Secrets for the Mad has been provided for review through Netgalley. All views are my own.
A collection of personal stories, lessons, song lyrics, and photos from the beloved British vlogger Dodie Clark, also known online as doddleoddle.
When I feel like I’m going mad I write.
A lot of my worst fears have come true; fears that felt so big I could barely hold them in my head. I was convinced that when they’d happen, the world would end.
But the world didn’t end. In fact, it pushed on and demanded to keep spinning through all sorts of mayhem, and I got through it. And because I persisted, I learned lessons about how to be a stronger, kinder, better human—lessons you can only learn by going through these sorts of things.
This is for the people with minds that just don’t stop; for those who feel everything seemingly a thousand times more than the people around them.
Here are some words I wrote.
I have never seen Dodie Smith’s YouTube channel before, so going into this was a complete surprise and delight. She talks about many different things, peppering her near stream-of-consciousness essays with songs and photographs. Unfortunately some of these were quite difficult to read due to the layout, but I imagine these will be lovely in print.
I mainly requested Secrets for the Mad because of its focus on mental health. Dodie talks quite a lot about her depersonalisation disorder. She describes it as like being permanently drunk, a description that really struck me. I have episodes of depersonalisation and disassociation, and I’d never read a book that talked about it before.
Dodie also talks about bisexuality, sex, eating disorders, and a variety of other topics. For those who are familiar with her YouTube channel this might be familiar material, but for me, I was constantly impressed by her maturity and thoughts about her life (being only 22!)
I would definitely recommend this book, even if you’re not necessarily a fan of Dodie (though now I might just have to check out her channel myself!)