Life Inside My Mind
Your favorite YA authors including Kami Garcia, Ellen Hopkins, Maureen Johnson, and more recount their own experiences with mental illness in this raw, real, and powerful collection of essays that explores everything from ADD to PTSD.Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t get out of bed? Not the occasional morning, but every single day? Do you find yourself listening to a voice in your head that says “you’re not good enough,” “not good-looking enough,” “not thin enough,” or “not smart enough?” Have you ever found yourself unable to do homework or pay attention in class unless everything is “just so” on your desk? Everyone has had days like that, but what if you have them every day?You’re not alone. Millions of people are going through similar things. And many of them are people you know—you know them because they write the books that you’re reading.Life Inside My Mind is an anthology of true-life events from writers of this generation, for this generation. It takes aim at ending the shame of mental illness. With the intention of providing hope to those who are suffering, awareness to those who are witnessing a friend or family member battle mental illness, and opening the floodgates to conversations about mental illness, Side Effects tackles the stigmas around mental illness in a new and refreshing way.

Life Inside My Mind Details

TitleLife Inside My Mind
Author
ReleaseApr 10th, 2018
PublisherSimon Pulse
ISBN-139781481494649
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Health, Mental Health, Short Stories, Autobiography, Memoir, Mental Illness, Anthologies

Life Inside My Mind Review

  • Lydia
    January 1, 1970
    OMG someone else has these thoughts and feelings too
  • The Book Girl (Andrea)
    January 1, 1970
    Trigger Warning. This book may trigger or upset you if you or someone you love struggles with these mental illnesses; ADD, Addiction Alzheimer's, Anorexia, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Bulimia, and Suicide are all mentioned repeatedly in this book. This was really a truthful and honest look at mental illness from a variety of people. It was so interesting for me to see how different people struggle and experience mental illnesses. I struggle with a number of the problems mentioned in this book and Trigger Warning. This book may trigger or upset you if you or someone you love struggles with these mental illnesses; ADD, Addiction Alzheimer's, Anorexia, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Bulimia, and Suicide are all mentioned repeatedly in this book. This was really a truthful and honest look at mental illness from a variety of people. It was so interesting for me to see how different people struggle and experience mental illnesses. I struggle with a number of the problems mentioned in this book and it was nice to see how other people cope. This book is honestly eye-opening.The main thing I loved about this book was that no one tried to prescribe a right way to live with mental illness. Each essay had an honest and often in-depth look at what works or worked for them. Not what will work for everyone, although they were often super encouraging. While this book is aimed at young adults I believe adults will also get a lot out of the book as well. I think it is important to show teens how to cope with things they may be struggling with.At first, I had an issue that some of these stories didn't deal with mental illness but what I realized was that it was a great way to share how loved ones are affected by these struggles. It showed me some issues they may be dealing with as well. It was extremely enlightening.Overall, I think this book was amazing. I found the stories to be interesting and enlightening and truthful. I couldn't put this book down even though at times it was overwhelming. This book is encouraging that you can continue to live well and be successful, with mental illness.
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Weird that the description on Goodreads mentions Kami Garcia; she's not actually in the collection. That said: a solid collection of essays about living with mental illness, either as a sufferer or someone who has lived with another struggling. The bulk are about anxiety and depression, though a few essays on addition and an essay on Alzheimers and ADHD are included. Some essays are more compelling than others, as in any collection. My only real qualm was the bizarre essay by Francesca Lia Block Weird that the description on Goodreads mentions Kami Garcia; she's not actually in the collection. That said: a solid collection of essays about living with mental illness, either as a sufferer or someone who has lived with another struggling. The bulk are about anxiety and depression, though a few essays on addition and an essay on Alzheimers and ADHD are included. Some essays are more compelling than others, as in any collection. My only real qualm was the bizarre essay by Francesca Lia Block, which seemed to make a number of logical leaps, lacked information, and ended with her blaming herself for leaving an abusive friendship when that friend ultimately was dealing with a mental illness (a thing that isn't uncommon, but the writing in this piece lacks a lot of necessary further details to make the takeaway NOT be "if you ignore a friend, they might be sick and then you'll feel bad about it" -- it was clear her friend was abusive toward her and she'd finally found the backbone to protect herself from it). I wish there'd been more framing and insight from the editor of the collection, as there's none (no introduction, no section breakups, no overarching way to structure the anthology). I also wish we saw the words mental health on the cover, as many teen readers will find this collection powerful and necessary...but they might not know what it's about since the title doesn't really explain it.Some of the pieces which resonated most with me included Lauren Oliver's, Francisco X. Stork's, and Cindy L. Rodriguez's (I want her to write another book, dammit!).
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  • Alicia
    January 1, 1970
    Woah. Yes. Certainly taken as a whole the book (a collection of stories) is certainly overwhelming since the theme of the book is authors sharing their personal struggles with mental health in some capacity. For many it is depression or anxiety but it covers an older family members' struggle with Alzheimers, but then covers the negative affects of drug use and abuse as is Ellen Hopkins' story about her young grandson dealing with PTSD. They are powerful stories. Some authors discuss their medica Woah. Yes. Certainly taken as a whole the book (a collection of stories) is certainly overwhelming since the theme of the book is authors sharing their personal struggles with mental health in some capacity. For many it is depression or anxiety but it covers an older family members' struggle with Alzheimers, but then covers the negative affects of drug use and abuse as is Ellen Hopkins' story about her young grandson dealing with PTSD. They are powerful stories. Some authors discuss their medications while others share more holistic approaches to healing, recovery, or mere existence. They provide hope or experience and absolutely a person who they can say has it, gets it, understands it, helped me through it. The stories are so timely and so necessary. I applaud each author for sharing. And using their skills as writers to portray their stories with sincerity for a teen audience. I have already shared the cover with our health teacher and know that it can be used in the classroom! When we get back from break, it'll be in her hands! And copies purchased for our library.
