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Because I Come from a Crazy Family

The Making of a Psychiatrist

Edward M. Hallowell

Bloomsbury Publishing

Because I Come from a Crazy Family Download image

ISBN10: 163286858X
ISBN13: 9781632868589


416 Pages



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When Edward M. Hallowell was eleven, a voice out of nowhere told him he should become a psychiatrist. A mental health professional of the time would have called this psychosis. But young Edward (Ned) took it in stride, despite not quite knowing what "psychiatrist" meant. With a psychotic father, alcoholic mother, abusive stepfather, and two so-called learning disabilities of his own, Ned was accustomed to unpredictable behavior from those around him, and to a mind he felt he couldn't always control.

The voice turned out to be right. Now, decades later, Hallowell is a leading expert on attention disorders and the author of twenty books, including Driven to Distraction, the work that introduced ADD to the world. In Because I Come from a Crazy Family, he tells the often strange story of a childhood marked by what he calls the "WASP triad" of alcoholism, mental illness, and politeness, and explores the wild wish, surging beneath his incredible ambition, that he could have saved his own family of drunk, crazy, and well-intentioned eccentrics, and himself.

Because I Come from a Crazy Family is a memoir about crazy families and where they can lead, about being called to the mental health profession, and about the unending joys and challenges that come with helping people celebrate who they are.


Praise for Because I Come from a Crazy Family

"It's one thing to turn the hardships you face into fuel for doing good for others. But it's quite another, even braver thing to reveal details about those hardships publicly. Ned Hallowell has written a brave and illuminating book about overcoming odds."—Ann Curry

"Dr. Edward M. Hallowell has done more than any other physician and author to help us understand the creative, complex and challenging inner worlds of children and adults with ADHD. Now, in Because I Come from a Crazy Family, he grants us access to his own life and mind with his signature warmth, humor and insight. Moving, inspiring, and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, his memoir will bring enormous pleasure and relief to anyone with a 'crazy' family—that is to say, to absolutely everyone."—Judith Warner, author of Perfect Madness

"Psychiatrist Hallowell (Driven to Distraction) handily illustrates in this entertaining memoir the adage that people go into psychiatry because they want to understand themselves and their families . . . Hallowell is earnest in his assessments about his search for his life’s calling."Publisher's Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Edward M. Hallowell

Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., is the bestselling author of Driven to Distraction and many other acclaimed books, a leading authority in the field of ADHD, a world-renowned speaker, the host of the podcast Distraction, and the founder of the Hallowell Centers for Cognitive and Emotional Health in Boston MetroWest, New York City, San Francisco, and Seattle. He lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.