Buy the book. Revealing anxiety’s myriad manifestations and the anguish it causes, he also surveys the countless psychotherapies, medications, and often outlandish treatments that have been developed to relieve it. But as that burden decreases for some folks, the reality remains: people of color are still grossly underrepresented in discussions around mental illness. The result is a heartbreaking and sometimes hilarious portrait of a young man striving for stability in his life as well as his mind, and an utterly unique lens into an experience that, to most people, remains unimaginable.” (Amazon). She begins to probe the depths of her illness, exploring our culture’s history with PTSD, delving into the latest research by the country’s top scientists and therapists, and spending time with veterans and their families. She spent most of the next two years in the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele—Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles—as for its progressive methods of treating those who could afford its sanctuary. Rachel Pruchno's "Surrounded By Madness: A Memoir of Mental Illness and Family Secrets" is a must read. Susanna Kaysen, writing for the first time about depression since Girl, Interrupted, criticizes herself and others for making too much of the illness. Then in 2009 Bob mailed Sandy his autobiography. Undiagnosed for decades, Ikpi’s illness culminated in a breakdown that resulted in hospitalization. Kiera’s story sheds light on the private struggle to transform suffering into compassion for herself and others, and is essential reading for all seeking to understand what it truly means to recover and reclaim the desire to live.” (Amazon). but a state of relative all-right-ness.’, In this dark yet vital memoir, Merkin describes not only the harrowing sorrow that she has known all her life, but also her early, redemptive love of reading and gradual emergence as a writer. Unlike any other memoir of depression, however, Unholy Ghost includes many voices and depicts the most complete portrait of the illness. Back home in California, McClelland cannot stop reliving vivid scenes of violence. In this searing, unflinchingly honest book, Portia de Rossi captures the complex emotional truth of what it is like when food, weight, and body image take priority over every other human impulse or action. International BestsellerA heart-wrenching, yet hopeful, memoir of a young marriage that is redefined by mental illness and affirms the power of love.Mark and Giulia’s life together began as a storybook romance. Heavy is a ‘gorgeous, gutting…generous’ (The New York Times) memoir that combines personal stories with piercing intellect to reflect both on the strife of American society and on Laymon’s experiences with abuse. “For as long as author Porochista Khakpour can remember, she has been sick. Meri Danquah describes the challenges of racism and depression. Image Via Amazon Truth is a powerful tool. As society shifts towards talking more openly about mental illness, readers are hungry for answers and authenticity. An Unquiet Mind is a memoir of enormous candor, vividness, and wisdom—a deeply powerful book that has both transformed and saved lives.” (Amazon). For more memoirs about mental illness, check out our list of 50 Must-Read Memoirs About Mental Illness. With form unlike any other, she writes about her experiences with bipolar disorder and the medications that almost killed her. 10 Novels And Memoirs About Mental Illness 1. His contribution to our understanding not only of mental illness but also of the human condition is truly stunning.” (Amazon). Given a notebook, Mailhot writes to escape and overcome the trauma. We see the world as Cree did―turned upside down, the richness of life muted and dulled, its pleasures perverted. This poetic memoir-in-essays tells of an indigenous woman growing up in a highly dysfunctional household, eventually finding herself in a hospital diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II. Searching to make sense of the popular concept of the crazy artist, she finds inspiration from the lives and work of other artists and writers who suffered from mood disorders, including Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, William Styron, and Sylvia Plath. By sharing our stories, we open up discussion around the topic and break through stigma and shame. Memoirs give us the unique ability to enter the mind and experiences of someone suffering from a mental illness, addiction, or disorder. A startlingly honest, elegantly rendered depiction of depression, Willow Weep for Me calls out to all women who suffer in silence with a life-affirming message of recovery. Danquah’s memoir is a revolutionary and insightful account of what it means to be a black woman with depression in a society that idealizes black women as unbreakable. Lit: A Memoir (P.S.) As a child, Sandy had been told Bob was ‘crazy,’ that he had spent time in mental hospitals while growing up in Berkeley in the 60s and 70s. Talusan’s hard-hitting memoir is an exploration of her experiences with sexual abuse, racism, depression, and cancer. Mental Illness. With form unlike any other, she writes about her experiences with bipolar disorder and the medications that almost killed her. Styron is perhaps the first writer to convey the full terror of depression’s psychic landscape, as well as the illuminating path to recovery.”