5 Books about Mental Illness

Today, is the Bell Let’s Talk Campaign ! For every post on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #bellletstalk they will donate 5cents to mental health initatives. For this purpose, I find it pertinent to list my favourite books having mental health issues and themes (they all have a rating of 4+ on Goodreads) 🙂

1.Norvegian Wood by Haruki Murakami 


Probably one of the Murakami’s best work. Using his deeply visual prose, the author succeeded in bringing a character struggling with mental illness during one of Japan’s toughest times. The layers and the depth of the character are worth the shot. Murakami will offer you the most amazing reading experience ever.

2.All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven 


A very unique story about two teens who met at the most unusual time. Their first encounter was quite..well I’ll let you read it.

The author brings a sparkling side to this story while discussing about depression and suicidal thoughts.  Although overall, I gave it a 3 stars, I find the mental illness theme special and worth mentioning. The prose is not the best.  Needless to say, I cried my heart out too.

3.The Silver Linings Playbook by Mathhew Quick 

screen-shot-2017-01-25-at-5-50-13-pmI haven’t personnally read this one but it’s on my TBR list forever and I thought I would share it to you 🙂

4.It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini


I think everyone can agree that this book is a  real gift. It’s funny, quirky and make you see inside Craig Gilner’s mind, a teenager suffering from clinical depression. The realities of this book will hit you in the face. Craig’s development throughout the novel is remarkable. His story made you sympathize with people suffering from depression but also really relatable to your everyday life. The school pressure, jealousy, teenage sex, etc. You might think you overreact but you just learn that in a period of your life some people can cope with it better than the others but that doesn’t make them less . It teaches that you’re not alone. You can seek help.

And my favourite quote ever from the book:

“I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.”

5. The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness by Elyn Saks 


The book depicts the schizophrenic journey of Elyn Saks, professor in School Law at the prestigious University of Southern California. She gave a mindful insights into the medication effects on her disease. They don’t always help. An eye-opening memoir.

What are your favourite books about mental illness ? 😀 Share your recommendations with me ! 

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22 thoughts on “5 Books about Mental Illness

  1. All The Bright Places also caused me to have a quite a few tears, really curious to read Norvegian Wood now though 🙂


  2. Wow! I did not know that authors write books on mental conditions. i believe that mental conditions are a strong subject and topic to discuss. I want to read these books, so I can see how they presented this subject or topic. Also, I need to explore more books on different type of personalities.


  3. Great list! Since I loved the three in this list I’ve read, I’ll have to look up the two I haven’t 🙂
    Also, I rec Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me by Ellen Forney – it’s a graphic memoir and one of my favourite comics.


  4. There’s a YA novel called Into the Shadows…though it’s not about mental health, the protagonist, a teenage girl, suffers from PTSD after a kidnapping attempt.

    Oh, cool! I didn’t know money was being donated for every tweet… I’m glad I used the hashtag yesterday! 🙂


  5. Great post for a great cause 😀 I’ve been meaning to read Norwegian Wood for some time now. I’d also throw Han Kang’s The Vegetarian into the ring – it doesn’t really get inside the experience of being mentally ill, but it is a great exploration of caring for someone who is.


  6. Not about mental illness per we, but whenever someone asks me my favorite book on this topic I always say Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. She’s really open about her struggles in both her books and her blog.


  7. I haven’t read too many books about mental illness, though I enjoy watching movies about it! Most of the ones I’ve read get pretty depressing which is proably why I enjoyed The Silverlinings movie. I guess it’s because it wasn’t too depressing or heavy to watch. Another film I recommend that’s loads of fun is Frank, which also depicts mental illness in its wilder and liberated state. Mary and Max, meanwhile, if you like clay animation and irony 🙂


  8. These all seem like amazing picks, and I guess based on the average reviews on Goodreads they’re all books plenty of people have loved as well. I’ve only read All the Bright Places myself. It was definitely a heartbreaking book, I cried as well while reading it, and although there were parts I was uncomfortable reading overall I felt the subject was well written.
    I’ll have to check out the others on this list.


  9. This is such a fantastic post! Thank you for sharing these. We need so much more mental health awareness. There is still a heavy stigma as much as we would love to believe we have evolved past that. I think I will be checking out It’s Kind of a Funny Story.


  10. You are NOT your mental disorder 

    You are not your mental disorder. You are not your inability to read and write. You are not the social anxiety that leaves you feeling isolated and a product of alienation in a world where couples is the new norm. You are not the depression that cripples you and leaves you crying and thinking obsessively of self harm at three in the morning on the bathroom floor. You are not the voices you hear telling you to destroy. You are not the anger , the betrayal, the bitterness and the drowning. You are not a replay button of all the horrifying experiences and painful memories you’ve ever had. You are not your molest- you are instead a survivor of it.You are a Beautiful warm sunshine in a world full of dark dreary gloomy days. You are a rainbow , a paradox ,a haiku ,the moonlight shining on a still lake. You are the books you read , the music you listen , the love you give and deserve , the movies you watch . You are the things you eat, the air you breathe and the places you travel to. You are the photos you take and the poems you write. You are the smile you bring on other people’s faces, the masterpieces you create 

    So repeat after me and believe me when I say



  11. Fab and needed post! I love it! I’ve been meaning to read Norwegian Wood forever but my stay in Japan had a terrible effect and now I stay away from anything Japanese, haha! I’ve only watched The Silver Linings Playbook and it was okay but.. yeah, just okay. I need to add It’s Kind of a Funny Story to my list, it sounds really good!
    Mental illness awareness progresses thanks to books and posts like these! Thank you!


  12. Can I add my book “The Six-Foot Bonsai” to this list? A young American gives up her everything she loves to become something she was never intended to be… a Japanese wife.


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