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  • Amanda (StarDustPanda)
    January 1, 1970
    (Warning this book may upset you if you have or if you have someone you love who has these mental illness : Depression, Anxiety, OCD, ADD, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer, Bulimia, Anorexia, Addiction, Body Dystopia and Suicidal)Jessica is my favorite author so I was really excited when I learned about this book I’ve been dealing with my depression and anxiety since I was 18 though I think I had them long before that I just thought it was normal and they weren’t as severe back then so finding out my (Warning this book may upset you if you have or if you have someone you love who has these mental illness : Depression, Anxiety, OCD, ADD, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer, Bulimia, Anorexia, Addiction, Body Dystopia and Suicidal)Jessica is my favorite author so I was really excited when I learned about this book I’ve been dealing with my depression and anxiety since I was 18 though I think I had them long before that I just thought it was normal and they weren’t as severe back then so finding out my favorite author ever the woman that made me love reading was putting out a book with essays on mental illness with a bunch of different authors was a pretty big deal to me I’ll be honest while I loved this book and think everyone should read it I did have a few problems I had to put it down at times and just not read it because while it was wonderful to see so many people who had the same problems as me it was also hard to see as well and it made me go into my darker moods so if you have a mental or have someone close to you that does it may be difficult to read at times but for me it was worth it I related to so many of the stories even when me and the author weren’t facing the same problems I found a bit of myself in each and every story the one I related to most was Escape Clause By Jennifer L. Armentrout I had to put the book down during that one because it was really hitting me close to home with how similar we both feel Sometimes when I didn’t see myself I saw people who I love who have been there and when there was no one I knew I still felt so much because this was real all of them have went through this and still are and that made it powerful while sad and hard to read at times a felt a bit of hope as well yes I may have depression and anxiety for the rest of my life but I can learn to live with them and have a happy and full life yes there will be bed times when I just don’t wanna get up and think I’m though but there will always be something worth fighting for and that’s what’s important
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  • Catherine
    January 1, 1970
    This book does hit close to home, especially if you or someone you love suffers from mental illness but it is extremely relatable. That’s what made it so well done. It was wonderful to hear real stories from authors I admire and go “wow...so I’m not the only one.” This book is definitely something many people should have in their arsenal and I would especially recommend it to those who want to try to understand what their loved ones are going through.
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  • Brandi
    January 1, 1970
    This title does a beautiful job of illustrating how mental illness affects everyone differently and makes clear that there is no single treatment that will be right for all. These essays are raw and powerful, but might be triggering for readers who suffer from the illnesses presented. Yet, each author implores readers to get help (professional help) and ultimately presents an “it can get better” mentality. An excellent resource for high school libraries.
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  • Jaime Leigh
    January 1, 1970
    This anthology collection is stunning. I happened upon it when I was browsing through my library's catalog and I am so glad I decided to pick it up. So many more people need to read it. I am not usually a fan of anthologies. They just aren't my cup of tea. However, the anthology format worked as the perfect platform for these authors to share their struggles. Many times I found myself reading a line and stopping, feeling very understood. I appreciated not only the depth of these essays, but also This anthology collection is stunning. I happened upon it when I was browsing through my library's catalog and I am so glad I decided to pick it up. So many more people need to read it. I am not usually a fan of anthologies. They just aren't my cup of tea. However, the anthology format worked as the perfect platform for these authors to share their struggles. Many times I found myself reading a line and stopping, feeling very understood. I appreciated not only the depth of these essays, but also breadth of topics they covered. Several illnesses (including anxiety, OCD, depression, PTSD and eating disorders) were mentioned, but several authors also highlighted the intersectionality between influences like race, gender and class, and mental health. This book is one of my top books of the year so far. 4 stars (some essays just didn't resonate with me but that is to be expected in an anthology).
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  • Jenn
    January 1, 1970
    Closer to 3.5. Like a lot of anthologies, some of the essays I loved and others not as much and with so many authors with similar experiences, I felt it got a bit repetitive after awhile. Was still worth the read.
  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    A very eye opening collection of essays describing each author's relationship with mental illness. I would not say this was an "enjoyable book" but rather, quite educational and a great window into what a person might experience when struggling with mental illness.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Life Inside My Mind is a heart-warming book about mental illnesses. This book is made up of a series of essays. These essays are written by 31 authors and about their struggles being mentally disabled, or having someone who is mentally disabled close to them. It tells readers that they are not alone, how to live with mental illnesses, and what it means to have a mental illness. I recommend this book to anyone who has a mental illness or who is close to someone with a mental illness, it is very i Life Inside My Mind is a heart-warming book about mental illnesses. This book is made up of a series of essays. These essays are written by 31 authors and about their struggles being mentally disabled, or having someone who is mentally disabled close to them. It tells readers that they are not alone, how to live with mental illnesses, and what it means to have a mental illness. I recommend this book to anyone who has a mental illness or who is close to someone with a mental illness, it is very informative.
