A Mind that Found Itself: An Autobiography

A Mind that Found Itself: An Autobiography

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by Clifford Whittingham Beers
     
 

A Mind that Found Itself

An Autobiography

By Clifford Whittingham Beers

This story is derived from as human a document as ever existed; and, because of its uncommon nature, perhaps no one thing contributes so much to its value as its authenticity. It is an autobiography, and more: in part it is a biography; for, in telling the story of my life, I

Overview

A Mind that Found Itself

An Autobiography

By Clifford Whittingham Beers

This story is derived from as human a document as ever existed; and, because of its uncommon nature, perhaps no one thing contributes so much to its value as its authenticity. It is an autobiography, and more: in part it is a biography; for, in telling the story of my life, I must relate the history of another self—a self which was dominant from my twenty-fourth to my twenty-sixth year. During that period I was unlike what I had been, or what I have been since. The biographical part of my autobiography might be called the history of a mental civil war, which I fought single-handed on a battlefield that lay within the compass of my skull. An Army of Unreason, composed of the cunning and treacherous thoughts of an unfair foe, attacked my bewildered consciousness with cruel persistency, and would have destroyed me, had not a triumphant Reason finally interposed a superior strategy that saved me from my unnatural self.

I am not telling the story of my life just to write a book. I tell it because it seems my plain duty to do so. A narrow escape from death and a seemingly miraculous return to health after an apparently fatal illness are enough to make a man ask himself: For what purpose was my life spared? That question I have asked myself, and this book is, in part, an answer.

I was born shortly after sunset about thirty years ago. My ancestors, natives of England, settled in this country not long after the Mayflower first sailed into Plymouth Harbor. And the blood of these ancestors, by time and the happy union of a Northern man and a Southern woman—my parents—has perforce been blended into blood truly American.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940023885377
Publisher:
Longmans, Green, and co.
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
635 KB

Meet the Author

Clifford Whittingham Beers (March 30, 1876 - July 9, 1943) was the founder of the American mental hygiene movement.
Beers was born in New Haven, Connecticut to Ida and Robert Beers on March 30, 1876. He was one of five children, all of whom would suffer from psychological distress and would die in mental institutions, including Beers himself (see "Clifford W. Beers, Advocate for the Insane"). He graduated from the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale in 1897, where he was business manager of The Yale Record and a member of Berzelius.
In 1900 he was first confined to a private mental institution for depression and paranoia. He would later be confined to another private hospital as well as a state institution. During these periods he experienced and witnessed serious maltreatment at the hands of the staff. His book A Mind That Found Itself (1908), an autobiographical account of his hospitalization and the abuses he suffered, was widely and favorably reviewed, became a bestseller, and is still in print.
Beers gained the support of the medical profession and others in the work to reform the treatment of the mentally ill. In 1909 Beers founded the "National Committee for Mental Hygiene", now named "Mental Health America", in order to continue the reform for the treatment of the mentally ill.

He also started the Clifford Beers Clinic in New Haven in 1913, the first outpatient mental health clinic in the United States.

Beers became Honorary President of the World Federation for Mental Health.

Beers was a leader in the field until his retirement in 1939. He died in Providence, Rhode Island on July 9, 1943.

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