16 Best Books About Mental Illness Update 05/2022

It tries to teach people about and break down the stigma around mental health problems. The books on this list are all fictional, but they are good places to start a conversation about mental health.

Content Notes!

It was important for me to note the different types of mental health problems that are in these books, so that if you’re worried about possible triggers, you can skip reading about those books. Put your mind first!

A Breath Too Late by Rocky Callen

:: Yesterday, Ellie took her own life. Now, she’s watching, in between the past and the present, trying to put together the pieces of her memory that have been broken. A Breath Too Late is a book that is told through letters to her mother, her father, the boy who held her heart, and even to life itself. It’s a great book for fans of If I Stay.

The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork

After Vicky tries to kill herself, she wakes up in the mental health ward at Lakeview Hospital. It’s on the road to recovery that she becomes close to a group of people – Mona, Gabriel, E.M., and Dr. Desai – who accept her and help push her to think about her past. Until then, she has to figure out how to be strong on her own.

When the Stars Lead to You by Ronni Davis

Asheton is a beautiful boy who broke Devon’s heart last summer when they were together. That was a long time ago. Since then, she’s put the pieces back together and is going into her senior year with the goal of having fun. That is, until Ashton shows up on the first day of school. She isn’t sure if she can forgive him then. Devon wonders if loving someone is enough. Ashton’s mental health gets worse through the school year, and Devon wonders if loving someone is enough.

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Darius Kellner has three things you should know about him, such as: First, he’s a nerd. 2. He has a condition called clinical depression, and it’s very bad. His first trip to Iran is coming up. His grandfather, grandmother, and other family members are all there, and he meets them all for the first time. His first real friend is called Sohrab, and the two of them bond over soccer and ice cream. He feels like a different person when Sohrab is around. The trip ends, and he has to wonder if he can still be Darius without Sohrab by his side.

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan

On the day that Leigh Chen Sanders kissed her best friend and secret crush, Axel, her mother killed herself. When Leigh’s mother died, she became a bird. The first time she meets her mother’s parents, she wants to find the bird her mother turned into. There are a lot of things she’ll learn about her family as she goes.

Verona Comics by Jennifer Dugan

His parents own a big comic book store chain in America, and Ridley has a lot to do with it. Jubilee’s stepmom owns a small comic book store. The last thing they should do when they meet at a comic con prom is fall for each other. But as Ridley’s mental health gets worse, Jubilee finds herself torn between her cello audition and their relationship.

This is My Brain in Love by I. W. Gregorio

A-Plus Chinese Garden, the restaurant that Jocelyn’s father owns, may be going out of business. When Jocelyn’s father tells her that, she asks the help of their new employee, Will, to bring it into the modern world. There are many things that could stop their romance from becoming real: Jocelyn is depressed, Will is afraid of what people will think, and the economy is uncertain.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Molly Peskin-Suso has a lot of anxiety and 26 crushes that never work out. Before, she’s always been careful when she puts herself out there. But her cynical twin, Cassie, is now head over heels for her new boyfriend. The good news is that her girlfriend comes with a super cute hipster sidekick. Reid, the fat, nerdy fanboy who she works with, is also there. It’s also possible that you’ll recognize some of the people from Love, Simon and Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda.

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

What it’s about: Even though Griffin’s first love, Theo, moved to California for school, Griffin always thought they would be able to get back together. But when Griffin’s best friend Theo dies in a swimming accident, he is heartbroken. Jackson, the boy Theo was dating when he died, might be able to understand Griffin’s pain. When you read Griffin’s story, you see it from both the past and the present. He goes through love, loss, OCD, and other messy emotions.

The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf

This is about Melati Ahmad, a Malaysian 16-year-old who has OCD but doesn’t know how to talk about it. There is a djinn inside of her, she thinks. If she doesn’t do certain things like count and tap, she sees images of her mother’s death. Racism flares up in Kuala Lumpur in May 1969, and Melati is separated from her mother. To find her mother, Melati has to use the strength and courage she has inside herself (and a little help from a Chinese boy named Vincent) to do it.

Witches of Ash and Ruin by E Latimer

Dayna Walsh has somatic OCD, which makes her hyperfocus on things like blinking or breathing. This is because she was outed as bisexual in her conservative Irish town, which made her even more stressed. As another coven comes to town, her focus on rising and becoming a witch is shattered. The coven is said to have a history of black magic. They call her Meiner King because she is the granddaughter of their coven leader. The witch was killed with the symbols of a serial killer who was never caught. Dayna and Meiner find themselves in the middle of a web of witches and deities.

The Edge of Anything by Nora Shalaway Carpenter

They both need money for college, but there are a few things that are getting in their way. As a photographer, Len fears she’s going crazy when her work stalls because of a past that is haunting her. They are trying to figure out a way for Saga, a volleyball star, to get back into the game after getting sick. After a chance meeting, the two form an unlikely friendship, but they both have secrets that could cost them everything.

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

In three years, Solomon hasn’t left his house because he’s afraid of going outside. So when Lisa, an ambitious classmate who wants to go to a top psychology school, finds out about him, she decides to become friends with him, “cure” him, and write about the experience in her college application. But when Solomon and Clark become real friends, the line between truth and lies gets even more blurry.

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

Why did Caden Bosch do this? He was part of a team that went on a trip to Challenger Deep, which is a place that is deeper than any other place on Earth. Caden Bosch is behaving in a weird way, and his friends at high school have started to notice. He walks for miles every day, and he only pretended to be on the school track team. Neal Shusterman won the National Book Award for his book about Caden’s journey with schizophrenia because of it.

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