A Parent's Quest to Understand Depression and Bipolar Disorder in his Children

In this searingly honest memoir, Raeburn tells the story of the diagnosis—and repeated misdiagnosis—of two of his children’s experiences with bipolar disorder and depression. He tells a disturbing but all too familiar tale of failed efforts to get proper treatment, or school officials too eager to discard "problem kids," and of efforts by insurance companies to determine treatment based on financial accounting, not on doctors’ advice or the effectiveness of treatment.

Ultimately, he is forced to ask himself whether what he might have done to exacerbate his children’s problems. His confession of his own faults is one of the virtues of this memoir. Eventually, Raeburn and his children learn what they need to do for themselves and each other—and so this story importantly provides hope.

Praise for Acquainted with the Night, a memoir of raising children with depression and bipolar disorder: 

“You have done a masterful job in relating your experiences with your family…It took a lot of courage to come forward with such a personal account. Know that it was well worth the effort.”

— Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter


“A cathartic tale about the writer’s efforts to find help for his bipolar son and depressed daughter…Raeburn’s story burns with emotional honesty.”

— Psychology Today


“Raeburn does his children and others like them a great justice by making this book more than just a gritty expose of their private lives. It is also a searing and eloquent indictment of America’s insurance industry that ought to land CEOs in jail.”

— Daphne Uviller in The Washington Post

More books by Paul Raeburn