Patrick Kennedy breaks family's silence, opens up about their struggles with addiction

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Patrick Kennedy Reveals Family History of Mental Illness and Addiction

The late senator Ted Kennedy's youngest son, Patrick, is breaking the family code of silence.

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He has written a book, "A Common Struggle," which deals with his battles with mental illness and addiction as well as his famous father's struggles.

In the book, he wrote: "My father went on in silent desperation for much of his life, self-medicating and unwittingly passing his unprocessed trauma onto my sister, brother and me."

See photos of Patrick Kennedy:

Patrick Kennedy
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Patrick Kennedy breaks family's silence, opens up about their struggles with addiction
Former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy speaks at the dedication of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, Monday, March 30, 2015, in Boston. The $79 million Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate dedication is a politically star-studded event attended by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and past and present senators of both parties. It sits next to the presidential library of Kennedyâs brother, John F. Kennedy. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR MOREHOUSE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE/THE KENNEDY FORUM - Dr. David Satcher, right, former U.S. Surgeon General and Director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine, answers questions during a panel to discuss mental health and addition treatment and policy with moderator Ceci Connolly, left, PwC Health Research, and former U.S. Representative and Founder of The Kennedy Forum, Patrick J. Kennedy, center, at The State of the Union on Mental Health and Addiction forum at the National Press Club on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015 in Washington. (Paul Morigi/AP Images for Morehouse School of Medicine/The Kennedy Forum)
Former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy addresses an audience during a forum on mental health policies that marks the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's signing of the Community Mental Health Act, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, at the JFK Library and Museum in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
FILE - This June 3, 2013 file photo shows former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy at the National Conference on Mental Health, in Washington. Kennedy is working on a book about his struggles with addiction and mental illness, to be published next year. Penguin Random House imprint Blue Rider Press announced Monday, March 24, 2014, the book will be called "A Common Struggle." (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
Former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy smiles after teaching his first class at Brown University in Providence, RI., Monday, Jan. 30, 2012. Kennedy, a visiting fellow at the Brown Institute of Brain Science, is team-teaching a seminar on improving mental health and brain research. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
Former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., the son of the late U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, walks through the beach grass with his wife Amy Petitgout after their wedding ceremony at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannisport, Mass., Friday, July 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Former Sen. John Tunney, left, stands with his arm around Patrick Kennedy on a pier in Hyannis Port, Mass., Friday, July 15, 2011. Patrick Kennedy is to wed Amy Petitgout at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port later in the day. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Former U.S. Rep. of Rhode Island, Patrick Kennedy, center, son of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, is seen with former Ambassador to Ireland and brother of the late senator, Jean Kennedy Smith, right, at groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston, Friday, April 8, 2010. Friday's ceremony was held on a site next to the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
FILE - This Dec. 9, 2010 photograph shows Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., on Capitol Hill in Washington, before leaving office when his term expired. Kennedy, son of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, is engaged to be married to sixth-grade public school teacher Amy Petitgout. No date has been set. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Retiring U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., left, and his successor Providence Mayor David Cicilline, right, talk in Providence, R.I., Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010. Kennedy and other members of his family have paid tribute to his uncle, John Kennedy, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of his election as president. (AP Photo/Gretchen Ertl)
Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., left, congratulates Providence Mayor and Democratic candidate for congress David Cicilline on his win for the 1st congressional seat of Rhode Island, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010, in Providence, R.I. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)
Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., awaits the arrival of President Barack Obama on board Air Force One to T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, R.I., Monday, Oct. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)

During an interview with "60 Minutes," host Lesley Stahl asked the former congressman about the quote and inquired: "Do you think he was an alcoholic?"

"You know, I think he definitely had a problem with alcohol. I still right now, Lesley, have trouble talking about this. This is like breaking the family code here. I am now outside the family line," he said.

Stahl also asked about growing up with his mother, Joan.

"It was so tense. She was clearly inebriated and under the influence and she would be walking around in her terry bathrobe," he said.

On Monday morning, Patrick's older brother Ted Kennedy Jr. released a statement saying: "I admire him for his candor about his own challenges. However, I am heartbroken that Patrick has chosen to write what is an inaccurate and unfair portrayal of our family. My brother's recollection of family events and particularly our parents are quite different from my own."

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Patrick reacted to his brother's statement on CBS "This Morning:" "I told this story about my life which I can't separate from my family's life because it is important that all of us break this silence and the shame on these issues."

