Patrick Kennedy Opens Up About Family's Struggles with 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."

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 onCBS 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.”

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