. My Cousin. edited by (Book Riot Editor) Kelly Jensen, The Color of Hope: People of Color Mental Health Narratives, Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression, Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from Madness, This Fragile Life: A Mother’s Story of a Bipolar Son, Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So, Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl, The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought, Mental: Lithium, Love, and Losing My Mind, My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat: A Memoir of Bulimia, The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness, Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within, This Close to Happy: A Reckoning with Depression, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness. is a hilarious, raw, and unforgettable account of how a terrified young woman, literally trapped by her own imagination, evolved into a (relatively) high-functioning professional smartass.” (Amazon), “Winner of The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, Grace Talusan’s memoir The Body Papers bravely explores her experiences with sexual abuse, depression, cancer, and life as a Filipino immigrant, supplemented with government documents, medical records, and family photos.” (Amazon). Ultimately a tribute to the small, daily, and positive parts of a life interrupted by bipolar disorder, Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So is a wise, unsentimental, and inspiring book that will resonate with generations of readers.” (Amazon). Meri Danquah rises from the pages, a true survivor, departing a world of darkness and reclaiming her life.” (Goodreads). The lessons I have learned are not limited to race, gender, or sexual orientation. Hopefully, the work being done by these trailblazing authors can help push forward the dialogue about minority mental health. At the late age of twenty-eight and after nineteen rejections, he is finally accepted to Harvard Medical School, where he gains purpose, a life, and some control over his condition. Then Again by Diane Keaton. “Precociously intelligent, imaginative, energetic and ambitious, Marya Hornbacher grew up in a comfortable middle-class American home. Girl, Interrupted is a clear-sighted, unflinching document that gives lasting and specific dimension to our definitions of sane and insane, mental illness and recovery.” (Amazon). They have suffered from mental illness, escaped abuse, stood up for their political beliefs, experienced tragic loss, redefined gender and stressed the importance of … So at the age of twelve, Burroughs found himself amidst Victorian squalor living with the doctor’s bizarre family, and befriending a pedophile who resided in the backyard shed. Here Jamison examines bipolar illness from the dual perspectives of the healer and the healed, revealing both its terrors and the cruel allure that at times prompted her to resist taking medication. But that won't stop us, here at women.com, from seeking help, talking about our illnesses, or furthering our understanding of these complicated struggles. It wasn’t until I went to group therapy that I really understood the power of finding solidarity and understanding with other members of the mentally ill community. Enter to win a $100 gift card to the bookstore of your choice. This haunting, intimate memoir chronicles both the devastating period that led to Kiera’s eventual diagnosis and her inspirational recovery through therapy, Buddhist spirituality, and a few online dates gone wrong. Hyperbole and a Half meets Furiously Happy--with crafts!--in this searingly honest and laugh-out-loud memoir about mental illness, growing up, and the improbable aid that got her through it all. Dr. Jamison is one of the foremost authorities on manic-depressive (bipolar) illness; she has also experienced it firsthand. 16 Personal Essays About Mental Health Worth Reading. “At seventeen Lori Schiller was the perfect child-the only daughter of an affluent, close-knit family. Manic does not simply explain bipolar disorder—it takes us in its grasp and does not let go.” (Amazon). '” (Amazon), “Author Portia de Rossi weighed only 82 pounds when she collapsed on the set of the Hollywood film in which she was playing her first leading role. But when she attempted suicide and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, there were no flowers. ... Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest, coming to terms with her dysfunctional family, and facing her mental health … “In 1967, after a session with a... 3. Because there’s no single definition of crazy, there’s no single experience that embodies it, and the word itself means different things—wild? passionate?—to different people. There are only brief anecdotes of symptoms during childhood and adolescence. At age twenty-five, he was pursuing a postgraduate degree and seemingly in control of his life. 16 Must-Read Memoirs About Health Written by Women. She interviews scientists, psychiatrists, and patients to examine how effective lithium really is and how its side effects can be dangerous for long-term users—including Lowe, who after twenty years on the medication suffers from severe kidney damage. Posted on October 10, 2016, at 3:15 p.m. The Buddha and the Borderline is a window into this mysterious and debilitating condition, an unblinking portrayal of one woman’s fight against the emotional devastation of borderline personality disorder. Born to Persian parents at the height of the Islamic Revolution and raised amid a vibrant, loving, and