Books About Mental Health

Good morning beautiful souls,

Finals, otherwise known as the collective zombification of campus, have officially arrived.  And with that comes several sleep-deprived, caffeine-fueled weeks where the need to get work done sometimes means putting mental health on the backburner. Below are a handful of reviews on books related to mental health and mental illness – some of them might even make a good study break 🙂

1. The Things They Carried by: Tim O’Brien

This book is written as a series of connected memories – somewhat fictionalized – of the author’s time as a soldier in the Vietnam War.  It offers a poignant and realistic look at the effects of war and at post-traumatic stress disorder.

Trigger warning: PTSD, graphic depictions of war

2. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by: Ned Vizzini

This young adult novel follows the story of a teenage boy who, after years of experiencing depression and suicidal ideation, checks himself into a mental hospital.  This books offers a frank look at depression but also at the different people the protagonist meets in the hospital, humanizing a wide variety of mental illnesses.

Trigger warning: depression, suicide, self harm

3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by: Stephen Chobsky

This widely popular young adult novel follows the protagonist’s first year of high school as he struggles to find himself, make friends, and fit in.  This book offers an honest and raw perspective on depression, anxiety, and the struggles of being an adolescent.

Trigger warning: depression, suicide, sexual assault, anxiety

4. The Bell Jar by: Sylvia Plath

This book, which is semi-autobiographical, delves deeply into the author’s mind and explores her journey with depression.  This book takes you on a journey with the author, making the experience of living with depression hyper-realistic.

Trigger warning: depression, suicide

5. All the Bright Places by: Jennifer Niven

This young adult novel follows the experience of two teenagers from very different backgrounds who bond over an unusual event.  This book offers an intriguing look at mental illness and its effect on friendships.

Trigger warning: depression, suicide, loss/grief

Stay strong fellow Jumbos! Winter is coming, but we can weather the storm.
“Mental health needs a great deal of attention. It’s the final taboo and it needs to be faced and dealt with.” — Adam Ant

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