Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:
Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who _____ (are musically inclined, have lost someone, have depression, who grow up poor, etc.)
I decided to go with ten characters who have mental illnesses, as it is something I’ve always been interested in. The brain is such a strange organ. I think mental illnesses are a really important thing to talk, read, and write about; continuing to talk about mental illnesses (because they ARE an illness and not something you can change or easily get over) will help to get rid of the stigma surrounding them. I fully appreciate the rise in books, especially young adult books, that deal with mental illness. It’s SO important for teens and adults to know that they aren’t alone.
- Made You Up by Francesca Zappia: Paranoid Schizophrenia, Alex
- My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga: Depression, Aysel
- It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini: Depression, Craig
- The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder: Bipolar Disorder, Zoe
- Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Matthew
- Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer: depression, Jam
- Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson: Eating Disorder, Lia
- The Chance You Won’t Return by Annie Cardi: Nervous Breakdown, Thought Disorder, Alex’s mom (I can’t for the life of me remember if she actually has a name)
- Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick: Depression, Leonard Peacock
- The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick: Bipolar Disorder, Pat
This is in no way an exhaustive list. Please feel free to leave more in the comments!
20 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Characters Who Have Mental Illnesses”
Oh, we had the same subject for TTT! Yes, it is very important that we put this long-overdue stigma to the torch (so to speak) and we can only achieve this by engaging in thoughtful, sensitive conversations. I also noticed the rise in YA books that tackle this matter and I like what I’m seeing and where it’s headed. Um, you might want to check out All the Bright Places and The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley. I’ve heard fantastic things about Mosquitoland and Challenger Deep as well.
Great list!!! I haven’t heard of any of these books yet. However it sounds like I’m missing out. Thanks so much for sharing! Have a great week. My TT
I’ve just always been interested in the brain, so books about mental illnesses are something I love to read. Hope you get to check some of these out!
I haven’t actually read any of these but It’s Kind of A Funny Story and Wintergirls are both on my TBR list. Also I’m intrigued about Made You Up because I’ve been learning about Schizophrenia in my psychology A-Level this year. I’ve also seen the Silver Linings Playbook movie but not read the book.
Here’s my TTT for this week:
Silver Linings Playbook is actually pretty different from the movie. I liked both of them though. Made You Up was really interesting to me. Hope you get to read all of these soon! 🙂
I’ll need to check some of these out – I’m always interested in narratives around mental health, having read some which are very successful and some which are… less so.
Agreed. Some people try to pull it off and they can’t. It sucks when that happens.
I’m still waiting for copies from the library, but I’ve heard great things about both The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B (OCD) and Challenger Deep (schizophrenia). I’m looking forward to reading Made You Up as well.
CHALLENGER DEEP. I’m waiting on my hold on that to come in too! I’m really looking forward to that one. Made You Up is really good! I hope you get to read it soon.
Excellent topic this week! I’ve seen a definite increase in the amount of fiction surrounding all kinds of mental illness and it is fab! Because it isn’t “seen” people don’t realise how “real” it is, unfortunately, that also means a lot of people can, as we say, rip the arse out of it and pretend they suffer from certain afflictions when they don’t, contributing to the overall misunderstanding of the issues real sufferers face. R x
My TTT: http://confessionsofabookgeek.com/2015/04/28/top-ten-tuesday-male-characters-who-have-my-heart/
Completely agree. There’s a certain lack of information and knowledge about mental illnesses and people tend to confuse them. Like someone will say they are depressed today, when really, they’re just sad. Depression is not the same as sadness. But books like these will continue to help spread that knowledge.
Great list! And a very pertinent topic. Amen to your opening paragraph! I did mine on books that feature redheads: my TTT. Happy reading!
I have never read any of these books, The Thing about Scorpions deals with mental illness too but in a scary way. I may need to check some of these books out,
In a scary way? Tell me more about it!
Well they threaten people and put them in danger, play with knives and don’t care who gets hurt. A Sociopath I think it is, and since it’s a teenage girl it’s a scary thought.
That’s really scary.
Mental illness does seem to be a huge topic in YA, which I also think is great. Increasing one’s understanding/empathy of those afflicted with them is always a good thing.
YES! Empathy is a huge thing with me. I was just talking to someone about how a lack of empathy can really end up hurting someone if you don’t understand what they are going through.
I’ll need to check out some of these. I was going to do characters that have anxiety, but could only think of a few so I went with something else.
I was going to focus on just depression or anxiety too. I changed my mind because I wanted to include several different mental illnesses.