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  • Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
    January 1, 1970
    See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got for review via Edelweiss.Look, I’m constantly mentioning the fact that I’m mentally ill on this site. Generalized anxiety disorder, depression, OCD/dermatillomania. Psychiatric meds have saved my life and anyone who wants to fight me on that does in fact forfeit their life to me because DON’T YOU EVEN TRY IT, I WAS NEAR DEATH WITHOUT THEM.Ahem. That said, is it really a surprise I leaped on an anthology of stories from people who See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got for review via Edelweiss.Look, I’m constantly mentioning the fact that I’m mentally ill on this site. Generalized anxiety disorder, depression, OCD/dermatillomania. Psychiatric meds have saved my life and anyone who wants to fight me on that does in fact forfeit their life to me because DON’T YOU EVEN TRY IT, I WAS NEAR DEATH WITHOUT THEM.Ahem. That said, is it really a surprise I leaped on an anthology of stories from people who have dealt with mental illness?Generally, it’s a solid book. Depression and anxiety make up the overwhelming majority of essay subjects, but there are plenty of stories of living with OCD and bipolar disorder as well. Many of these authors, like me, got to “enjoy” more than one of these at the same time. The sheer volume of stories allows readers to achieve a better understanding about the many different ways people can experience the same mental illness.For instance, Kimberly McCreight had anxiety growing up that caused her food aversions and the constant dread that she’d poison herself somehow. Mine manifested in physical pain and constant paranoia about my health–which is exactly how Tara Kelly experienced anxiety. Her essay was the one that hit hardest for me and most closely matched what I’ve gone through. Meanwhile, Crissa-Jean Chappel’s anxiety took the form of a monster that told her she’d fail all her classes and such. There are infinite ways to experience the same mental illness!Simply because there were so many essays about the same illness(es), essays like Cyn Balog’s tale of life with body dysmorphic disorder really stand out. (Plus it was an excellent essay in its own right.) A little more variety in the subject matter really would have gone a long way.Something else that would have helped: removing essays like those by Dan Wells and Ellen Hopkins. Both were written by neurotypical people about their experience living with/caring for people who have mental illnesses. Speaking as a neurodivergent person? I REALLY DON’T CARE ABOUT A NEUROTYPICAL PERSON’S STORY OF CARING FOR A NEURODIVERGENT PERSON. What they have to say is incongruous with the theme of the anthology as well as the other essays. Instead, their spots should have gone to other authors who both live with their own illnesses and are writing about ones not otherwise covered in Life Inside My Mind.It’s a good read for anyone who wants to better understand what it’s like to have a mental illness. It’s not a perfect resource due in part to its narrow scope, but I could see myself making people read Tara Kelly’s essay in particular when I want them to get my specific anxieties. (I do still blame the college doctor’s office for failing to diagnose the muscle sprain in my right side for two months. My anxiety disorder expressed itself at the same time and now I get pains in my lower right side when the anxiety is overwhelming.)
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  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    This was such an honest, truthful look at mental illness from a variety of perspectives. Seeing how different people experience mental illnesses (that society tends to lump together as a singular experience) in such different ways was eye opening. I liked how no one prescribed a “right way” to live with mental illness, even subtly. Each essay expressed that the writer was sharing what worked for them, not what would work for every person. I think, especially in a book aimed at teenagers, that it This was such an honest, truthful look at mental illness from a variety of perspectives. Seeing how different people experience mental illnesses (that society tends to lump together as a singular experience) in such different ways was eye opening. I liked how no one prescribed a “right way” to live with mental illness, even subtly. Each essay expressed that the writer was sharing what worked for them, not what would work for every person. I think, especially in a book aimed at teenagers, that it was so crucial to show that each person struggles and survives in their own unique way, even when they may share a particular diagnosis. As someone who personally lives with depression, reading the views of those who don’t personally deal with mental illness but have watched someone else struggle was enlightening. I always worry about how my struggles affect my loved ones, so this showed me some of the issues they may be dealing with as well. Overall, I think this would be amazing for a teenager who is struggling to feel “normal” (whatever that is) and not so alone. Not all of the stories are wrapped up in a “happily ever after” which is so truthful. Still, all of them are encouraging that you can continue to live, and live well, with mental illness. Thank you to Netgalley for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Mayela
    January 1, 1970
    A really good collection of short essays about people who've gone through mental health problems and are still fighting, still showing up. Perhaps not recommended for people currently going through a severe mental health crisis since, sadly enough, reading about it can make it worse. But I would 100% recommend it to anyone who has loved ones going through a rough time with their mental health or to anyone who feels stable enough in their journey with mental health that they could read about it w A really good collection of short essays about people who've gone through mental health problems and are still fighting, still showing up. Perhaps not recommended for people currently going through a severe mental health crisis since, sadly enough, reading about it can make it worse. But I would 100% recommend it to anyone who has loved ones going through a rough time with their mental health or to anyone who feels stable enough in their journey with mental health that they could read about it without repercussions.The key takeaways: You're not alone, every mental illness is different (just like every person is different), always ask for help, it gets better.
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  • Jessica McAllister
    January 1, 1970
    Anthologies are so hard for me to rate. Overall, this was an ok read for me. It didn't blow me away but there were good pieces in here that were relatable. I received an ARC of the book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
  • Jen Petro-Roy
    January 1, 1970
    Oh so important. Every essay in here is great.
