Happy Mental Health Awareness Month!
I know with the ongoing pandemic everyone’s mental health has gone for a hit but I hope this month especially, you can put in a little extra effort towards your mental health. I often see people putting off self-care and their mental health and burying themselves in work or studies, whether by choice or accident. But know that it will cost you later, in one way or the other, which is why it’s important to take small steps and check-ins on a day-to-day basis to make sure your mind is at peace and functioning well.
So today I want to recommend some books that talk about mental health issues or just includes well-written representation in case you all are looking for books with mental health rep 🙂
I honestly thought about recommending books that may help you out in tough times but that is very subjective. People have different tastes and different genres or kinds of books may help them out during tough times so there’s no set list of books that I can recommend that will 100% make you feel better. That being said, going back and re-reading some favourite books of mine or even nostalgic childhood novels tends to help me when I’m feeling down so feel free to try that!
Recommending Books with Mental Heath Rep
You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson
You Should See Me In A Crown is an amazing book about Liz who plans to win a scholarship out of her town by winning her highschool prom. Except she kinda falls for one of the girls she’s competing against. This is such a well written book, it honestly made me laugh and grin and sometimes cry: truly the sign of a good book. Apart from the queer rep, we also get a very well-written anxiety rep. Liz suffers with anxiety and panic attacks and I love how the author wrote about her mental illness. As someone with anxiety, I felt that the panic attacks were very vividly described and felt so real. And overall the book really sends across the message that no matter how different you are from others, you are no less. You belong in this world and you shouldn’t be afraid to demand attention and space 🙂
Check it out on Goodreads!
Related Post: Read the Rainbow Spotlight: You Should See Me In A Crown
Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto
Honestly, this book was a wonderful insight into living with someone who has a mental illness. This story is a part biography about a son whose mother suffers from bipolar disorder, living in a middle-class family in India, around the 1900s. A lot of people don’t really realise how complicated it can be to deal with a disorder and how things get crazier when your loved ones have such a disorder. The author writes beautifully about a life filled with watching his mother go through cycles of mania and depression and what sort of an impact it leaves on his life. I would say that it’s a must read for everyone, it truly tugged at my heart and left me thinking about it days after I put it down.
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
Darius is the sweetest little boy who is an anxious bundle of awkwardness with feelings of never being enough. Suffering from depression and being bullied by his classmates over his name and Persian heritage, he finds a way of escape when his whole family sets off to Iran to visit his grandparents. And then he finds Sohrab and it’s as if their souls are meant to be. With Sohrab guiding him through every step, Darius might just be able to make it out with his sanity intact.
I loved the depression rep, especially since the book dealt with how depression doesn’t always have a ’cause’. You don’t need something tragic or traumatic as a condition to be experiencing depression. Your depression is valid. We really need more books putting across such messages!
Check it out on Goodreads!
The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
*whispers* I’m sorry if you’re all tired of me talking about this book but I’m never gonna stop
This is such an epic sci-fi book about Ellie, a human who loves books and art and wants to save humanity and Morris, born in a lab and yet falls in love with music and a beautiful human girl. This book just defies all expectation of breathtaking and beautiful. Ellie has anxiety and panic attacks and honestly it’s so relatable to see her undergo a shit ton of anxiety as she lives this dystopian life. Both the mental illness and queer representation is just beautifully written and feels so genuine. I feel like anyone who suffers through anxiety will just read this book and feel seen 🙂
Go add it on Goodreads!
Related Posts: The Sound Of Stars: A Piece Of Art That Spoke To My Soul
Underwater by Marisa Reichardt
I read this book a while back but it truly touched my soul. This story is about Morgan who has PTSD and agoraphobia from a tragic accident which means she never leaves her house. She used to love swimming but now it feels like she’s drowning in her life. But maybe the new neighbour can help her remember her old life and move on?
Despite what the blurb suggests, this book doesn’t actually invest in the whole plot of love cures mental illness. Eww. I hate that trope so much, it’s misleading and heartbreaking for those of us who live in the real world. I just loved how authentic the agoraphobia felt. I liked how therapy was shown in a positive life for a change and how the book seemed to emphasize that therapists, like anyone else, can only try and push you in the right direction. Ultimately you have to make the effort to recover and heal. I just really enjoyed the sort of messages this book put across and it was a wonderful read overall.
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Okay this one hasn’t released yet but maybe you could preorder it or at least add it to your Goodreads TBR already?
This book is about Quinn who is a wedding organizer and harpist who dearly wants to stay away from Tarek, the son of the caterers cause she confessed her feelings for him and he simply ghosted her. Honestly, the slow-burn romance had me dying, but more than that Ioved the Jewish rep, queer rep and especially the mental health rep. Quinn is diagnosed with OCD and anxiety and another character in the book suffers from depression. I’m a huge fan of how the author addressed the stereotypical view of OCD that prevails in society and dismantles it through Quinn. People tend to forget that mental illnesses do not manifest in people in the same way. It’s not so straightforward as media would have you think and I really loved the way this was talked about in this book.
WCKMLT release on June 8 and I really hope that you all will go get yourself a copy!
How are you all doing? In what ways do you try to practice self-care?
What kind of mental illness representation do you like to read about the most? Are there any stellar ones that you would like to recommend?
Have you read any of the books I mentioned? What are your thoughts on them?