There are times where you might feel like you’re the only person going through a rough patch or a transitional phase in your life, but there are others experiencing the same thing. Mental illness can also be isolating. When in the throes of these feelings, you might feel completely alone. These five books show that yes, life is tough, but that you are also not alone in your struggles.
Antisocial by Jillian Blake
When a mysterious hacker exposes the most private secrets of high school seniors at Alexandria Prep, things turn chaotic. When the hacks begin to threaten the people around Anna, she decides that she must fight back to protect not only her loved ones, but also to protect her secrets.
Without Merit by Colleen Hoover
Without Merit was the first book that I really connected with a character because of her mental illness. Merit shared a lot of the same quirks that I had when I was at my lowest. It was strange being able to relate to someone else’s struggles because depression is so isolating. It definitely made me feel like other people might be going through the same things that I went through. I think this book also shows people that are unfamiliar with depression or mental illness that it’s easy for someone to feel so isolated.
Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi
Penny is a freshman in college and she is floundering because of her social anxiety. When she meets Sam, her anxiety keeps them initially apart. But when she finds him in the midst of a panic attack, she helps him through it. They exchange numbers and begin texting, where they become “digitally inseparable.” They share their dreams, fears and anxieties without getting weirded out from seeing each other.
*Hold Still by Nina LaCour
Suicide has been brought up in the national conversation once again with some high profile suicides recently. However, suicides happen a lot more often than people may think and in Hold Still, Caitlin is feeling it firsthand after her best friend kills herself. Struggling to understand the circumstances surrounding her best friend’s suicide, Caitlin finds a journal that might have all the answers.
(Don’t) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation about Mental Health edited by Kelly Jensen
This is a non-fiction work of essays, lists, comics and illustrations from 33 writers, athletes and artists that have experienced mental illness. In order to get rid of the stigma surrounding mental illness, we have to openly talk about it and not be ashamed of it. This book is a conversation starter and it shows us that mental illness can affect everyone. It doesn’t matter what race, gender, age, sexual orientation or what tax bracket you fall into because mental illness does not discriminate.
*A note from the contributor:
Many people believe that suicide is one of the most selfish things that a person could do but as someone that struggled with suicidal thoughts for many years, I know that it truly is a cry for help. You could have all the money in the world, the best family, the best job and still feel empty and unfulfilled. Depression is a disease that needs treatment whether it’s therapy or medication or a combo of both, depending on the person. And no, I’m not an expert but I am someone that takes medication for my anxiety and depression. I am someone that has had suicidal thoughts. I am someone that sought treatment when it got unbearable. Remember that people with depression are really good at hiding it. Check in with your friends and family, let them know that you’re there if they need to talk.