  • Lucy ❁♡ ★
    January 1, 1970
    This is an anthology of essays by various authors sharing their experience with mental health. This is a topic that I am extremely passionate about and is very close to me, so I was cautious about this book. It’s such a sensitive subject matter that it needs to be handled with extreme care. And it was. This book was honest, raw and authentic and it didn’t in any shape or form glamourise mental Illness, but gave accurate portrayals of it. What I especially loved about this book was that it demons This is an anthology of essays by various authors sharing their experience with mental health. This is a topic that I am extremely passionate about and is very close to me, so I was cautious about this book. It’s such a sensitive subject matter that it needs to be handled with extreme care. And it was. This book was honest, raw and authentic and it didn’t in any shape or form glamourise mental Illness, but gave accurate portrayals of it. What I especially loved about this book was that it demonstrates mental illness can take many forms and it particular to that one person. There is no one way it is presented and there is not one way to deal with it. It’s specific to that person and I think that’s an important message to send across. This book discusses a myriad of mental health conditions (so trigger warnings) such as: eating disorders, ADHD, OCD, PTSD, bipolar, anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s and addiction. Although I think these are as equally significant and deserving to have light and awareness brought to them, I wish there was more representation for eating disorders. They are extremely common and have the highest mortality rate of any other mental illness, so I wish there could have been more awareness of that. What I think is phenomenal about this is it brings awareness to such a crucial topic. It stimulates conversation of the importance of it, instead of shying away from it and being ashamed. It shows that those with mental disorders are also stigmatised “a diabetic takes insulin, an epileptic takes anti-seizure medication...so why is a person stigmatised for taking a drug that corrects a chemical Imbalance in their brain?” Mental illness is all too common, and nobody, as Kati Morton said, “no one EVER deserves to feel ashamed for their mental health issues” it honestly baffles me that in 2018 we are still stereotyping and stigmatising those with something that affects 1 in 4 people globally. This book shows that it’s okay to talk about, okay to deal with and it’s okay to have a mental illness. We shouldn’t be ashamed of that. What I think is incredible is these are accounts from famous authors. Authors that we idolise. It illustrates that just like me or you, they’re people. They have baggage, they have issues and they struggle. To put this message across is very important and it adds to the idea that mental illness is common and it’s okay to talk about. I applaud every single person who shared their story in this anthology because it takes a lot to come out and tell your story. They deserve the world for that. I think they would have helped a lot of people, whether that’s having them feel comforted or validated, inspired recovery or just allowing the, to understand that they’re not alone. Whatever it is, it’s brilliant. I know that I definitely gained something from this book. It hit so close to home it brought tears to my eyes repeatedly, it’s absolutely incredible. In addition to this, it also allows understanding. As someone who is very passionate about mental health and hopes to work in that field when I’m older, I have a decent understanding of most conditions. However, I am not familiar with issues such as ADHD or PTSD, so to read this, I gained so much knowledge and now I can understand people around me who suffer from this. I think that’s amazing and it would really allow people to understand this condition better. I believe that if you’re in the right mindset and feel like it’s appropriate for you, I think you should read this book. It’s absolutely phenomenal and the fact that it’s discussing something so crucial deserves more recognition. I recommend if you’re ready. Love Lucy x
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  • Teenreadsdotcom
    January 1, 1970
    Jessica Burkhart took 31 authors --- herself included --- to make an incredible collection of essays about mental health called LIFE INSIDE MY MIND: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles. Some of these authors include but are not limited to Dan Wells, Elle Hopkins, Tom Pollock, Lauren Oliver and --- of course --- Jessica Burkhart also contributes to LIFE INSIDE MY MIND. LIFE INSIDE MY MIND might be her first book about mental health but LIFE INSIDE MY MIND is not Jessica Burkhart’s first boo Jessica Burkhart took 31 authors --- herself included --- to make an incredible collection of essays about mental health called LIFE INSIDE MY MIND: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles. Some of these authors include but are not limited to Dan Wells, Elle Hopkins, Tom Pollock, Lauren Oliver and --- of course --- Jessica Burkhart also contributes to LIFE INSIDE MY MIND. LIFE INSIDE MY MIND might be her first book about mental health but LIFE INSIDE MY MIND is not Jessica Burkhart’s first book, nor is LIFE INSIDE MY MIND her first young adult book. Jessica Burkhart’s first young adult book is WILD HEARTS. Jessica Burkhart is also known for her Canterwood Crest series and her Unicorn Magic series.Maureen Johnson, Scott Newmyer, Jennifer L Armentrout and many more authors come together to write a series of 31 essays about mental health. These essays span over almost every topic on mental issues, disorders, illnesses and problems. For example, some of the topics of some of the essays are Attention Deficit Disorder, depression, anxiety, PTSD, addiction and Alzheimer’s. Some essays are about each author’s own personal struggle with any of these mental illnesses or disorders, or they are about their family or friend’s experience. Each personal struggle gives another unique perspective about each mental illness. LIFE INSIDE MY MIND is clearly meant to be conversation starter and bring mental illness into the light. Each author explains what his or her personal struggle is, and sometimes he or she gives suggestions on how to handle not just surviving with that certain mental illness or disorder but also living with it in the essays. However, essays are not the only pieces of work in LIFE INSIDE MY MIND. There are also short stories and a poem to show real experiences and to emphasize just how real these experiences are.LIFE INSIDE MY MIND by Jessica Burkhart is an incredible anthology of essays. Not only does is start a very important conversation about mental health, it brings mental health into the public and this book humanizes people with mental illnesses or mental disorders. These works show actual people, actual lives and how they live with their problems and chronic illnesses just like every other person on this planet. The stories were beautifully written and filled with hope. Even though the issues within the book were very serious, I did not finish feeling completely drained and upset. Instead, I felt happy. Another great part about LIFE INSIDE MY MIND is that there are so many disorders, problems and illnesses covered within the book in so many ways that absolutely anyone and everyone can find at least one piece of work to which she or he can relate.I’ve said this multiple times, and I’m about to say it again, LIFE INSIDE MY MIND is a book to start a conversation. I’d highly suggest reading it with a group of friends or as a book club. However, if you are suffering from a mental illness or you just want to know more about mental illness, LIFE INSIDE MY MIND is great book to read.Reviewed by Rebecca D., Teen Board Member
