10 Incredible Books That Perfectly Confront Mental Health Struggles

What is better than finding a book that you can’t put down? I love finding a book that’s filled with interesting characters. What about finding a book that focuses on characters you can identify with? As someone who struggles with depression and anxiety, I find it refreshing when I read about characters that face similar mental health struggles. It feels nice to know that I’m not alone and that there are others who have overcome similar mental and emotional obstacles. Here are a few books that center on characters that take on things such as anxiety, depression, OCD, schizophrenia, suicidal thoughts and more.

1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower:

Charlie is a fifteen-year-old boy struggling to cope with the suicide of a close friend. Charlie struggles with fear and anxiety that is only magnified by the fact that he’s about to start high school. As a way to manage his emotions, he starts writing letters to a stranger. Charlie makes new friends, Sam and her step-brother. These two new friends take him under their wing.

2. It’s Kind of a Funny Story:

The story follows Craig Gilner, a high school student from New York. He struggles with stress and depression. These mental issues escalate after he’s enrolled in an Executive Pre-Professional High School. In an attempt to deal with the issues he starts seeing a psychologist and is prescribed anti-depressant medication. When he finds himself contemplating suicide, he reaches out to a suicide hotline and is advised to seek help at an adult psychiatric clinic in Brooklyn. This experience exposes him to individuals with their own significant problems, much like his. He meets people who impact him in a way he never expected and even falls in love.

3. All the Bright Places:

The popular girl and the school freak –two students who might have never crossed paths until the day they both find themselves at the exact window ready to jump out and end it all. Theodore, known for being quite “different,” is able to talk Violet out of jumping. What happens when two individuals from different worlds find out they can actually help each other?

4. Fangirl:

Cath and her twin sister Wren are huge Simon Snow fans, much like the rest of the world they read and re-read the books and eventually became ensconced in Simon Snow forums. They began writing fan fiction. They are starting college and Wren has drifted away from the fandom, but Cath remains loyal. Cath is facing a lot of change, no longer rooming with her twin sister or sharing every aspect of their lives like they once did. The story follows Cath as she takes on these changes and constantly wonders if she can do it—without her sister and the life she had grown accustomed to.

5. Crazy for Alice:

This book is a cross between the universes of Donnie Darko and Pleasantville. Sixteen-year-old Ben Howard has accidentally killed his father. His suicide attempt lands him in a mental asylum. It’s in this asylum that he’s able to escape his guilt and tortured emotions to discover a new world where he leaps from one environment to another, eventually meeting Alice—who steals his heart. The thing is, no one believes him when he returns from this world—he’s been in a coma the entire time.