Saturday, January 12, 2008

Smarty Saturday Book Recommendation: Acquainted With the Night

I know of many people whose children are living, and struggling, with things like bipolar disorder or depression. Recently I read a book, Acquainted With the Night: A Parent's Quest to Understand Depression and Bipolar Disorder in His Children that gave a glimpse into how challenging life can be for families.
This is definitely not a manual or a book to help parents figure out how to best help their children. In fact, one thing I need to say is, if you have just recently began the process of helping a child get through bipolar disorder or depression, this probably isn't a good book for you to read. I Paul and his wife had three children. The younger of the two boys had severe behavioral problems that turned out to be symptoms of bipolar disorder, and later the couple's daughter was diagnosed with depression and a mild form of anorexia. The couple had a very hard time securing help for their kids. By their own admission, the parents made lots of mistakes. They constantly fought about their kids, right in front of their kids, and Paul occasionally flew into an uncontrollable rage at his children. The marriage fell apart, and as the kids got older they wanted very little to do with their father, who is the author of the book. In some ways, reading this book was like watching a very slow and tragic car accident take place over the course of many years. Its definitely not the sort of "how our family overcame obstacles" story that might help parents whose kids have similar problems.
However, the story itself is a good one. The children, now grown, participated in the writing of the book, giving insights into what was going through their own minds when certain events happened.
So... this is my Smarty Saturday book recommendation for the week. But for this one, I must say, read at your own risk!

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