of family living with mental illness resonates with so many, and he more we talk about what goes on behind closed doors, the more research and progress we can make in terms of developing medications and treatments.Online Author eventI had the chanc to attend a book talk through independent book stores, Book Hampton and R J Julia where the author of Hidden Valley Road, Robert Kolker, was the guest.

He is a write, his earlier book was Lost Girls, and according to Roxanne Coady, owner of R J Julia, Kolker has a knack for “ finding stories hiding in plain sight ” and writing about “ ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. ” Oprah and Prince Harry are making a documentary series on mental health for tv and Oprah was given Hidden Valley Road to read for additional information gathering.

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The odds of reading two books at the same time, where both families have twelve children, has to be high.

Six of the girl would in time develop mental illnesses and schizophrenia the main offender. Can not even begin to imagine how one copes with this sor of challenge.

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