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A Mental Health Read!
I recently finished reading the novel Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. I don’t know about you but when my mood gets me down it can be really difficult to pick up a book and focus on what’s in front of me. So when I finished this book, it felt like such an accomplishment!
Reader’s note: try to practice celebrating and sharing your small successes! They may feel insignificant, but they matter!
Turtles All the Way Down is a relatable read for people struggling with mental health issues, in particular anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. But you don’t have to have personal experience to feel invested in the lives of the characters and to relate to some part of their lives. It’s emotional, funny, and inspiring, but most importantly it’s REAL.
Without spoiling too much, Turtles All the Way Down is about a teenage girl named Aza and how she lives her daily life with mental illness. The book highlights the many highs and lows of her life and the impact her OCD has on her relationships, her school life and her future. Not only does the novel approach topics around mental illness, high-school stress and family issues, it also talks about loss and grief. But it’s so much more than just a book about mental health, there’s drama, mystery and comedy to it too.
The author John Green has been very vocal about his own experiences living with OCD and anxiety. As a loved author, it’s important that he uses his platform and fan-base to continue the conversation around mental illness. His words are healing to readers but they also help to reduce stigma!
It can be very difficult to have a conversation with someone about how you’re feeling, but by reading about other people facing similar experiences (even if they’re fictional), it can help you to feel less alone. It can be really cathartic as well.
I highly recommend giving this book a read! Aza is a mental health warrior just like you are. Take time for some some self-care, like reading, and know that you’re not alone.
If you or someone you know is experiencing feelings of anxiety or OCD, check out the help or illness sections of the website or talk to a family doctor for more information and support!
Elora is a BSW student at King’s University College, and has been volunteering with mindyourmind since 2015. Now as a member of the staff team, she is excited to continue to use her voice to eradicate stigma around mental health, and to create meaningful change for young people. Besides being known for her fiery hair, Elora is an avid napper, a dog enthusiast and loves to travel the globe.
Find blogs with relevant and up-to-date info about mental health, society and other youth topics; written by a variety of youth and professional contributors.