Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tiara Talk: Mental Illness

For awhile this seemed to be a pretty hot topic in the blogosphere, it might still be and I'm just missing out on those posts...but at the time the ones I saw were written I wasn't quite ready to chime in yet. When it comes to posts like these, important ones, I want to make sure that I'm ready to do so before I take a stance. And when its something personal I'm extra careful. And for me, the topic of mental illness falls under that category.

In the fall of 2011 I went to my doctor and together we determined that I had been having panic attacks. On my paperwork it says I was diagnosed with anxiety and panic disorder. On bad days I take medication to counter-attack, or in some cases prevent, these attacks. 

As always when something big happens in my life I turned to reading. I looked for books with characters that were dealing with the same things that I was. I wanted characters I could relate to. I wanted to know that I wasn't alone. I found tons of non-fiction books about dealing with anxiety in all shapes, sizes and forms. I picked up a couple of them. But I was really searching in the YA section. 

I found one book. One book that was there for me. And I found it by accident. That book was The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti. And it did help me. I shared it with my Mom to help her get a better idea of what I was going through. But one book wasn't enough. I wanted more.

My anxiety is better controlled now, for the most part. I've learned a few of my triggers and how to avoid them or to deal with them in a way that doesn't lead to an attack. But I still look for books that relate to the subject. I still haven't found any more. And I think that is a shame because I know I'm not the only reader who reaches out for books to help them through tough times and difficult issues. 

Now, before someone tries to put words in my mouth...I'm not saying that books can replace going to see counselors/therapists/psychologists/psychiatrists, getting help from a doctor or talking to loved ones. Those things are needed just as much. They are part of the healing and dealing process. All I'm saying is that as a reader I want characters that I can relate to and I'm sure I'm not alone.

Have you guys had any similar experiences in your searches for reading materials? Have you found the same things that I have? Have you found other books on the topic that have helped you? I'd love to hear from you. 


  1. I think that people need to relate! I recently read an article that psychiatrists in (I think it was Europe, but I could be misquoting there) are diagnosing books to patients with panic attacks and other anxiety issues! Library cards as their prescriptions!

    I know that my son has ADHD. I have yet to find any fiction books on this.
    There was recently a commercial with Adam Levine, where he mentions how he grew up with, and still has ADHD (it was actually an advertisement for something, don't remember what). My son watched this and says, "MOM! He has what I do, and he still rocks AND does TV shows!"

    Like I said, people need to relate!

    1. Thank you, Angela! I think that is an amazing idea. More people really should because it helps them to not only understand what they are going to but be able to relate it to others and know that they are not alone.

      I've been on the look-out for that just because you mentioned it [even though I'm really crazy late on getting back to all of these comments, heh]. I haven't found any either but as soon as I do I will be passing the titles along to you because you're right, people really do need to be able to relate.

  2. I'll be honest. When I was struggling with depression and anxiety in the past (also scary to see on the paperwork :( ), I avoided books that had anything to do with those problems because I didn't want to think about it. This was probably not a healthy thing, and I definitely wish that I could find a book to show my boyfriend what I was going through, since he just didn't get it. But I was so worried that reading any fiction with depression or anxiety would just make my emotions mirror that character ya know? Did you ever have trouble with reading about anxiety making you more anxious?

    Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings

    1. I felt the same way when dealing with my boyfriend about the issue, though as he wasn't much of a reader I wasn't entirely sure it would have worked. [Then again if I could have found a graphic novel, BAM! It would have been perfect.] It did however really help me to explain things to my Mom when I found a book I could use to illustrate things.

      I actually didn't have any problems reading it. I had more issues with my anxiety reading/watching things that had triggers. Like scary things and such?