Novel about Mental Illness?

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Novel about Mental Illness?

Post by lucymn11 » 07 Nov 2016, 21:41

I'm looking for some fiction books that have protagonists who are battling mental illnesses. I'm talking about books that really delve into this topic, not just books where a character commits suicide, etc. Happy or sad endings are acceptable. :) Thanks so much to anyone who recommends!

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Post by Jade Diamond » 09 Nov 2016, 00:41

I would recommend Tender is the night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, or The Passion of Alice by Stephanie Grant
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Post by Polkadot_Heart » 25 Nov 2016, 14:57

I have read so many great books that deal with the topic of mental illness over the years!
Of course there's The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath, a classic novel written by a protagonist siffering from mental illness. This book resonates with so many people and it's definitely one of the most well known "mental health" books.
I cannot recommend Reasons to Stay Alive - Matt Haig enough. I read this book during an incredibly difficult time in my life, and it was the only thing that could get through when I blocked the rest of the world out. Whether someone's experiencing mental illness themselves, knows someone who is, or just wants to learn more, this book is perfect. It's a non-fiction memoir, in which Haig recounts his life with mental illness, using relatable and accessible analogies. I don't often read non fiction, but I wouldn't absolutely urge you to pick up a copy. Remarkable honesty.
Another book to consider is The Nao of Brown - Glyn Dillon. This is a graphic novel with a half japanese, half British female protagonist who battles OCD and violent thoughts. The powerful illustrations give you an authentic view of what her life with mental illness is like.

I could go on and on but don't want to bore you! I hope my suggestions are helpful, and I'd be happy to suggest more, should you want me to.

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Post by Susan Goldner » 26 Nov 2016, 13:26

I just read, Inside the O'Brians, by Lisa Genova. And while it isn't exactly about mental illness, it is about a family who discovers the father has Huntington's Disease (HD) It is a genetic disease the affects the brain and the body. Genova shows him deteriorating and his horror to learn that at least 2 of his children have the disease. It's a good read. And the disease definitely affects the mind as well as the body. Always terminal. No cure.

-- 26 Nov 2016, 13:27 --

I, too, just reread The Bell Jar. It does a good job of putting you inside the head of a young woman who is mentally ill.

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Post by shalako » 10 Dec 2016, 18:35

If you like YA, there's Cut (I forget the author's name) and Impulse by Ellen Hopkins. Both are about teens in mental health facilities.

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Post by Kwoj03 » 16 Dec 2016, 10:31

The Bell Jar is a classic and does an excellent job of portraying a young woman suffering mental illness. I think I need to go read it again.

Love Letters to the Dead is a YA novel. It is a good, quick read. The protagonist is trying to cope with her sister's death and the events that lead up to it. She writes letters to Kurt Cobain, Amelia Earhart, and Janis Joplin. As she writes, she learns more about herself and is able to face some of the issues that surrounded her and her sister.

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Post by LitChick90 » 18 Dec 2016, 19:51

I'm bumping for interest - also, I know this isn't exactly fiction but the Protest Psychosis (i forget the author's name) is a non-fiction book about institutionalizing African American more often for schizophrenic spectrum illnesses and whites for mood disorders.

Interesting read…

Like I said, I don't know if non-fiction is your thing, but you can pick it up if you'd like something different
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Post by Ellen Horst » 19 Dec 2016, 12:27

"13 Reasons Why" by Jay Asher is a great place for young adults to start. "Perks of Being a Wallflower" is another YA book that centers on mental illness and is widely popular, with a movie as well. However, Perks is not my personal favorite, as I feel it romanticizes the illness a bit. "Sharp Objects" by Jillian Flynn was a great read and definitely gets the reader thinking! Flynn writes for an older audience, but a mature young adult could handle them as well. "Looking for Alaska" by John Green is another great read that is helpful if you are looking for something that a family member or friend of a person with mental illness could relate to! I hope you find what you are looking for - there are a surprising number of great reads focused on mental health!

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Post by psychopathycathy » 20 Dec 2016, 02:42

Other than the ones people have already recommended, definitely read "Made You Up"! It's a YA novel but is definitely one of my favorites.

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Post by DennisK » 20 Dec 2016, 10:15

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson isn't a novel, but it reads like one. Her approach to this subject is done in a humorous and uplifting way.

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Post by princess-bookworm » 20 Dec 2016, 12:13

Have you read The Quiet Room by Lori Schiller? It is a true story, actually, but it reads more like a novel. It's about a woman battling a severe case of schizophrenia and how the disease takes over her whole life. It's such an in depth look at how it can completely transform someone. Very interesting read!
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson is one of my favorite YA novels, I read it a few years ago but it still has it's place on my shelf! It's about a young girl that suffers from anorexia. It's absolutely beautifully written, I will always recommend!
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Post by Tamzen » 22 Dec 2016, 03:07

When We Collided by Emery Lord is a YA romance novel, one character is battling mental illness and the other is grieving the death of his father while also trying to take care of his depressed mother and his siblings. The author is very sensitive on the subject of mental illness but still keeps things real. I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it!

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Post by Kindaconfused » 28 Dec 2016, 04:56

Sybil, is about multi personalities, but if I'm not mistaken, it's based on a true story. The truth can be stranger than fiction. One Flew over the Cucukoo's Nest. Or Fight Club.

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Post by Toria Mason » 17 Jan 2017, 04:53

The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls by Emilie Autumn. It's a blend of her real life psych ward experiences compared to asylum experiences in Victorian ages (though, honestly, I'm not sure of the historical accuracy since that wasn't my own personal interest so I haven't done any research into that). It's a rather fantastical story, which I don't mind as I love fantasy novels, but it hits point-blank on mental illness. There were so many things while reading it, especially in the real life experiences, that hit home for me, and made me want the world to read it to get a glimpse at what it's really like with mental illness, to break some of the taboo. It's not the sort of mental illness story that would make me want to curl up and bawl my eyes out; there's more of a ferocity and strength to it, which I find empowering. It's a great story whether or not you're a fan of Emilie Autumn's music, and has a great set up with borders, artworks, photos included, which I find to be nice touches.
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Post by thejadedvoice » 19 Jan 2017, 01:04

First Person Plural: My Life As A Multiple by Cameron West. I read it in college. it's autobiographical but reads like a novel and was very eye-opening.

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