I started writing this post a couple of days ago, and only realised today that it’s actually Mental Health Awareness week. It’s important to talk about mental health and not feel ashamed about the issues you might be facing – you’re not alone. If you’re struggling, reach out to family and friends, and if you can’t talk to someone you know there are many others you can reach out to – Mind is a brilliant site to access resources, which I definitely recommend checking out.
Representation for mental illnesses in books is really important, and I always find it really comforting to read a book with characters that are going through similar things to myself. The four books I’ve included in this post all have main characters with an anxiety disorder. They’re all books where I think the author did a brilliant job of truthfully and sensitively showing what those anxiety disorders are like, and the different ways in which anxiety can affect those who have it.
This book talks about agoraphobia and OCD, and shows the major effects these disorders have on main character Norah. I wrote a review for this one a while back, which you can check out here. It’ll forever be one of my favourite YA books!
Evie has OCD – the ‘clean’ kind. This book truthfully explores what OCD actually is, and the frustrations Evie faces having the most ‘clichéd’ version of it. Am I Normal Yet? also talks about feminism and shows a lovely supportive friendship group, so it’s an all-round great book. You can check out my review here.
This is another book that does a wonderful job of talking about OCD. When I first started reading Turtles All the Way Down, I didn’t actually know that the main character had OCD, so it was a really pleasant surprise for this mental illness to be included and handled so well.
This books is a really touching read, and follows Steffi, a selective mute, as she deals with her anxiety and as she falls in love with Rhys, who’s deaf. You can read my review for this book here.
If you have any suggestions about books that talk about mental health, I’d love to hear about them in the comments! I’m currently reading It’s Not OK To Feel Blue and Other Lies curated by Scarlett Curtis, and it’s such a wonderful book. Whether you’re going through something yourself or know someone who is, I definitely recommend reading it.