See photos of JFK through the years:

John F Kennedy (life)
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Patrick Kennedy breaks family's silence, opens up about their struggles with addiction
1927: Headshot portrait of John F Kennedy (1917-1963) at age ten, standing outdoors and wearing a suit with his hair slicked back. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Future President of the United States of America, John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963) in London. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
American statesman John F Kennedy, later the 35th President of the United States (right), with Mr Borhum at a garden party at the White House, Washington DC. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
1st September 1939: Joe, Kathleen and John F Kennedy, the children of American Ambassador to Great Britain, Joseph P Kennedy, arriving at the Houses of Parliament in London. John later became the 35th President of the United States. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
A photo dated 1950's shows John F. Kennedy with his wife Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917 - 1963), the American president sitting in a rocking chair. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Senator John F Kennedy seeking the Democratic nomination for the presidential elections, which he went on to win. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
President John F. Kennedy speaks on the telephone August 23, 1962 in the Oval Office. (Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)
Senator John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963) is given a rousing ovation during his presidential campaign. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy, D-Mass., and his bride, the former Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, cut their wedding cake during a reception following thier marriage Sept.12, 1953 at Newport, R.I. (AP Photo)
John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963), American president-elect, with his wife Jacqueline (1929 - 1994) at the christening of their son John F Jr. (1960 - 1999) in Washington. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
President John F. Kennedy speaks to the AFL-CIO convention on Dec. 7, 1961 in Bal Harbour, Florida, where he said employment hit a new record in the month of November, Kennedy addressed the labor convention after making a talk at the Young Democrats convention at Miami Beach, Florida. (AP Photo)
U.S. President John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963) holds his first press conference, Washington D.C., 28th January 1961. (Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Aug. 7, 1960 file photo, Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kennedy and wife Jacqueline sit in their sailboat at Hyannis Port, Mass. The Kennedy image, the "mystique" that attracts tourists and historians alike, did not begin with his presidency and is in no danger of ending 50 years after his death. Its journey has been uneven, but resilient _ a young and still-evolving politician whose name was sanctified by his assassination, upended by discoveries of womanizing, hidden health problems and political intrigue, and forgiven in numerous polls that place JFK among the most beloved of former presidents.(AP Photo)
17th February 1961: Jacqueline Kennedy (1929 - 1994), wife of US President John F Kennedy, and daughter Caroline relax together at home. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
1962: US statesman John F Kennedy, 35th president of the USA, making a speech. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)
US President John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963, left) with British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan (1894 - 1986) outside Government House in Hamilton, Bermuda, where they are holding talks, 22nd December 1961. (Photo by AFP/Getty Images)
President John F. Kennedy greets wellwishers after a speech May 8, 1963 at the White House. (Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers)
Little Caroline kisses her father John F. Kennedy, who is elected on November 9, 1960. Kennedy is not only the first Catholic in the White House, but also the youngest president in US history. (AP Photo) 1960
President John F. Kennedy smiles as he watches the annual Army-Navy game at Philadelphia Stadium, Dec. 2, 1961. He sat first on the Army side and then crossed over to the Navy side for the second half of the game, which Navy won, 13-7. (AP Photo)
Sen. John F. Kennedy, Democratic presidential candidate, and his wife, Jacqueline, pause to talk to crowd as they pass through the Wall Street area en route to City Hall in New York, Oct. 19, 1960. As Kennedy talked the crowd surged toward his car. At Mayor Wagner's suggestion, Sen. Kennedy spoke but briefly and motorcade proceeded up Broadway from City Hall. (AP Photo)
9th November 1960: Senator John F Kennedy, the Democratic candidate who has been elected president of the USA. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
In this Nov. 13, 1963 file photo, U.S. President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy sit with their children, John Jr. and Caroline, on a portico overlooking the White House South Lawn in Washington. In background is British Ambassador David Ormsby Gore. (AP Photo)
President John F. Kennedy is greeted by an enthusiastic crowd in front of the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth, Nov. 22, 1963. (AP Photo)
This Nov. 22, 1963 file photo shows President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline Kennedy upon their arrival at Dallas Airport, in Dallas, shortly before President Kennedy was assassinated. PBS says its fall schedule will include a variety of specials marking President John F. Kennedy's death 50 years ago. In the weeks leading up to the milestone anniversary of his Nov. 22, 1963, slaying in Dallas, PBS said it will air "JFK," a four-hour "American Experience" special. (AP Photo, file)
This Nov. 22, 1963 file photo shows President John F. Kennedy riding in motorcade with first lady Jacqueline Kenndy before he was shot in Dallas, Texas. (AP Photo, file)

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