May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which started in 1949 to spread awareness and combat negative stigmas around mental health issues. Mental health is an integral part of a person’s overall health and well-being. These books whether fiction or not, all focus on some aspect of mental health.
Blogger Jenny Lawson explores her lifelong battle with severe depression and anxiety, discussing how embracing both the flawed and the beautiful parts of life have enabled her to find joy in outrageous ways. It is about “taking those moments when things are fine and making them amazing, because those moments are what make us who we are, and they’re the same moments we take into battle with us when our brains declare war on our very existence. It’s the difference between “surviving life” and “living life”.
Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him. Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college. But how can she prove she deserves a spot there? Solomon is the answer. Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa thrusts herself into his life, sitting through Star Trek marathons with him and introducing him to her charming boyfriend Clark. Soon, all three teens are far closer than they thought they’d be, and when their walls fall down, their friendships threaten to collapse, as well.
A middle-aged man finds out he may lose his memory and sets out to record his life of family strife, complicated personal relationships, and his substance abuse problems–faithfully and unfaithfully. As Roberge struggles to keep addiction and mental illness from destroying the good life he has built in his better moments, he is forced to acknowledge the increasingly blurred line between the lies we tell others and the lies we tell ourselves.
Weight has always been a big issue in Carmen’s life. Her mom is obsessed with the idea that thin equals beauty, success, and the way to get what you want. When they relocate to the city, Carmen finds her old world disappearing and her life spinning out of control. Carmen begins to take charge of the only thing she can–what she eats. If she were very thin, could it all be different?
Auditioning for a New York City performing arts high school could help Etta escape from her Nebraska all-girl school, where she’s not gay enough for her former friends, not sick enough for her eating disorders group, and not thin enough for ballet–but it may also mean real friendships.
A decorated U.S. Marine and a combat photographer recount the unlikely friendship that helped them both heal their war-wounded bodies and souls. Their story, told in alternating first-person narratives, is testimony about the nature of war today and the long shadow it casts over everyone involved.
The personal story of a manic depressive and authority on the subject describes the onset of the illness during her teenage years, and her determined journey through the range of available treatments.
If you, or someone you know, is in crisis call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889).