© 2002

Myths, Madness and the Family

The Impact of Mental Illness on Families

  • Authors
  • Editors
  • Jo Campling


  • The only text to study and give a voice to the families of mental health sufferers
    Evidenced throughout with the extensive use of original case study material
    Highly topical given recent government initiatives for greater involvement from families in community care for the mentally ill

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. David W. Jones, Jo Campling
    Pages 1-10
  3. David W. Jones, Jo Campling
    Pages 11-22
  4. David W. Jones, Jo Campling
    Pages 23-36
  5. David W. Jones, Jo Campling
    Pages 37-54
  6. David W. Jones, Jo Campling
    Pages 55-70
  7. David W. Jones, Jo Campling
    Pages 92-115
  8. David W. Jones, Jo Campling
    Pages 116-134
  9. David W. Jones, Jo Campling
    Pages 135-153
  10. David W. Jones, Jo Campling
    Pages 154-167
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 168-200

About this book


"David Jones has written a compelling book about the complex issues entailed in being family members of sufferers from mental illness. The book provides us with a critical appraisal of the sociological and psychological conceptual layers and the policy context necessary for understanding these issues, all too often missing in other books written about this subject...

Through in-depth interviews of forty carers, coached in a way which enables the carers to talk in their own voice, we get the rare opportunity of understanding the world of these carers...In letting the carers speak Jones is enabling all of us to listen to them with the respect they deserve...

All of us - but especially mental health professionals, policy makers and researchers - need to learn from the methodology utilised in this study, and the content of the rich experiential seam Jones exposes, as to how to listen better to carers, and on which themes to focus in our working partnership with users and carers."
- Professor Shulamit Ramon, Anglia Polytechnic University, Cambridge

This book fills a gap in our knowledge about the experiences of families of people suffering from severe mental illness. Original research material is used to support claims that families are struggling with complex feelings such as loss, anger and shame. It is also argued that the ideas families themselves hold about mental illness form an important part of the cultural world in which mental illnesses are understood.

This stimulating book challenges many conventional assumptions about family relationships by arguing that they have to be understood in terms of 'myths' that bring a certain amount of order to complex areas of emotional life. The author argues that families if properly understood, can provide significant support for people with severe mental illness.


care coping diagnosis feelings health identity morality psychiatry

About the authors

DAVID W. JONES is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Human Sciences at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College. He has taught in sociology departments at the LSE and South Bank University where he also taught social work students and mental health professionals.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Myths, Madness and the Family
  • Book Subtitle The Impact of Mental Illness on Families
  • Authors David W. Jones
  • Editors Jo Campling
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2002
  • Publisher Name Palgrave, London
  • eBook Packages Medicine Medicine (R0)
  • Softcover ISBN 978-0-333-77618-6
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-4039-1402-6
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages , 216
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Additional Information Previously published under the imprint Palgrave
  • Topics Psychiatry
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
Health & Hospitals