Coming up this evening at 9 p.m., "Piers Morgan Tonight" welcomes former Congressman Patrick Kennedy for a candid discussion on life as a Kennedy, and his goal of destigmatizing psychiatric disorders.
Having openly struggled with addiction, as well as depression and bipolar disorder, Kennedy has used his public persona to become an advocate for those suffering from various mental illnesses:
"I spoke openly about it, because I knew that that's what my constituents wanted, and that's what they were anxious to hear. And in fact, many of them started talking to me about their own sets of challenges, that they felt ashamed about," he tells Piers Morgan. "Even though I grew up in a very different way from many of my constituents, they related to my experience, of fighting not only a mental illness, but the stigma that comes with that mental illness."
On the heels of Friday's car accident involving Kerry Kennedy – the most-recent headline-grabbing incident featuring America's most-famous family – the 44-year-old insists that neurological challenges don't discriminate, and aren't limited to those with a recognizable last name:
"Not only in my own family's case, which is just another family struggling, this is a common struggle. There's not a family in America that doesn't have a child with autism, a parent with Alzheimer's, a brother or sister with addiction or depression," says the former U.S. Representative for Rhode Island's 1st congressional district. "These are all illnesses that affect our behavior, and then we can't reject our family members because they act strange."
Watch the clip, and listen to the interview, then tune in this evening at 9 p.m. as the co-founder of One Mind for Research further details his life as a private citizen and his work in the field of mental health.
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