As I sit down to write this it is #BellLetsTalk day. A day here in Canada where we open up about mental health issues and try to help break the stigma that goes with so many “invisible” diseases and disorders. I’ve had my share of situational anxiety, but am fortunate to be able to say that mental health isn’t an ongoing issue for me. However, I have close friends and family members who do struggle with chronic depression and anxiety disorders.
Just as it can be hard to describe a physical pain, describing what it feels like to deal with anxiety and depression I have no doubt is a million times harder. As much as we want to understand and support those around us who deal with these issues it can be hard grasp what is really going on.
I hadn’t planned to write this post, but as I was grocery shopping today for some reason I began to think about the books I’ve read which have really helped me to be able to better understand what it must be like to live with anxiety disorders especially. Since it is #BellLetsTalk day, there is no better day to share these three titles that I found insightful.
There are I’m sure many titles that tackle this topic, but these are the three that immediately came to mind. They all happen to be Young Adult titles, so not only might they be a good read for you, they would be good books for your teens to read as well in order to help them understand what might be going on in their own minds, or the minds of loved ones. What’s more, they are easy reads, so even those people who aren’t readers should be able to get through these titles fairly quickly.
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Audrey doesn’t go to school, wears dark glasses all the time, and rarely leaves her house. Her parents try to assist Audrey in recovering from her anxiety disorder, the cause of which is never revealed (sorry!). I read this book in one sitting, and while her ultimate recovery is less realistic, it still helps paint a clearer picture of what is going on in the mind of someone with severe anxiety and is a sweet, sweet book that I really loved.
This story follows Cath during her first year of college. As someone with social anxiety, Cath feels very much lost in the new world she finds herself. Her twin sister is attending the same school but lives in a different building and Cath finds it challenging to exist in this new world on her own. As an anonymous FanFic for Simon Snow (a series that sort of resembles Harry Potter), Cath finds herself much more comfortable in the fictional world than her own. Eventually, she finds her way back to a life in the real world and begins to create a new normal.
I absolutely adored this book. It was one that I was thinking about weeks after finishing it. I still can’t quite put my finger on why, but it gets a five-star rating from me.
I just read this a few weeks ago. It was the most insightful look into the mind of someone with mental health issues. For someone who struggles with anxiety or OCD it could possibly be triggering, so please know that, but otherwise, it is an amazing read down the rabbit hole that can be our own mind.
“Turtles delivers a lesson that we so desperately need right now: Yes, it is okay not to be okay…. John Green has crafted a dynamic novel that is deeply honest, sometimes painful, and always thoughtful.” – Mashable
Part heartbreaking, part eye-opening, part great storytelling, you would think I would walk away from this story feeling sad and depressed, but I didn’t. I appreciated the journey, and the ability to better understand what others struggle with on a daily basis. It is a must read, especially if you have someone in your life with severe anxiety or OCD.
I truly believe that it’s only when we better understand one another that we can better assist and support one another. While your friend or family member may not be able to articulate what is going on in their head, titles like these can help us better understand them, and in turn, help us help them in a way that is more appropriate.