Mental health is a topic that doesn’t get discussed often enough. We live in the 21st century where we have plenty of information about everything at our fingertips, and yet, mental illness is still regarded with suspicion, and declared a non existent issue by a lot.
The stigma attached to mental illnes should not be a thing in our modern era, but it still surrounds us every day. I still encounter people who “don’t believe” in mental disorders. To me it’s exactly the same as if someone said they don’t believe in cancer or the common cold. Sounds a bit weird, doesn’t it. Or how about people who love a tidy desk, or like to sort their books by colour? Are they all suffering from OCD? Doubtful. Yet, the term is being thrown around like there’s no tomorrow. Weird.
I absolutely loved this prompt, and spent weeks picking out books for it. We still have a long way to go, but with more and more people getting the courage to speak out, and even more people actually starting to listen with compassion, we might just get there eventually.
So, let’s see what we got here.
Turtles All the Way Down
by John Green
The book tells the story of sixteen-year-old Aza and her friends who investigate the mystery of a fugitive millionaire.
Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.
Relevance: OCD, anxiety
by Gillian Flynn
Reporter Camille Preaker returns to her hometown to cover the story of a double homicide. As clues lead to dead ends, she’s forced to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past and confront what happened to her in the past.
Relevance: self harm, anxiety, other mental disorders #nospoiler
Eliza and Her Monsters
by Francesca Zappia
The shy, weird, and friendless Eliza, creator of the popular webcomic, Monstrous Sea, is accidentally revealed to the world and everything around her, including her sanity begins to fall apart.
Dancing on Broken Glass
by Ka Hancock
A story of a marriage that logically should never have happened. Lucy and Mickey are both cursed with faulty genes, but their chemistry is undeniable. They make a pact never to have children, be always honest, not blame each other for what’s beyond their control. The news they recive during a routine physical check up just before their eleventh force them to discard all their rules, and redefine what love really is.
Relevance: bipolar disorder
Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened
by Allie Brosh
This graphic novel is basically the paper version of the wildly popular blog & webcomic, Hyperbole and Half. Allie Brosh uses exaggeratedly simple drawing style to tell us hilarious stories from her childhood as well as the more difficult ones she faces as an adult. The book includes stories about her experience with depression.
by Simon Butters
Fifteen-year-old Monty is at rock bottom. His parents are ignoring him, he’s bullied at school, and has no one to turn to. Until he meets a mysterious black dog only he can see. The black dog gets him talking to pretty, popular Eliza Robertson for the first time. It takes him to places he’s never been.
Relevance: depression, self harm
The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily
by Laura Creedle
Lily Michaels-Ryan lands in detention with the brilliant and beautiful Abelard. When Abelard posts a quote from The Letters of Abelard and Heloise online, their mutual affinity for ancient love letters connects them. The two fall for each other. Hard.
by Laurie Halse Anderson
Best friends Lia and Cassie are in a deadly competition to see who can be the skinniest.
An emotional story with a strong message.
Relevance: anorexia, bulimia, eating disorder
The Drowning Girl
by Caitlín R. Kiernan
India Morgan Phelps can no longer trust her own mind, because she is convinced that her memories have somehow betrayed her, forcing her to question her very identity.