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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 was hospitalized three times over the next three years until he was finally diagnosed by a psychiatrist as someone exhibiting a clear-cut case of bipolar disorder. This ended a painful period of misdiagnosis and inappropriate drug therapy. Then Raeburn's younger daughter, Alicia, twelve, was diagnosed as suffering from depression after episodes of self-mutilation and suicidal thoughts. She too was repeatedly admitted to psychiatric hospitals. All during this terrible, painful time, Raeburn's marriage was disintegrating, and he had to ask what he and his wife might have done, unwittingly, to contribute to their children's mental illness. And so, literally to save his children's lives, he used all the resources available to him as a science reporter and writer to educate himself on their diseases and the various drugs and therapies available to help them return from a land of inner torment. In Paul Raeburn's skilled hands, this memoir of a family stricken with the pain of depression and mania becomes a cathartic story that any reader can share, even as parents unlucky enough to be in a similar position will find it of immeasurable practical value in their own struggles with the child psychiatry establishment.
""Killing yourself at any age is a seriously tricky business. But when I was seven, the odds felt insurmountable."" As a young girl, Terri Cheney's life looked perfect. Her family lived in a lovely house in a tranquil Los Angeles suburb where the geraniums never once failed to bloom. She was pretty and smart, an academic superstar and popular cheerleader whose father doted on her. But starting with her first suicide attempt at age seven, it was clear that her inner world was anything but perfect. "There's something wrong with her," her mother would whisper, her voice quivering on the edge of despair. And indeed there was, although no one had a name for it yet. Hostage to her roller-coaster moods, Terri veered from easy A-pluses to total paralysis, from bouts of obsessive hypersexuality to episodes of alcoholic abandon that nearly cost her her life. Throughout Terri's chaotic early years, nothing was certain from day to day except this: whatever was so deeply wrong with her must be kept a secret. Thirty years later, Terri wrote "Manic, "a harrowing memoir that revealed her adult struggle with bipolar disorder. It became an instant "New York Times "bestseller and received passionate critical acclaim. But it didn't tell the whole story. The mystery of Terri's childhood remained untouched-- too troubling, too painful to fathom. "The Dark Side of Innocence "explores those tumultuous formative years, finally shattering Terri's well-guarded secret. With vivid intensity, it blends a pitch-perfect childlike voice with keen adult observation. "The Dark Side of Innocence "provides a heart-rending, groundbreaking insider's look into the fascinating and frightening world of childhood bipolar disorder, an illness that affects a staggering one million children. This poignant and compelling story of Terri's journey from disaster and despair to hope and survival will serve as an informative and eye-opening tale for those who would trust a flawless facade.
Jordan, the youngest of four children, carries his tale from his early childhood right up through 2002. His cornucopia of struggles began early: "Puberty, alcohol, drugs, and the discovery that I was homosexual, coupled with mental illness, grief, and no self esteem, would make me one of the larger, unsolvable problems in the household." His addictions lead him at an early age to begin a pattern of "lying, cheating, and stealing." He learned early that "being young, gay, and cute would open almost any door in the late 70s." Jordan describes his older self as "an alcoholic, drug addicted fag with AIDS from a broken home, with no formal education or writing experience." Jordan's autobiography recounts not only the symptoms and costs of his psychopathologies, addictions, and sexually transmitted diseases but also their treatments. His psychiatric treatments began when he was ten years old. His first inpatient alcoholism treatment was in 1984, when he was addicted to "cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, sex, any person, place, or thing that took me away from my pent up shame, pain, and rage." Jordan became a patient of the Gay Men's Health Crisis in New York City in the winter of 1984. He graduated from patient to staff member, an experience that gives the reader an inside look at some of the treatment services of the 1980s and 1990s for individuals with psychiatric disorders, substance use disorders, and sexually transmitted diseases on both coasts of the United States.
