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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of the classic book on ADD Driven to Distraction, a memoir of the strange upbringing that shaped Dr. Edward M. Hallowell's celebrated career.

When Edward M. Hallowell was 11, 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, an alcoholic mother, an abusive stepfather, and two so-called learning disabilities of his own, Ned was accustomed to unpredictable behaviour 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 20 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 an affecting, at times harrowing, ultimately moving 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.

©2018 Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love and connection permeates through this book!

This book should be a best seller! Dr. Hallowell has done an amazing job bringing to life a memoir of different family members, friends, professors, practitioners, and clients that shaped and molded him to become a world-renowned psychiatrist with best-selling books on various mental health issues facing the greater public.
This book made me laugh out loud at the different idiosyncrasies that people possess that make them special and unique individuals. This book made me think about mental health and gave me a new perspective on the humanness that we all share. Such as needing to connect at a higher level of consciousness in order to really help someone and support them in times of crisis, difficulties or challenging issues. This book made me more spiritually aware that God can play a larger part in my life if I choose to look at things through the lens that eventually we all have the same outcome in this world. It's essential to do good and help in any way we can to create more beauty and connection in this world through our choice of words, actions, and thoughts. This book made me cry and mourn the loss of people that have lost their lives either due to lack of treatment, circumstances beyond their control, or mental illness. Each person has their story to tell and in death, that story comes to an end but their legacy lives on through the people that they connected with in their life.
I learned a lot from this book and I will read it again to gain more insight in the future because it is packed full of depth that deserves multiple reads. I would recommend this book to anyone who knows someone that has a mental illness, a difficult family life due to alcoholism or drug abuse, anyone who wants to become a Doctor, and most of all people that want to understand how to connect with others on a spiritual and emotional level seldom felt in everyday life.
My only critique of this audible presentation was the performance done by Paul Boehmer. I thought it was great but I really had difficulty relating to him as Dr. Hallowell at first. Over time though his voice grew on me and I liked how he used different inflections for the characters, his cadence fluctuation, and his east coast accent.
This should be in your book collection and I really think you will enjoy learning about Dr. Hallowell's journey through life and his amazing family members that provided him with a greater capacity to forgive, love, and cherish all people in this world especially those who have difficulty reciprocating that love due to mental illness and disorders.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Hallowell never disappoints.

Again, Ed Hallowell has delivered a down to earth description of hard to swallow life “stuff”. It is more colorful and descriptive than his previous books, perhaps it is because it is his family story, not a story born of his years in psychiatry. For as long as I can remember he has offered hope through education and advice for managing ADHD. How brave to share so openly in this book about his chaotic upbringing. I think many will receive comfort in knowing no family is perfect and maybe coming from a messy family with mental illness does not mean one must settle. Perhaps it’s possible to become a best selling author, psychiatrist and international expert who changes lives. Thank you Dr. Hallowell for sharing your story.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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underwhelming

After listening to Running with Scissors and Educated I was all geared up for a mind bending romp and ended up with a snooze fest. The story should be interesting, but the characters come off as mono-dimentional and leave my mind wandering. Furthermore, the vioce of the narrator is annoying and the flow of the book seems random and the story line never seems to get to the point. I honestly didn't finish it.

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Beautiful story!

What a beautiful memoir of a person’s life. Dr. Hallowell is clearly intelligent, so insightful about his life experiences, and shares heartache and love with equal wit and intensity. What a gift to the world, especially people who suffer from mental health issues, to know that those issues can be addressed and overcome. I wish he was my doctor. Thank you!

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Yay Dr. Hallowell!

I enjoyed this book enormously! I have the good fortune of knowing Dr. Hallowell personally and I am grateful in saying that he has been extremely helpful to me and my family.

His honesty and candor shown here in this book is in keeping with the person he is and the truly excellent psychiatrist he is as well. This illustration of his own life here allows people in general, not just his patients, see that mental illness is something that can be discussed and SHOULD be discussed more openly.

I recommend this book highly. At face value it is entertaining and well written, but beyond that it is an honest and straight forward account of Dr. Hallowell’s complicated, messy at times, but ultimately happy and certainly successful life. I’m grateful he took the time to share it with us.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Allison
  • Charlottesville, VA, United States
  • 07-07-18

plodding narration

Good enough story if a bit wandering. Narration is pedantic, which takes away from the story. Interesting topics, though. Stayed with it to the end.