Washington Post Profile of Patrick Kennedy

The Washington Post has a strong profile of US Rep. Patrick Kennedy, focusing on his push to turn his own struggles with mental illness and addiction into legislation requiring that insurance companies provide equal coverage for physical and mental illness.

The irony of Kennedy's situation wasn't lost on him. He'd long considered himself "damaged goods politically" because of his struggles.

"I grew up thinking, here I come from this amazing family involved in all this social justice and civil rights, you know, and that I was born at the wrong time," Kennedy said. "I couldn't see the forest for the trees, that this thing was a civil rights fight. . . . I was so ashamed of my own mental health problems . . . and the fact that in my family, which is so competitive and prides itself on its 'strength' in so many ways, that I fell short of my family's ideal."

Now, out of those struggles he felt himself continuing the legacy of the family name:

"How could I have ever imagined that this subject, which I think is going to be my undoing, becomes the platform that connects me to my family's legacy? And continues it."

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