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Patrick Kennedy to Write the Story of His Addiction

Patrick Kennedy will retire after 8 terms in Congress to write the story of his battles with depression and drug and alcohol addictions.

After 8 terms representing Rhode Island in Congress, Patrick Kennedy, son of the late Edward Kennedy, is hanging up his lawmaker’s suit to spend some time detailing his life of addiction and mental illness in a memoir he’s co-writing with Mary Ann Akers of the Washington Post.

When asked about his motivation, Kennedy explained that going forward, his life’s mission would be to reduce barriers to treatment and stigma for those that suffer from mental health disorders and addiction, and that revealing his own battles with addictions to alcohol and drugs and with brain disorders like depression might be a good place to start.

In a statement, Kennedy wrote, "I realize that I have an enormous opportunity to turn my biggest liability -- my illness, which includes addiction -- into an asset to help countless numbers of Americans who quietly suffer and cannot afford treatment or risk telling their employers.”

Houghton Mifflin will publish the memoir, entitled “Coming Clean” and it is scheduled for release next fall. In a statement, the publishing house commented on the memoir, saying that Patrick planned, “a major endeavor to fight all neurological disorders, from addictions to PTSD to depression, among many others,” and that, “Coming clean about his family and himself is an important first step in his initiative to help the millions of Americans who suffer from similar afflictions.”

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