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  • Lynndell
    January 1, 1970
    The authors bear their souls to help others dealing with personal struggles!Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for the opportunity to read and review Life Inside My Mind by numerous authors!Thirty-one authors share their experiences in dealing with mental illness within the pages of this book. Maureen Johnson discusses her anxiety and how meditation and slowing down her schedule helped and continues to help her. I like her comparison of anxiety being a stupid monster that doesn’t know anything. The authors bear their souls to help others dealing with personal struggles!Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for the opportunity to read and review Life Inside My Mind by numerous authors!Thirty-one authors share their experiences in dealing with mental illness within the pages of this book. Maureen Johnson discusses her anxiety and how meditation and slowing down her schedule helped and continues to help her. I like her comparison of anxiety being a stupid monster that doesn’t know anything. Robison Wells discusses mental illness treatments and the mental illnesses he lives with. Lauren Oliver relates her depression to mental stutters; we may all trip up at one time or another. Jennifer L. Armentrout talks about her suicide attempt and suicidal thoughts. Amy Reed shares her experiences with addiction and depression. Aprilynne Pike explains her compulsive behavior. Rachel M. Wilson’s dilemma of OCD and ADHD combined is shared. Dan Wells remembers his grandparents and the dementia and Alzheimer’s they dealt with. Amber Benson shares the gift of therapy and how she believes there’s no difference between having mental health problems or physical health problems; they both need help. E. K. Anderson unravels in poetic form. Sarah Fine is an author and a clinical psychologist. Kelly Fiore-Stultz speaks of addiction and family members. Ellen Hopkins shares her grandson’s story. Scott Neumyer tells all while relaying his message about personal anxiety. Crissa-Jean Chappell discusses her OCD. Francesca Lia Block shares the story of her friend with manic depression. Tara Kelly talks about her anxiety, ADHD and OCD. Kimberly McCreight is an anxious worrier and became a heavy drinker. Megan Kelley Hall has dealt with traumatic health issues her entire life, along with depression. Hannah Moskowitz discusses how mental illnesses are different for everyone. Karen Mahoney tells her story of chronic anxiety and Trichotillomania; she pulls out her eyelashes. Tom Pollock has suicidal thoughts and suffers from bulimia. Cyn Balog tells her experience with body dysmorphic disorder. Melissa Marr talks about her PTSD. Wendy Toliver talks with her sixteen-year-old son about his anxiety, depression and OCD. Cindy L. Rodriguez talks about being a Latina with depression. Candace Ganger describes her anxiety. Sara Zarr shares her experiences of worthlessness. Cynthia Hand talks about her brother’s suicide. Francisco X. Stork talks about loneliness and bipolar disorder. Jessica Burkhart shares her addiction to Xanax. This collection of honest stories will help many people understand and deal with their struggles. With much appreciation for the wisdom and bravery the authors have to share their personal experiences with their readers, I give a standing ovation and 5 stars!
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  • sara kassam
    January 1, 1970
    "While anxiety is like a faulty house alarm that keeps going off even though no one is breaking into the house, for me, depression is like that stage-five-clinger, toxic friend who comes around every so often and is super hard to shake" This is exactly what I needed to read at this point in my life. This book is a compilation of essays from 31 different authors as they share their own personal mental-health struggles. There were so many things that stood out to me from this and I can't help bu "While anxiety is like a faulty house alarm that keeps going off even though no one is breaking into the house, for me, depression is like that stage-five-clinger, toxic friend who comes around every so often and is super hard to shake" This is exactly what I needed to read at this point in my life. This book is a compilation of essays from 31 different authors as they share their own personal mental-health struggles. There were so many things that stood out to me from this and I can't help but think about how important of a read this is. As someone who is diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, and depression, I found it soothing to read that I wasn't the only one with these particular thoughts in my head. The comparisons that many of these authors made really stood out to me and stood with me. If you look at my copy of this book, you'll probably see like 50 post it flags on things I deemed "important" or important enough to come back to and re read it when I start feeling like I'm alone in my struggles.Another important aspect addressed in these essays was the concept of stigma, from people around us and from within ourselves as well. Stigma surrounding mental illness can be so so SO detrimental in the recovery process and I'm so glad that these authors took the time out to address that. One specific quote that stood out to me was as follows:" "If we aren't afraid to say we have allergies or a cold or a broken arm, why should we be afraid to say we have something else medically out of the ordinary?" This idea is so important and I really truly would recommend anyone reading this to take some time out and analyze just what role stigma has played in their lives. As for me, self-stigma has oftentimes prevented me from reaching out to get the help that I need and deserve. "And that's the moral of the story, kids. Anxiety sucks with a capital S, but it does get better with time, hard work, and help. It truly does." I want to end this review with the above quote because it emphasizes everything that I want for myself and for others who struggle with not only anxiety but also any other mental illness. These essays felt very authentic and not like the usual "It gets better" fluff that many people try to shove down our throats. It felt very real to me, and I would recommend this book to anyone suffering from mental illness who has ever felt alone in their struggles. I recommend this book to people who also don't have mental illnesses; this can be a great eye-opener for you.
