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Acquainted with the Night: A Parent's Quest to Understand Depression and Bipolar Disorder in His Children
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Acquainted with the Night: A Parent's Quest to Understand Depression and Bipolar Disorder in His Children

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  93 ratings  ·  10 reviews
In the tradition of Kay Redfield Jamison’s An Unquiet Mind, Acquainted with the Night is a powerful memoir of one man’s struggle to deal with the adolescent depression and bipolar disorder of his son and his daughter.

Seven years ago Paul Raeburn’s son, Alex, eleven, was admitted to a psychiatric hospital after leaving his fifth-grade classroom in an inexplicable rage. He
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 14th 2005 by Broadway Books (first published May 11th 2004)
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Emily
A few months ago, I read an advance copy of science writer Paul Raeburn's new memoir, Acquainted with the Night. In it, he chronicles how first his son, then his daughter, fell into the grip of violent and frightening manic depression. It's the print equivalent of Weezer's infamous Pinkerton album: something so raw and personal that you want to look away.

Raeburn and his wife Liz had three children: Matt, Alex, and Alicia. When the children were about 15, 11, and 9, Alex began to have behavior pr
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Emilia
Nov 29, 2008 Emilia rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in mental health issues, especially involving children/teens
Shelves: non-fiction
Raeburn is a skilled writer and his memoir of a family stricken with the pain of depression and bipolar disorder was hard to put down. His story hit very close to home, as my eldest daughter was also diagnosed bipolar while still quite young (10 yrs old) and I faced the same struggles he recounts. Reading his account infuriated me (the fights w/ insurance companies, the dearth of mental health services, esp. for kids, etc) but it was also somewhat cathartic. I wept for him and his family but als ...more
Margaret
I am grateful that Raeburn was willing to write the story of his family's struggle,but it is a difficult read. Not just because of the many sad things that happen, but because it is not told exactly chronologically or thematically, and includes memoir as well as information about mental healthcare for children. It's incredibly wrenching to read of his struggles in his marriage and in parenting. he doesn't pretty things up for the reader.
Rebs
Very honest and introspective with well done research on the state of mental health systems in the US
Frederick Bingham
This is a book about the author's children who became mentally ill. His son with biopolar disorder and their daughter from severe depression. It follows the children through stays in mental hospitals, medications, suicide attempts, etc. I stopped about halfway through because it was too depressing. The book also contains a subplot about the author's failing marriage. He and his wife were headed for a nasty divorce and this was obviously exacerbating the kids' problems.
Carrie
Did not finish, but liked what I read. It was too hard for me to read at the time as my own daughter had just been diagnosed. I plan to go back and finish it some time.
Melody Joy
A journalist's memoire about trying to decipher parenting his mentally ill children. Tough read, but insightful. Definately has a journalist's tone of voice throughout.
Donna
This one is hard for me to read with becoming overwhelmed with anxiety about raising my own children. He really brings you into his struggles.
Martha Phillips
To sum up: How to irretrievably f*ck-up your kids through your appalling parenting.

the end.
Vanessa
fascinating story.
terribly parenting.
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