Below the Surface

When I think about mentall illness and mental disorders, people whose brains are wired differently than most, I imagine being in a crowd of people. Maybe we’re on a bus or in an audience, or waiting to cast our ballots on voting day. From the outside, you wouldn’t guess what demons a person is battling or how isolated they may feel while sharing space with many others. It’s heartening when a celebrity speaks out. I’m thinking of Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers who went public with his experience with anxiety. He said, “Everyone is going through something that we can’t see.” Sometimes it’s as banal as thinking about a grocery list and sometimes it’s struggling against obessive thoughts. Reading memoirs about people dealing with the later issue or things equally as difficult can make sufferers feel less lonely and can create compassion in those fortunate others. Here’s a list of memoirs from our collection:

Allen, Sandra. A Kind of Miraculous Paradise: A True Story about Schizophrenia. 2018.

Bleuel, Amy. Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn’t over. 2017.

Brennan, Thomas J. Shooting Ghosts: A U.S. Marine, a Combat Photographer, and Their Journey Back from War. 2017.

Broder, Melissa. So Sad Today: Personal Essays. 2016.

Cahalan, Susannah. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness. 2012.

Gay, Roxane. Hunger: A Memoir of (my) Body. 2017.

Hanagarne, Josh. The Strongest Librarian in the World: A Memoir of Tourette’s, Faith, Strength and the Power of Family. 2013.

Hepola, Sarah. Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget. 2015.

Kinsman, Kat. Hi, Anxiety: Life with a Bad Case of Nerves. 2016.

Lawson, Jenny. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things. 2015.

McDermott, Zach. The Gorilla and the Bird: A Memoir of Madness and a Mother’s Love. 2017.

Marnell, Cat. How to Murder Your Life: A Memoir. 2017.

Merkin, Daphne. This Close to Happy: A Reckoning with Depression. 2017.

Robison, John Elder. Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s. 2008.

Sheff, David. Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey through His Son’s Addiction. 2008.

Tammet, Daniel. Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of Autistic Savant: A Memoir. 2007.

Wortmann, Fletcher. Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. 2012.

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