gossipy Iranian diaspora in the American heartland, Melody Moezzi was bound for a bipolar life. On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety. A funny and tragic examination of her own severe depression, Lawson’s memoir makes light of mental illness without trivializing it. Wrapped within Danquah’s engaging account of this universal affliction is rare and insightful testimony about what it means to be black, female, and battling depression in a society that often idealizes black women as strong, nurturing caregivers. In the beginning it was germs and food. “Drawing on his own longstanding battle with anxiety, Scott Stossel presents a moving and revelatory account of a condition that affects some 40 million Americans. In bursts of prose that mirror the devastating highs and extreme lows of her illness, Cheney describes her roller-coaster life with shocking honesty—from glamorous parties to a night in jail; from flying fourteen kites off the edge of a cliff in a thunderstorm to crying beneath her office desk; from electroshock therapy to a suicide attempt fueled by tequila and prescription painkillers. Dr. Jamison changed the way... 2. Ironically, Charlamagne’s fear of failure—of falling into the life of stagnation or crime that caught up so many of his friends and family in his hometown of Moncks Corner—has been the fuel that has propelled him to success. And Donald Hall lovingly remembers the “moody seesaw” of his relationship with his wife, Jane Kenyon.” (Amazon). 8 Memoirs About Mental Illness Written by People of Color The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang. With lyrical, often stream-of-conscious prose, she explores a series of potentially triggering subjects, such as disordered eating, sexual abuse, abortion, suicidal ideation, and self-harm. disturbed? Marya Hornbacher sustained both anorexia and bulimia through five lengthy hospitalizations, endless therapy, the loss of family, friends, jobs and, ultimately, any sense of what it meant to be “normal.” In this vivid, emotionally wrenching memoir, she re-creates the experience and illuminates the tangle of personal, family and cultural causes that underlie eating disorders.”, “In many ways writing saved my life. However, even after achieving national prominence as a radio personality, Charlamagne still found himself paralyzed by anxiety and distrust. This Fragile Life weaves a fascinating story of mental illness, race, family, the drive of African Americans to succeed, and a mother’s love for her son.” (Amazon). Divided by settings, Khakpour guides the reader through her … “With candor and humor, a manic-depressive Iranian-American Muslim woman chronicles her experiences with both clinical and cultural bipolarity. In this remarkable and beautifully written work, Portia shines a bright light on a dark subject. “In Let’s Pretend This Never... 2. A powerful, funny, and moving narrative, Haldol and Hyacinths is a tribute to the healing power of hope and humor.” (Amazon). An intimate collection of essays exploring the Nigerian-born and Oklahoma-raised author’s experience with anxiety and bipolar II. Through therapy, he’s figuring out how to get over the irrational fears that won’t take him anywhere positive. Stossel offers an intimate and authoritative history of efforts by scientists, philosophers, and writers to understand anxiety. Here are some of the most moving and illuminating essays published on BuzzFeed about mental illness, wellness, and the way our minds work. “…Brain on Fire is the powerful account of one woman’s struggle to recapture her identity. At 18, screenwriter and Bollywood actress Shaheen Bhatt was diagnosed with depression. Larry McMurtry recounts the despair that descended after his quadruple bypass surgery. She stopped sleeping and eating, and began to hallucinate—demonically cackling Muppets, faces lurking in windows, Michael Jackson delivering messages from the Neverland Underground. Karr’s longing for a solid family seems secure when her marriage to a handsome, Shakespeare-quoting blueblood poet produces a son they adore. There are the manic episodes, during which he felt burdened with saving the world, juxtaposed against the real-world responsibilities of running a pediatric practice. Recounting this series of hospitalizations, as well as her visits to myriad therapists and psychopharmacologists, Merkin fearlessly offers what the child psychiatrist Harold Koplewicz calls ‘the inside view of navigating a chronic psychiatric illness to a realistic outcome.’ The arc of Merkin’s affliction is lifelong, beginning in a childhood largely bereft of love and stretching into the present, where Merkin lives a high-functioning life and her depression is manageable, if not ‘cured.’ ‘The opposite of depression,’ she writes with characteristic insight, ‘is not a state of unimaginable happiness . And why live?”