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  • Ben Truong
    January 1, 1970
    Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Shares Their Personal Struggles is an anthology of essays (mainly narrative and descriptive essays) about mental illness and takes aims at ending the shame and stigma for having a mental illness. It is a collection of approximately thirty real life situations written by various Young Adults authors for the youth of today and edited by Jessica Burkhart.This anthology not only explores how to cope and live with many different mental illnesses, but how to deal with i Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Shares Their Personal Struggles is an anthology of essays (mainly narrative and descriptive essays) about mental illness and takes aims at ending the shame and stigma for having a mental illness. It is a collection of approximately thirty real life situations written by various Young Adults authors for the youth of today and edited by Jessica Burkhart.This anthology not only explores how to cope and live with many different mental illnesses, but how to deal with it also. There are pros and cons on using/abusing heavy medication or using a more holistic approach. There are some in how to take care of someone with mental illness and how to treat them with kindness, patience, and respect. It is an overwhelming anthology and I am thankful for the contributors for being honest and raw in their candor about such sensitive issues, but more importantly gives a sense of relatability and filled with hope.For the most part, I really like the short stories and essays – that run the gauntlet of a myriad of mental illnesses, ranging from A.D.D., Addiction, Alzheimer's, Anorexia, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Body Dystopia, Bulimia, Depression, O.C.D., P.T.S.D., and Suicidal Thoughts – there may be more, but those are the ones that stood out prominently to me.Like most anthologies there are weaker contributions, but there were few and far in-between that it didn't affect my enjoyment of the anthology and subconsciously thought of them as outliers. In reality, I think there were just one or two stories or essays that I didn't enjoy, but it was I couldn't relate to them personally, however I no doubt that when I get older and experience life a tad more that even those entries would resonate with me.All in all, I think Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles is a wonderful anthology of mental illness essays/short stories written by writers of this generation for this generation. Hopefully it helps begins many conversations about mental health and remove the stigma and shame for having a mental illness and in the end gives hope.
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  • Liz Overberg
    January 1, 1970
    This is an anthology of essays from 31 diverse young adult authors. Each essay focuses on the author's own experience (or loved one's experience) with mental illness.I read each essay in a row, and approaching the book this way did make it feel repetitive, but I imagine a teen reader would enjoy skimming some essays and focusing more carefully on others.The essays are short, hopeful, and focused on healthy ways to approach and treat mental illness. Each author stresses that mental illness should This is an anthology of essays from 31 diverse young adult authors. Each essay focuses on the author's own experience (or loved one's experience) with mental illness.I read each essay in a row, and approaching the book this way did make it feel repetitive, but I imagine a teen reader would enjoy skimming some essays and focusing more carefully on others.The essays are short, hopeful, and focused on healthy ways to approach and treat mental illness. Each author stresses that mental illness should not be something to be ashamed of and writes about how some combination of therapy, medication, meditation, healthy sleep and eating habits, and exercise have helped him or her.Many of the writers struggled with schoolwork or personal relationships as teenagers but have come out on the other side with messages of "I'm telling you what I wish someone had told me then" to share with young readers.The most common mental illnesses included are anxiety, depression, OCD, and bipolar disorder. A few essays touch on addiction and suicidal ideation. One memorable essay is about loving someone with Alzheimers. It feels like the stigma of anxiety and depression is lessening as society gains a better understanding of how the brain works and more and more people are diagnosed and medicated for these particular mental illnesses. So It would have been interesting to read about some less common (or less understood) mental illnesses like schizophrenia. However, the nature of this anthology (a collection of essays by well known young adult authors) limits the pool of contributors. I know Neal Shusterman's son is schizophrenic, though, and I'm sure there are other authors out there who could have first or secondhand experience with lesser known disorders. As someone with generalized anxiety and panic disorder, I found the stories about anxiety very relatable and surprisingly not triggering. Some of the essays gave me new words for describing my feelings. I could see many teens benefiting similarly. I could also see this book as a great tool for building empathy in teens (or anyone) hoping to better understand the experiences of those with mental illness.
