Trauma Family: A Memoir of PTSD's Collateral Damage


Author:Bill McBean

  • Publisher: Climacteric LLC
  • Publication Date: October 15, 2020
  • Number of Pages: 323
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-63684-819-8

Bill McBean always had a knack for journalism, but he had to retire before he began to think about his own family’s painfully stark mental disorders. Bill’s father, Peter McBean, was a lieutenant in World War II, and he, like many other soldiers at the time, came home with crippling PTSD. Although unhinged, Peter never revealed his mental disability to anyone, as he went on to become an attorney in New York, little knowing that the effects of his ailment and increasing alcoholism would affect his daughters and son. As Bill comes across his father’s letters from the battlefield describing the horrifyingly gory details of war, he soon realizes why his family has been the way it is. This book features the author’s compelling exploration of the effects of trauma on a family, in a style that is inimitable and unwonted honesty.

Trauma Family: A Memoir of PTSD's Collateral Damage by Bill McBean covers the secondary effects of PTSD and alcoholism on the families of retired soldiers. Objective Defiance Disorder [ODD], anxiety, depression, drug/alcohol abuse, and inability to learn are amongst some of the powerful themes that are elaborately explored in this book. The book discusses these conditions in great detail in an effort to understand psyche. Bill McBean’s story is an enlightening read for future families of soldiers and those who have an enervating mental illness. His recovery and conflicts with the ruthless realities of life will have an emotional grip on the readers. The author shares every part of the troubling life that he’d lived alongside his sisters in a toxic environment rampant with atrocious behaviors with ingenuity and unwonted clarity. This book will take you to the battlefields of Europe and its consequences and bring you back home to the unnerving reality of the effects of war. It’s a mind-numbingly chilling story with useful insights for generations to come. One of the best books I have read about war and the damage it leaves to individuals, families, and the society. 

Reviewed By: Kim Calderon

Reviewed Date: November 8, 2021

Category: Memoir

Biography & Memoir