"This is the story of an extraordinary boy with a brilliant mind, a heart of gold, and a tortured soul. It is the story of an illness, a fight to live, and a race against death. I want to share the story, and the pain, the courage, the love, and what I learned in living through it. I want Nick's life to be not only a tender memory for us, but a gift to others. . . . I would like to offer people hope and the realities we lived with. I want to make a difference. My hope is that someone will be able to use what we learned, and save a life with it."--Danielle Steel From the day he was born, Nick Traina was his mother's joy. By nineteen, he was dead. This is Danielle Steel's powerful, personal story of the son she lost and the lessons she learned during his courageous battle against darkness. Sharing tender, painful memories and Nick's remarkable journals, Steel brings us a haunting duet between a singular young man and the mother who loved him--and a harrowing portrait of a masked killer called manic depression, which afflicts between two and three million Americans. At once a loving legacy and an unsparing depiction of a devastating illness, Danielle Steel's tribute to her lost son is a gift of life, hope, healing, and understanding to us all.
The life of a person with bipolar disorder can be tumultuous. Imagine living in a world divided into many parts: one is fast-paced, frantic, energetic--you are at the top of your game and feeling invincible; another is so bleak and dark that even the simple task of going to the store requires Herculean effort. Now imagine a third: going about your daily routing when another manifestation, the mixed state, combines these symptoms simultaneously. This is just a glimpse into the world of a person with bipolar disorder Many people diagnosed with this disorder are adolescents: young people who often feel isolated, unsure of who to talk to, or where to turn for help or answers. Having been diagnosed with the disorder at age fifteen, Patrick Jamieson knows firsthand the highs and lows and bring his experiences to bear in Mind Race: A Firsthand Account of One Teenager's Experience with Bipolar DisorderR, the first in the Annenberg Mental Health Initiative series written specifically for teenagers and young adults. Mind Race is a first-person account, aimed at teens who have recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, informative in a compassionate, good-humored, yet authoritative manner. Jamieson discusses his own challenges and triumphs, and offers advice on dealing with developing symptoms such as how to recognize the beginning of a mood shift. In accessible language, he presents the latest in scientific research on the disorder, treatment options, and how to cope with side effects of different medications. He includes a detailed F.A.Q. that answers the questions a newly diagnosed adolescent is likely to have, and also offers suggestions on how to communicate with friends and family about the bipolar experience. With Mind Race, Jamieson offers hope to teens and young adults living with bipolar disorder, helping them to navigate and overcome their challenges so they can lead a full and rewarding life.
A great narrative that starts in the Empire State Building, NYC, NY....Polarized, a bipolar memoir is the story of how Patricia Frisch went from terrified kid to frightened young lady to a woman in charge of her own life. She was not an ordinary child. Barely into grade school, she began suffering through jilting manias and crushing depressions. Severely introverted, with parents of Irish descent who believed in strong self-discipline, she kept the pain to herself. She struggled for two decades before hospitalization at age twenty-six, where she finally received the beginnings of a proper diagnosis and medication. Later in life she earned a Ph.D. in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University Maryland. She drew on her personal experiences to enhance a professional career as a pastoral counselor in medical, religious, and social service settings. Eventually she became the owner/director of the Clinical and Pastoral Counseling Center (LLC) in a hospital setting. Patricia addresses the fact that family relationships can be strained by bipolar 1 disorder and all bipolar diagnoses. Close family members can mistakenly blame themselves for their loved one's diagnosis, unaware that research shows that mental illness is first of all a physical illness. Still, environmental stressors can aggravate the disorder. Frisch describes her vital steps for managing and coping with bipolar 1 disorder. Psychiatric medication became the major factor. After stabilizing, she became more aware of her ability to develop newly discovered talents. Her accomplished life is a testament that bipolar disorder can be successfully managed. Frisch was encouraged by colleagues to write a memoir for bipolar sufferers, loved ones and professionals to realize that the disease can be managed. Frisch hopes to inspire others with bipolar disorder to embrace self-care and overcome any setbacks.