Disability Diaries is a week-long twitter and blog campaign that will be focusing on a huge variety of disabilities. (Check out #DisabilityDiaries2017 for everyone’s posts! Because I’m doing this on my phone I can’t link to the organisers, but if you check out the tag I’m sure you’ll find everyone.)
On my blog I’m going to be focusing on mental health, because this is the area that I know the most about. I myself am mentally ill. I’m going to go into more detail in another post, but basically I have anxiety and depression, with various other side symptoms that I won’t go into here. If you need someone to talk to about mental health, don’t hesitate to message me. It is hard, and we all need help sometimes, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.
So, to kick things off, I’ve got a quick list of some books on my TBR that focus on mental health! If you’ve read any of these, or know of any other good ones, please let me know. I’m toying with the idea of doing a month-long focus on mental health (mental health March anyone?!). If you’d be interested in this too, give me a heads up! I’d love guest posts and stuff 🙂
So Sad Today by Melissa Broder
Melissa Broder always struggled with anxiety. In the fall of 2012, she went through a harrowing cycle of panic attacks and dread that wouldn’t abate for months. So she began @sosadtoday, an anonymous Twitter feed that allowed her to express her darkest feelings, and which quickly gained a dedicated following. In SO SAD TODAY, Broder delves deeper into the existential themes she explores on Twitter, grappling with sex, death, love low self-esteem, addiction, and the drama of waiting for the universe to text you back. With insights as sharp as her humor, Broder explores–in prose that is both ballsy and beautiful, aggressively colloquial and achingly poetic–questions most of us are afraid to even acknowledge, let alone answer, in order to discover what it really means to be a person in this modern world.
For some reason, I love memoirs about mental health. I recently read Bryony Gordon’s ‘Mad Girl’ (to be reviewed this week!) and it was so brutally honest. That’s what I look for, and I think that So Sad Today will deliver.
Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she’d never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. She spent most of the next two years on the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele — Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles — as for its progressive methods of treating those who could afford its sanctuary.
Kaysen’s memoir encompasses horror and razor-edged perception while providing vivid portraits of her fellow patients and their keepers. It is a brilliant evocation of a “parallel universe” set within the kaleidoscopically shifting landscape of the late sixties. Girl, Interrupted is a clear-sighted, unflinching document that gives lasting and specific dimension to our definitions of sane and insane, mental illness and recovery.
Aaaand another memoir! Here I’m more interested in the changes in how mental illness is treated and regarded. We’ve come so far in the past 10 years alone, and I’d like to learn more about the ‘treatments’ I may have experienced if I hadn’t been born in the 90s.
Two 2017 releases that I’m really excited about are:
Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert
When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.
But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new…the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself–or worse.
Intersectionality! Whoop! I much prefer books where the protagonist is mentally ill, rather than a brother, in this instance. I’m usually not very interested in seeing mental illness through the eyes of a neurotypical, because we get that all the time. However, this sounds pretty good and I’m willing to give it a try.
History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.
To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.
If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.
Ok so I still haven’t actually read More Happy Than Not BUT I’ve heard so much that it would be an oversight not to have this on my list. Adam Silvera has talked a lot about how this is based on his own experiences with OCD, and I am hugely excited for this to be released.