Book Recommendations Which Represent Mental Illnesses

Welcome to my page that includes some book recommendations for books that represent mental illness. A subject that is incredibly close to my heart. This page will be a work in progress, as I continue to read and explore books that deal with an important issue. There may be some books here which may trigger some people, so please be cautious if you decide to check out a topic of which you are sensitive to. Please feel free to recommend any books you personally love! ❤

Book images go to Goodreads!

Undone- Cat Clarke


Undone is a book where our main protagonist Jem is in love with her gay best friend, Kai. Kai is outed and can’t deal with the reaction which results in him taking his own life. This book deals with Jem’s grief following the terrible incident.


Speak- Laurie Halse Anderson


This is an incredibly intense book, which at times deals with some very tough issues. There’s a point in this book where the character contemplates suicide.


Wintergirls- Laurie Halse Anderson


Wintergirls involves eating disorders. This book does come with a trigger warning, so please be cautious if it is a book that may affect you. It’s intense and raw, but oh so powerful.


The Silver Linings Playbook- Matthew Quick

The Silver Linings Playbook

This book follows a character who has just been released from a mental institution following a traumatic family situation. The main protagonist is clearing struggling with dealing with adapting to his life. It’s so well written.


The Shock of The Fall- Nathan Filer

The Shock of the Fall

Again, this is a book which deals with a character suffering with mental illness after the death of his brother. I think it’s a honest, but raw look at mental illness.


Perfect Escape- Jennifer Brown

Perfect Escape


One of the characters in this book has OCD. As well as covering his struggle, this book also shows what it’s like for his sister, experiencing her brother’s mental illness.

Belzhar- Meg Wolitzer



This book represents a group of emotionally ‘fragile’ teenagers. It’s a strange and quirky read that stands out from the rest.

All The Bright Places- Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places


This book covers some heavy issues like suicide and grief in a very real and raw manner.

My Heart and Other Black Holes- Jasmine Warga

My Heart and Other Black Holes


This is another trigger warning book, merely because it’s so realistic that I worry that it would be too much for some people. It’s certainly a very upsetting book dealing with depression.

Reasons To Stay Alive- Matt Haig

Reasons to Stay Alive


This book is raw and real, but it shows light at the end of the tunnel and it is the only piece of non-fiction that I’ve mentioned on this page. I seriously recommend this book to anyone that has struggled with depression and/or anxiety.

The Time In Between- Nancy Tucker

The Time in Between: A Memoir of Hunger and Hope


This is Nancy Tucker’s memoir about her battle with both anorexia and bulimia. There are no numbers involved in this memoir, so it’s not necessarily a trigger heavy book.

Lighter Than My Shadow- Katie Green



This is another memoir documenting a struggle with an eating disorder. Lighter Than My Shadow is different because it’s a graphic novel. I found it to be incredibly powerful and very thought provoking!

Am I Normal Yet?-Holly Bourne

Am I Normal Yet? (Normal, #1)

I absolutely adored this book which has an incredibly relatable character. It deals with mental health issues in a real and raw, relatable way!


Highly Illogical Behaviour- John Corey Whaley

Highly Illogical Behavior

A simply beautifully written book about a boy with agoraphobia. I thought this was an outstanding read which really ‘gets’ mental illness. I highly recommend it!


Furiously Happy

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

Jenny is a wonderful writer and focuses on her struggle with mental illness. It’s told in a light and fun way without taking away from the seriousness of mental illness.


Turtles All The Way Down

Turtles All the Way Down

I don’t recommend John Green often but this one did move me. It’s a very raw look at mental health.


10 thoughts on “Book Recommendations Which Represent Mental Illnesses

  1. That’s a great list, thanks for making it. You might want to add Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. It’s about OCD and it touches on depression and suicide. I’ll have to chek out some of these books. Thanks!

  2. THANK YOU for this list! I hadn’t heard of most of these, so I will need to check them out. I thought Speak was amazing. I haven’t read The Silver Linings Playbook, but I was pleasantly surprised by the movie when I sat down to watch it. Thanks again for these recommendations!

  3. Pingback: Guest Post by ChrissiReads – Talking about Anxiety #DiversityMonth | Luna’s Little Library

  4. One of my favorite books that covers anxiety (and possibly others I can’t remember now) is Finding Audrey, by Sophie Kinsella. It was SO good and I felt it was very realistic, at least in relation to my own anxieties.

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