This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week and I thought it would be a good idea to recommend a few books that involve mental illness. It is really important to be aware of mental illness because it is something that affects many, many people. Anyway, here are a few books with mental illness and I hope you enjoy!
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – This book displays mental illness fantastically and I really think everyone, whether you have a mental illness or not, should pick it up. It follows Charlie who suffers from anxiety and PTSD, as he struggles to fit in after loosing his best friend to suicide the pervious year. That year though, he meets two friends named Sam and Patrick and they turn his world around for the better. I absolutely loved this book more than I ever thought I would and it is a great way to understand what is going on in someone’s head who suffers from a mental illness.
Looking for Alaska by John Green – I was hesitant about putting this one in just because I think it really romanticises the concept of mental illness but overall, it does make you aware of it. Looking for Alaska is about a boy named Miles who is sent to this boarding school where he meets this smart, funny and very messed up girl named Alaska. It is obvious from the start that Alaska suffers from depression and bi polar disorder but I just wished they were displayed better than how they were in the novel. Needless to say, it was still informative and it was an interesting read.
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen – I actually just completed this book and I had to add it in here because even though the mental illness isn’t the main part of this novel, it does play a big part. Just Listen is about a girl named Annabelle who on the outside looks like she lives a perfect life but really the total opposite of that. She starts the school year with no friends and a career she doesn’t want. That is, until she meets Owen and he begins brightening up her life. The mental illness that plays a part in this novel affects Annabelle’s sister, Whitney who suffers from an eating disorder. This totally changes Annabelle’s way of life and I found it to be very realistic and accurate.
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly – I am reading this book in my English class and while it is a fantasy book there is mental illness portrayed in it. This book is about a 12 year old boy named David who after he just lost his mother, has begin hearing his books talk and has been seeing things that shouldn’t be possible. This book really plays with your head as you are trying to decide whether or not this is real or just all in David’s head. Apart from deciding what is reality or not, it is clear David suffers from OCD as we see at the beginning of the book right before and after his mother has died. I know quite a few people with OCD so I felt like I got to understand their illness better after reading this.
Those are a few recommendations and I hope you enjoyed! Please don’t forget to spread the word about mental illness, not just this week but always.