Happy Thursday, friends! Today I’m back with another blog post for the lovely Shattering Stigmas event. In case you missed it, Shattering Stigmas is an event that will take place from October 6th to October 20th here on Drizzle & Hurricane Books.
Three years ago, Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight launched the first Shattering Stigmas, a blogging event dedicated to posts about mental illness to address and challenge the stigmas against it. Through book reviews, discussion posts and lists, Shattering Stigmas has continued conversations around mental illness for the past three years.
You can also enter our INTERNATIONAL (Book Depository) giveaway! TWO winners will be able to win the Mental Health book of their choice at the end of this event. Don’t forget to ENTER HERE!
Today, I am SO excited to welcome the amazing Simant to my blog. She shares her reading story with mental health books, as well as TONS of book recommendations to fill your TBRs. That’s what you’re here for, right? Feel free to share your thoughts on the topic and your own recs in comments!
Just another day, I was searching about mental health on the Internet and I came to know that one in six adults in the United States lives with a mental illness. That was a shocking stat for me. I don’t live in the US, but I think other countries may too have similar kind of data. Even though it is so common, it is social taboo to talk about mental illness. Most of the people are not aware of it and thus struggle to understand what mental illness actually is. Not even the ones who don’t suffer from it, but also the ones who do suffer from it, don’t understand it completely and sometimes don’t take it seriously.
Well, thanks to books, now mental illness topics are not that much hidden from the people worldwide and they have started understanding it in more detail, though we have yet to go a long way. I too was the same person till last year who hadn’t understood mental illness properly. But then a book came into my life – Turtles All the Way Down – by one of my favorite authors, John Green. I picked up this book in the first place because of John Green but this book changed my life and the way I look at mental health. This book made me understand what actually goes inside the mind of a person experiencing with a mental health problem. What their thought process is and how difficult the life can get for them. It also told me how it affects not only the patient but also the people around that person.
Talking about your mental health matters and telling stories about them also matters. Generally, it is not easy for a person to speak up about their mental illness because they have the fear that no one will listen to them or even would understand them. Speaking about mental illness is very important. It makes it easier for the people suffering from it to speak up. You can change lives and even can save lives, for that matter.
Books that featured mental health perfectly
Along the year, I have read some amazing books featuring mental health in a right way. When it comes to books it is very important that the mental health issue has been depicted right as it can affect many. Not only it gives a wrong impression of mental illness to the readers who don’t have it but also can trigger the feelings of the people going through that thing. Not all books claiming to have a character with mental illness focus solely on that aspect or even try to justify it. The mental illness aspect is there merely for the sake of it.
But, I am glad to say that I have found a few of such gems and today I would like to share those with you:
1. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
Mental illness: OCD
As I said earlier, this is the perfect book to talk about mental illness. When anyone asks me about a mental health rec, this book comes first to my mind. The way John Green has presented the character of Aza dealing with OCD, it is too realistic. While I was reading it, I still remember feeling every thought of Aza. It was as if I was living those thoughts.
2. Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now by Dana L. Davis
Mental illness: Anxiety, OCD
This book is rather underrated but definitely the one which deserves all the love and recognition. Tiffany is dealing with anxiety and OCD at one end, while she is going through mental pressure of finding her real father and adjusting in the new family. The way her anxiety was revealed in various scenes, it made it too real. She was afraid of cars and flights and the way her anxiety kicked in those situations made me realize how bad this can affect a person in real life.
3. Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Mental illness: Anxiety
Starfish is an incredible book which deals with social anxiety along with many other issues. This book is also great in terms of diversity. For someone like Kiko, who has gone through physical abuse in her childhood, this book clearly shows how it can affect their mental health.
4. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Mental illness: Depression
Speak is such a powerful book which was so ahead of its time when it was written. It talks about a rape victim and how after the incident she went into a dark zone of depression and was unable to express her thoughts or even speak something. It was traumatizing to read about such an experience.
This book is in the adult romance category and you would hardly think of depicting a character with mental illness in such books. I was surprised to read about the mental illness in such a cute and fluffy read otherwise. I had no clear idea what Asperger’s is before I read this book and it told me in detail the problems such people face when they are in public or try to interact socially.
Books on mental illness that I have yet to read
There are a lot of other popular books which has been recommended to me many times and I am yet to read them. I have heard a lot about these and people have praised the way mental illness has been shown. I really hope I could read these soon.
Have you read any of these books that I mentioned above?
Do you think that the mental illness has been pictured right in these books?
Any other book that you would like to include in this list?