Mental Health Awareness Month
June is Mental Health Awareness Month. These memoirs and nonfiction titles deal with mental illness by addressing things like depression, anxiety, OCD, and more.
Broken (In the Best Possible Way) by Jenny Lawson
With people experiencing anxiety and depression now more than ever, Jenny humanizes what we all face in an all-too-real way, reassuring us that we're not alone and making us laugh while doing it. From the business ideas that she wants to pitch to Shark Tan to the reason why Jenny can never go back to the post office, Broken leaves nothing to the imagination in the most satisfying way. And of course, Jenny's long-suffering husband Victor--the Ricky to Jenny's Lucille Ball--is present throughout. A treat for Jenny Lawson's already existing fans, and destined to convert new ones, Broken is a beacon of hope and a wellspring of laughter when we all need it most.
Can't Just Stop : An Investigation of Compulsions by Sharon Begley
Whether shopping with military precision or hanging the tea towels just so, compulsion is something most of us have witnessed in daily life. But compulsions exist along a broad continuum, and at the opposite end of these mild forms exist life altering disorders. With a focus on personal stories of dozens of interviewees, Begley employs genuine compassion and gives meaningful context to their plight. Along the way she explores the role of compulsion in our fast paced culture, the brain science behind it, and strange manifestations of the behavior throughout history.
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. Kaysen's memoir encompasses horror and razor-edged perception while providing vivid portraits of her fellow patients and their keepers.
Goodbye, Again : Essays, Reflections, and Illustrations by Jonny Sun
The wonderfully original author of Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too gives us a collection of touching and hilarious personal essays, stories, poems--accompanied by his trademark illustrations--covering topics such as mental health, happiness, and what it means to belong.
Gorilla and the Bird : A Memoir of Madness and a Mother's Love by Zack McDermott
Zack McDermott, a 26-year-old Brooklyn public defender, woke up one morning convinced he was being filmed, Truman Show-style, as part of an audition for a TV pilot. So begins the story of Zack's freefall into psychosis and his desperate, poignant, often hilarious struggle to claw his way back to sanity. It's a journey that will take him from New York City back to his Kansas roots and to the one person who might be able to save him, his tough, big-hearted Midwestern mother, nicknamed the Bird, whose fierce and steadfast love is the light in Zack's dark world.
Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh
Touching, absurd, and darkly comic, Allie Brosh's book showcases her unique voice and her ability to capture complex emotions with deceptively simple illustrations. This edition features new content as well as classics from her website like, "The God of Cake," "Dogs Don't Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving," and her astonishing, "Adventures in Depression" and "Depression Part Two," which have been hailed as some of the most insightful meditations on the disease ever written.
No One Cares About Crazy People : The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America by Ron Powers
Braided with the history of mental health care in America is the moving story of Powers's beloved son Kevin -- spirited, endearing, and gifted -- who triumphed even while suffering from schizophrenia until finally he did not, and the story of his courageous surviving son Dean, who is also schizophrenic. A blend of history, biography, memoir, and current affairs ending with a consideration of where we might go from here, this is a thought-provoking look at a dreaded illness that has long been misunderstood.
Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
Like nearly one in five people, Matt Haig suffers from depression. Reasons to Stay Alive is Matt's inspiring account of how, minute by minute and day by day, he overcame the disease with the help of reading, writing, and the love of his parents and his girlfriend (and now-wife), Andrea. And eventually, he learned to appreciate life all the more for it.
The Center Cannot Hold : My Journey Through Madness by Elyn R. Saks
The Center Cannot Hold is the eloquent, moving story of Elyn's life, from the first time that she heard voices speaking to her as a young teenager, to attempted suicides in college, through learning to live on her own as an adult in an often terrifying world. Saks discusses frankly the paranoia, the inability to tell imaginary fears from real ones, the voices in her head telling her to kill herself (and to harm others), as well as the incredibly difficult obstacles she overcame to become a highly respected professional.
The Dark Side of Innocence : Growing Up Bipolar by Terri Cheney
"There's something wrong with her," her mother would whisper, her voice quivering on the edge of despair. And indeed there was, although no one had a name for it yet. The Dark Side of Innocence provides a heart-rending, groundbreaking insider's look into the fascinating and frightening world of childhood bipolar disorder, an illness that affects a staggering one million children.
Year of No Clutter : A Memoir by Eve O Schaub
Eve has a problem with clutter. When she pledges to tackle the worst offender, her horror of a "Hell Room," she anticipates finally being able to throw away all of the unnecessary things she can't bring herself to part with: her fifth-grade report card, dried-up art supplies, an old vinyl raincoat. But what Eve discovers isn't just old CDs and outdated clothing, but a fierce desire within herself to hold on to her identity. Year of No Clutter is a deeply inspiring--and frequently hilarious -- examination of why we keep stuff in the first place, and how to let it all go.
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