In this ground-breaking collection, well-known and cutting-edge authors bring to light life with mental illness. These evocative essays, by writers who either suffer from or have close family members diagnosed with mental illness or a developmental disorder, aim to break down the stigma that surrounds one of the most devastating of human tribulations. The writers recount their experiences with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, clinical depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and dissociative identity disorder. What does it feel like to be psychotic? What sorts of thoughts go through your mind while you are killing yourself? How does a mother go on after her schizophrenic son throws himself into an unfinished construction site? The anthology drills to the core of compassion and disappointment -- transcending hope and sometimes finding beauty in insanity. With a foreword by physician and best selling author Gabor Mate, MD, 'Hidden Lives' gives readers a place to turn and communicates not despair but courage.