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  • Lisa Rowland
    January 1, 1970
    Overall, this was a pretty solid anthology of essays. I enjoyed the variety of experiences and advice, and I felt like the essays covered a pretty good range. Naturally I enjoyed some essays more than others, but while a couple made me think "that was weird" they were all pretty well written.My major issues with the book were actually editorial, and they were just a nuisance in the back of my mind as I read rather than a true hindrance. A) Let's be honest, how many young adults are going to sit Overall, this was a pretty solid anthology of essays. I enjoyed the variety of experiences and advice, and I felt like the essays covered a pretty good range. Naturally I enjoyed some essays more than others, but while a couple made me think "that was weird" they were all pretty well written.My major issues with the book were actually editorial, and they were just a nuisance in the back of my mind as I read rather than a true hindrance. A) Let's be honest, how many young adults are going to sit down and read 31 essays cover to cover? I'm not a young adult, but I couldn't do it. I'd be too depressed for one. I read a couple of chapters here or there, and I read it all, but it took a couple weeks. I think to best reach the target audience, teens struggling with mental illness, it would have been awesome to clearly label what mental illness was in which chapter. Just something at the beginning of each chapter like "Depression, anxiety, eating disorder" or something. I know many of these didn't deal with a single subject, but it'd make it easier for someone to skim through and latch on to stories that dealt with suicidal thoughts or bipolar disorder.B) I wanted to know about the authors. I'm a young adult librarian, and I didn't recognize half the names. Of those I did recognize I couldn't necessarily tell you what they wrote. All throughout the book I desperately wanted a paragraph at the start of each chapter letting me know if someone was a writer for ESPN or if they wrote fantasy, etc. It was actually almost more depressing when I got to the end of the book and...there it was! A whole section about the authors! Of course, this wasn't mentioned in the table of contents (which I hadn't read anyways), so if you're not someone that flips to the back of the book it was a hidden treasure trove. On the other hand I probably wouldn't have always flipped back and forth if I'd known it was there, but it would have been so nice if those blurbs had been included with the actual chapters.
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  • Kellee
    January 1, 1970
    This was a really honest book full of experiences by multiple authors battling mental health issues. It is so nice sometimes just to hear someone else is struggling with the same symptoms or thoughts as you.A couple essays really resonated and made me cry, while a few didn't really connect with me (like any collection of essays), however I really am glad I read this book and would definitely recommend it for anyone else struggling out there.Being completely honest, the first essay by Maureen Joh This was a really honest book full of experiences by multiple authors battling mental health issues. It is so nice sometimes just to hear someone else is struggling with the same symptoms or thoughts as you.A couple essays really resonated and made me cry, while a few didn't really connect with me (like any collection of essays), however I really am glad I read this book and would definitely recommend it for anyone else struggling out there.Being completely honest, the first essay by Maureen Johnson pissed me off and almost had me put down the entire book (I'm glad I didn't). She mentions how her "bout of anxiety" was temporary and makes an all caps statement KNOW THAT IT CAN END... well I'm glad that your anxiety was temporary Maureen but for the rest of us with permanent anxiety disorders / ptsd / brain imbalances that statement is a slap in the face. I've spent countless therapy sessions crying to my therapist just wanting to be "normal" (like other authors have described in their essays). I've taken a long time to accept the fact that anxiety may never go away for me, but it is something I can cope with now and have the tools to address. While I'm glad she no longer has to deal with anxiety issues it left me wondering why this story was included in the book, and fed the asshole voice in my brain that says "why can't you just get over this, she did!"If you have a more permanent mental health disorder you might want to skip the first essay or at least go into it knowing hers was temporary.Trigger warnings for anxiety, depression, OCD, bipolar, self harm, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders
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  • Adriana
    January 1, 1970
    I can't recommend this enough. It should be in every library, counselor's office, and classroom.If you have any kind of mental health problem, it will show you that you are not alone and that there is a way forward. Not every essay/author talks about the same problems, but they all point to the fact that there is a way to manage and survive with many kinds of mental health issues. There are tips, suggestions, and just plain old good vibes to light the way. There is always a way to go forward in I can't recommend this enough. It should be in every library, counselor's office, and classroom.If you have any kind of mental health problem, it will show you that you are not alone and that there is a way forward. Not every essay/author talks about the same problems, but they all point to the fact that there is a way to manage and survive with many kinds of mental health issues. There are tips, suggestions, and just plain old good vibes to light the way. There is always a way to go forward in managing and living with whatever your situation. It's such a positive thing to show younger readers and even older ones who might still be fighting their own demons.I would doubly recommend it if you're lucky enough to have evaded any sort of mental health issue. It's a very open view of what it's like to suffer thru issues that are often thought of as something that needs hiding. Every author is quick to point out that there is no shame in feeling a certain way, it is a sickness as pervasive as cancer and should be afforded the same respect. It's the kind of book that might open the eyes of those who don't understand the topic. It shows that there is no set type of individual who might suffer. It happens in any gender, age group, ethnicity, socioeconomic level, history, personality. The broad strokes presented by the different authors gives a great example of this. I am truly grateful to the authors who participated in this anthology for their candor. I'm sure that talking/writing about their problems and the lowest points in their ailments was not easy, but they go the extra mile to be open and supportive.
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  • Jenny
    January 1, 1970
    In this essay collection, the contributors tell the stories of how mental illness or substance abuse have impacted their lives. Most tell their own stories, but some share their experience loving a friend or family member lives with a mental disorder. Depression, anxiety, and OCD are the best-represented afflictions within this collection. Though each writer has a different experience to share (and they stress that each person experiences mental illness in different ways), the collection as a wh In this essay collection, the contributors tell the stories of how mental illness or substance abuse have impacted their lives. Most tell their own stories, but some share their experience loving a friend or family member lives with a mental disorder. Depression, anxiety, and OCD are the best-represented afflictions within this collection. Though each writer has a different experience to share (and they stress that each person experiences mental illness in different ways), the collection as a whole is bound together by a unifying theme of hope: You are not alone; help is out there; we survived and you can too. Though some essays paint an overly rosy view (implying that therapy is a magical cure for everyone), these are balanced by others that allow a careful reader to draw realistic conclusions. This book is not likely to be read by anyone for entertainment, but for people who are novices to the language of mental illness, it can be a valuable resource. It provides both honest information and comfort, making it an ideal starting point for a reader who wants to learn about these scary yet important topics. Though older teens are the target audience, adults new to the topic may also find it valuable. The language is clear, concise, and accessible; each essay feels like the author is talking directly to the reader. The fact that the contributors are themselves authors of popular YA fiction provides an additional draw for potential readers who are fans of their other works.