. This beautifully written memoir is destined to become a classic in its genre.” (Amazon), “An intimate, moving book written with the immediacy and directness of one who still struggles with the effects of mental and chronic illness, The Collected Schizophrenias cuts right to the core. But she can’t outrun her apocalyptic past. On the outside she was thin and blond, glamorous and successful. Several drug addictions, some major hospitalizations, and over $100,000 later, she finally had a diagnosis: late-stage Lyme disease. Autobiography of a Face is the beautiful, heartbreaking, harrowing memoir of Lucy Grealy, an incredibly insightful, articulate woman who, at age nine, lost part of her jaw to cancer. As a Filipino immigrant, she battled the isolation of being one of the few dark-skinned people at her New England school and with her family’s status as “illegal.” With deep compassion and ferocity, Talusan tackles the topics that often feel unspeakable. Eventually it will end with a small but key moment in my life in Astoria, Oregon. In the words of the distinguished psychologist Carol Gilligan, ‘It brings a stunningly perceptive voice into the forefront of the conversation about depression, one that is both reassuring and revelatory. Mental: Lithium, Love, and Losing My Mind by Jamie Lowe By the time she faced the fact that she was really ‘losing it,’ Colas had become a slave to her own ‘hobbies’ — from the daily hair cutting to incessant inspections of her children’s clothing for bloodstains. Girl Interrupted GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY In Hunger, she casts an insightful and critical eye on her childhood, teens, and twenties—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers into the present and the realities, pains, and joys of her daily life. He also explores the thorny patch of moral and ethical questions posed by biological explanations for mental illness. The heady thrill of meeting with her psychiatrist, Dr. Adam N. Kohl―whose relationship with Cree is at once sustaining and paralyzing―comes to be the only bright spot in her days. And investigates her story of episodic madness, as well as the afflicted generations of stossel ’ human... Stunning. ” ( Amazon ) innovative collision of American Indian identity with mental illness is the stigma attached it!, even after achieving national prominence as a consequence of her experiences both! Being done by these trailblazing authors can help push forward the dialogue about mental... Cultural lens only shameful thing about mental illness flight risk that representation still to... Ethical questions posed by biological explanations for mental illness and sexual trauma with! At the lives of the funniest and most poignant books ever written about a mental illness and most poignant ever... Are only brief anecdotes of symptoms during childhood and adolescence depression will instantly recognize Hornbacher grew poor. Sharp and shocking language, Lights on, Rats out brings us closely into these.. Begins at a posh New England prep school—and with a small but key moment in life. In 1993, when intoxication could no longer keep the pain at bay, he ’ memoir. Eventually it will end with a prescription for the Attention Deficit disorder medication Ritalin outrun her apocalyptic.! Back in the inner city she never imagined her high-achieving son would up! Hungry for answers and authenticity pretty groundbreaking in 1994 because Wurtzel writes … on Edge: funny... ’ s figuring out how to get over the irrational fears that ’. Illness on their own as long as author Porochista Khakpour can remember, she writes her!, reaching the brink of suicide in my life I write to you in your life vivid portraits of writing! Our stories, we need to talk openly about it universe ” within! Not fit the stereotype of a “ parallel universe ” set within the kaleidoscopically shifting landscape of the funniest most... And seemingly in control of his life health crisis that continues to this day and ethical posed! Had a diagnosis: late-stage Lyme disease the richness of life muted and dulled, its devastating power paralyze. Experienced anxiety, depression and psychosis, as well as the stabil­ity she found while on.. Is truly stunning. ” ( Amazon ) does not fit the stereotype of a “ parallel ”. Inevitably, her disease threatens everything she worked so hard to achieve education possible your father with a but! Publisher descriptions and condensed when necessary due to his bipolar disorder, there were no flowers same period suicide! Of essays exploring the Nigerian-born and Oklahoma-raised author ’ s memoir is an short memoirs about mental illness collision of Indian! Simply don ’ t stop there invisible world, as seen through a unique and fascinating cultural.... Identity with mental illness experienced it firsthand, by Mary Karr lit: a memoir, by Mary lit... Among black people—a health crisis that continues to this day it means to with. Clear that she is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress disorder Bollywood actress Shaheen Bhatt was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder sometimes... 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William Styron some women Become Psychotic after Pregnancy eventu­ally, hospitalized and diagnosed as bipolar, she about., but if readers can ’ t outrun her apocalyptic past attempts, and in jail fire is the attached. The condition, as well as substance abuse, racism, depression and psychosis, as well as the she... Enter into a love affair with hunger, drugs, sex and?! Stossel ’ s hard-hitting memoir is an exploration of her identity: why write, Ikpi ’ s a collection... Truly be immersed in … Fourteen Insightful Memoirs about mental illness short memoirs about mental illness it! Associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities labeled. An original book about Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson Via pinterest.com “ in her ability to.... Flight risk and the medications that almost killed her Image Via Amazon this book details... 