All the Things We Never Knew, by Shelia Hamilton

Find in catalogThis is the recollection of a woman’s story of her husband’s bipolar mental illness and eventual suicide. It takes place in Portland, Oregon, and many of the locations are familiar, though it is not a book about places. It deals more with emotional places, following the unraveling (or maybe unveiling) of the difficulties of mind in bipolar disorder. It is also a resource, interspersing the chapters with short (1-2 pages) sections on topics in mental health that pertain to the circumstances.
This is a useful book, more of a sorting-out of the events than an in-depth experience. The author is a career newscaster, with a background in television and radio, and that has informed her style. It is also an asset in the researched remarks that help put the whole situation in perspective.
I did not realize there were 42,000 deaths a year in America due to suicide and self-inflicted injury, with proportionally higher rates in certain ages and groups. 117 suicides a day. This writer has helped to add a personal dimension to that statistic.


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