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  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    Thirty-one YA authors share their own experiences or those of someone close to them in dealing with various types of mental illnesses. The essays are all honest and show that the fears and anxieties that many of us have are not as uncommon as we might think. Despite the progress that has been made when it comes to how we treat and react to mental illness, several of the stories also make it clear just how far we have to go since these are issues that many of us are inclined to hide or not know w Thirty-one YA authors share their own experiences or those of someone close to them in dealing with various types of mental illnesses. The essays are all honest and show that the fears and anxieties that many of us have are not as uncommon as we might think. Despite the progress that has been made when it comes to how we treat and react to mental illness, several of the stories also make it clear just how far we have to go since these are issues that many of us are inclined to hide or not know what to do when we're trying to help someone. Whether it be addiction, depression, OCD, PTSD or body image issues, these anecdotes will help readers realize that they are not alone. While some of them provide their own recipes for recovery and healing, not a single contributor claims to have the keys to success, which is a very individual thing. I appreciated that and how sometimes some of the "cures" described here were worst than the problem being addressed. Not only does this book seek to move mental illness out of the shadows, but to begin honest discussion about it. It's hard to miss the links between one's physical health and one's emotional and mental health as well. Many teen readers will find comfort from reading the sharing from favorite authors such as Francesca Lia Block, Aprilynne Pike, Francisco X. Stork, and Sara Zarr, among others.
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  • Carro Herdegen
    January 1, 1970
    Language – R (47 swears + 2 censored swears, 4 “f” + 2 censored “f”), Mature Content – PG13; Violence – PG13; These 31 authors get down into the details of their realities, whether they themselves or those they love deal with mental illnesses. The difficulty for each of these authors to gather courage to share their experiences can be felt in each page as they address topics like anxiety, ADHD, depression, therapy, OCD, self-injury, shame, PTSD, worthlessness, loneliness, and so much more. Each Language – R (47 swears + 2 censored swears, 4 “f” + 2 censored “f”), Mature Content – PG13; Violence – PG13; These 31 authors get down into the details of their realities, whether they themselves or those they love deal with mental illnesses. The difficulty for each of these authors to gather courage to share their experiences can be felt in each page as they address topics like anxiety, ADHD, depression, therapy, OCD, self-injury, shame, PTSD, worthlessness, loneliness, and so much more. Each personal essay has been written for readers to know that they are not alone. You do not suffer alone, and there is hope and happiness in living your life.I think that this book was very well put together because it is so real and it addresses topics that most people shy away from—a problem that is also talked about in these personal essays. These stories are important for everyone to read so that we can better understand how to help each other and ourselves. While the swearing did make this book an “R” rating, I highly recommend this book because of the importance of the message that the authors opened their hearts to share. For me, the message is more important than the rating of this book.Reviewed for https://kissthebook.blogspot.com/
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  • Tasha
    January 1, 1970
    This nonfiction book for teens is a brutally honest look at mental illness and how over thirty well-known authors of young adult books have faced their own struggles. It is a book of short personal tales of how mental illness entered their lives, took them over, turned them upside down. It is a book always though about hope, about tools that work sometimes but not always, drugs that help but may not work for everyone, thought processes that offer glimpses of freedom beyond the illness.This book This nonfiction book for teens is a brutally honest look at mental illness and how over thirty well-known authors of young adult books have faced their own struggles. It is a book of short personal tales of how mental illness entered their lives, took them over, turned them upside down. It is a book always though about hope, about tools that work sometimes but not always, drugs that help but may not work for everyone, thought processes that offer glimpses of freedom beyond the illness.This book is profoundly important for teens. It is a book that took such bravery to write. Almost every story has some taut hesitation in it, to reveal something this private. Each one is a testament to the author’s strength, whether they see it themselves or not. Taken together though is when this book really sings. It is a chorus of voices that say strongly that you can survive. You can thrive. We can do this.Reading this book is an exercise in opening your heart. It belongs in every public library serving teens. It will save lives. Period. Appropriate for ages 13-18.
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  • Renée Samp
    January 1, 1970
    So I didn't actually read this book cover to cover, but I don't think this book if meant to be read that way. Obviously, as noted on the cover, the book is a collection of various narratives from various authors. Each story has a new perspective on various different mental illnesses that the authors have faced either themselves or through a close person in their lives. I recommend reading the chapters that you either have the most interest in or the ones that apply the most to your life or the o So I didn't actually read this book cover to cover, but I don't think this book if meant to be read that way. Obviously, as noted on the cover, the book is a collection of various narratives from various authors. Each story has a new perspective on various different mental illnesses that the authors have faced either themselves or through a close person in their lives. I recommend reading the chapters that you either have the most interest in or the ones that apply the most to your life or the ones of you favorite author (so you can see how this has impacted their writing). Also, I recommend reading this book one narrative at a time because there are some intense narratives that deserve some time to process (for lack of a better word). Because this book deals with a serious topic, I see no shame in not finishing it, but I think everyone can benefit from reading at least a couple narratives.
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