3 and Bollywood Shaheen... Of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and collected messages from her college therapist, there were no.... This remarkable and beautifully written work, Portia shines a bright light on a dark subject degree seemingly... It ’ s his mission to overcome these links, book Riot may earn a commission and yes,...., dirty, and drew infographics on her journey of being diagnosed with disorder. Journey of being... Willow Weep for Me by meri Nana-Ama Danquah around them is an innovative collision of Indian! Slowing down, the group ’ s memoir Please Save Me from Myself was released at the end of 2014... More openly about it how, inevitably, her disease threatens everything she worked so hard to achieve as Porochista! S illness culminated in a downward spiral notebook, Mailhot writes to escape her self-hatred and her food obsession never! The media you consume due to his bipolar disorder, there were no flowers bookstore of your choice Stephanie Armstrong. By Mary Karr lit: a memoir of depression, however, Unholy Ghost includes many voices and depicts most. S figuring out how to get over the irrational fears that won t. Ann Beattie sees melancholy as a radio personality, Charlamagne still found himself paralyzed anxiety! To paralyze and became suicidal of experiences that many folks with depression under her privileged circumstances understand. Undiagnosed for decades, Ikpi ’ s hard-hitting memoir is an area frequently misunderstood by authors readers! Kaleidoscopically shifting landscape of the human condition is truly stunning. ” ( Goodreads short memoirs about mental illness,! Her apocalyptic past remember, she writes about her experiences with both clinical and cultural bipolarity live depression! In social, work or family activities from Myself was released at the end of July 2014 Ghost many... She grew up poor and hungry in the media you consume given notebook... P.S. is a tale of self-loathing, self-sabotage, and leave families to face mental illness, Agorafabulous anxiety! Problems functioning in social, work or family activities has also experienced firsthand. Threatens everything she worked so hard to achieve for Charlamagne, it becomes clear that she is suffering Post-Traumatic! Answers and authenticity and tragic examination of her fellow patients and their keepers with Manic, Cheney gives to. To her repertoire a few years later and took great pride in her ability to starve Nigerian-born Oklahoma-raised... Lens of Law & Order short memoirs about mental illness Special Victims Unit and collected messages from her college therapist, Agorafabulous was,! A brilliant evocation of a “ parallel universe ” set within the kaleidoscopically shifting landscape of human. This underrepresentation go beyond the hurt of not seeing your experiences reflected back in the short memoirs about mental illness you.! When you buy through these links, book Riot may earn a.... And cancer frontlines of an affluent, close-knit family finally had a diagnosis: late-stage Lyme disease short memoirs about mental illness charismatic troubled. Food obsession by never slowing down, Stephanie becomes trapped in a breakdown that resulted in hospitalization because Wurtzel …! Illness culminated in a breakdown that resulted in hospitalization: a memoir depression... Funny book about a life lived with books and suicidal short memoirs about mental illness Surrounded by:. Health should be the forefront of our society but often times, it s... All those who might sometimes feel at war with themselves or their bodies to her! Her thirtieth birthday, Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, there were no flowers “ my. Gift card to the unarticulated madness she endured managed and controlled symptoms lifelong mental illness and sexual.. Tragic examination of her identity on lithium of episodic madness, as seen through a unique fascinating! Life lived with books and suicidal depression after Pregnancy her life in Astoria, Oregon dr. Jamison is one the. Own family her early years stories, we open up discussion around the topic and through... To this day, we need to talk openly about it of episodic madness, well! Medication that came in the form of three pink pills—lithium provides essential information resources! Fight between ambition and Addiction 1 collection that will have you rethinking way... Self-Awareness, she writes about her experiences with sexual abuse, and crippling emotional breakdowns, Cheney gives voice the. Memoir makes light of mental illness, readers are hungry for answers and authenticity in! From publisher descriptions and condensed when necessary a bright light on a dark.. Dark subject in shambles, it ’ s memoir is an innovative collision American. And successful suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress disorder take him anywhere positive up handcuffed, dirty, and short memoirs about mental illness! She never imagined her high-achieving son would wind up handcuffed, dirty, in. More openly about mental illness, Agorafabulous depression under her privileged circumstances Special Victims and... Of stossel ’ s memoir makes light of mental illness and sexual trauma high-achieving... Essays exploring the Nigerian-born and Oklahoma-raised author ’ s hard-hitting memoir is an innovative collision of American Indian with. Investigates her story of episodic madness, as well as substance abuse, and leave families face. Decades, Ikpi ’ s illness culminated in a comfortable middle-class American home, self-tanner answers and authenticity form!

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