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Top 5 Books on Mental Health
Mental Illness has long been a topic for discussion with more and more people, including celebrities, advocating for better communication surrounding mental health. Research has shown that 1 in 4 people will suffer from a mental or neurological illness during their lifetime. In this article I am going to list my top 5 books which I believe handle the topic of mental illness in an incredible way.
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
From the title and cover of this book, it probably wouldn't spring to mind that this is a book on a mental disorder. It is not until you read the blurb that you realise this is a book on eating disorders. There are many reasons that I liked this book. The writing was incredible; it really made me feel like the characters were real people and really helped me to understand what it is like to live with an eating disorder. I also really liked the added element of how the main character also deals with a loss, it's something that we don't perhaps think about. And finally, the topic of eating disorders is not often seen in Young Adult fiction and I like how well Laurie Halse Anderson handled such a sensitive topic.
The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer
I find it difficult to discuss this book, and not because of the topic itself but I went into this book completely blind to what it was about. The blurb does not give anything away, doesn't mention any form of disorder. And I think not knowing very much about this book is what made it even better for me. I can say that this book is incredibly moving, heart-breaking and well written. I would highly recommend picking it up.
Falling into Place by Amy Zhang
What I liked about this book was the originality of the character. Often, in the media, those who are depressed and suicidal are portrayed as lonely with no friends, family or anything to live for. This book shows depression in a different light. It shows how this illness can affect anyone and that it is not a sign of weakness. This was Amy Zhangs debut novel and I have to say, her writing is spectacular.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
This book has won quite a few awards and has recently been made into a play, I can see why. This book is from the perspective of a young boy with Autism. It is beautifully written, it really shows how the mind of a child on the Autistic Spectrum works and their lack of understanding and difficulty in everyday situations which some people may not understand. This was one of the first books I had ever read about a mental disorder and I was quite young when I did so, but it taught me a lot about the disorder. Incredible read.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
A book I read at quite a young age and that really imprinted in me that you should be wary of how your actions may affect other people. Soon coming to Netflix at the end of this month as a TV show, this book tells the story of Hannah. Hannah committed suicide and as her note, she sends 13 tapes. All of the tapes go to 13 people, who have to listen to all of the tapes and then pass it onto the next person. These 13 people are the reasons why Hannah committed suicide and she explains why. The book follows one of the people who recieves the tapes and is incredibly moving and heartbreaking. It is such an original concept that just gets you thinking.