This annotated list is meant to help teens find information about different types of mental health illnesses through the New York Public Library’s catalog. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 teens live with a mental health condition (“Teens and Young Adults,” para 1). Instead of choosing one specific mental disorder, the list features resources on various disorders to allow for an all-inclusive guide. Some of the resources include fictional books because the portrayal of life with a specific illness is so poignant that it allows suffering teenagers to relate and not feel alone.
Non Fiction Books
Being Me With OCD: How I Learned to Obsess Less and Live My Life by Alison Dotson
In this memoir Dotson opens up about her life with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Throughout the book she shares her struggles, along with stories of other young adults with OCD. Dotson also includes information about the disorder, including things like symptoms, therapy, and medication. While these are helpful resources and firsthand experiences are a great starting point for anyone with the disorder, it is important to keep in mind that Dotson is not a professional. Take it out here at NYPL
Facing bipolar disorder: the young adult’s guide to dealing with Bipolar Disorder by Russ Federman and J Anderson Thompson
Out of order : young adult manual of mental illness and recovery : mental illnesses, personality disorders, learning problems, intellectual disabilities & treatment and recovery by Dale Carlson and Micheal Bower
This nonjudgmental manual offers teens a basic understanding of different mental illnesses and ways to treat them. The book is separated in four parts that include self-test questions, a mental health dictionary and useful resources. Take it out here at NYPL
Rae: [my true story of fear, anxiety, and social phobia] by Chelsea Rae Swiggett, edited by Deborah Reber.
This autobiography chronicles the journey of a girl who struggles to seem normal as she suffers from extreme anxiety. Her debilitating social anxiety makes it difficult for her to attend school, and she later develops an eating disorder in addition to it. Anyone whose ever suffered from severe anxiety and stress will relate to her story. Take it out here at NYPL
Cameron and the Girls by Edward Averett
Cameron suffers from schizophreniform disorder, an unusual form of temporary schizophrenia that is usually resolved by adulthood. The 14-year-old decides to secretly stop taking his medication so that a flirty female voice can stay in his head, and finds himself in an unusual love triangle with the voice and an actual girl in his class who suffers from clinical depression. The novel shows the internal struggles many teens face when they take medication and the dangerous consequences that can happen when they take matters into their own hands. Take it out here at NYPL
Cut by Patricia McCormick
Callie is a 13-year-old girl who is in a residential treatment facility for her cutting disorder. While she is at first confused and silent, she slowly begins to recognize the connection between family problems and her own self-mutilation, and this allows her to work toward healing. Take it out here at NYPL
Spinning Out by David Stahler Jr
When high school seniors Frenchy and Stewart are both cast in the school play, Frenchy notices that Stewart starts acting differently, becoming almost obsessed with the role. This book is a great resource for teen who have friends who suffer from mental illness, since it is told through Frenchy’s eyes as he desperately tries to help his friend who is at the onset of schizophrenia. Take it out here at NYPL
Tyranny by Leslie Fairfield
This graphic novel tells the story of Anna and “Tyranny,” the demon inside her who causes her anorexia. After Anna asks “How did I get here?” on the first page, readers see through haunting black-and-white drawings the story of her descent into illness and her triumphant journey towards help. Take it out here at NYPL
National Alliance on Mental Illness – website
The National Alliance on Mental Illness’ (NAMI) Teen and Young Adults section helps teens find local support groups and get information that is useful to the age group. It uses colorful, easy-to-read infographics about identifying symptoms and ways to ask for help, and has a section on how to manage your mental health disorder while in college.
OK2TALK – blog
This blog was started by NAMI, and allows teens to use their own voices by posting their thoughts and experiences with mental illness. It is a way to see that you are not alone in the world and connect with other teens in a safe space.
Teen Mental Health.org – website
This website gives out information on different mental disorders as well as understanding and dealing with the stigma that comes with them. It offers videos of first-hand accounts from different teens and has a “toolbox” section filled with different resources like downloadable books, pamphlets, and apps for free or low charge.
Transitions – App
One of the many resources available from Teen Mental Health.org, Transitions is a downloadable app meant to help transition teens from high school to college. It offers a guide to mental health self-help tips and also provides information and resources for several topics, including suicide, healthy relationships, addictions, and mental health.
Adams, L. (2000). Cut [Book Review] Horn Book Magazine, 76(6), 759.
Baccellia, K. (2012, August). Top 10: Books dealing with mental illness [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/2012/08/top-10-books-dealing-with-mental-illness-guest-post-by-kim-baccellia/
Brinkman, Antoinette. (2010, January). Federman, Russ & J. Anderson Thompson, Jr., M.D. Facing Bipolar: The Young Adult’s Guide to Dealing with Bipolar Disorder. [Book review] Xpress Reviews, p. Xpress Reviews, Jan 29, 2010.
Cameron and the Girls. (2013). [Book Review]. Publishers Weekly, 260(7), 66.
Diman, K. (2013, December). Carlson, Dale & Michael Bower. Out of Order: Young Adult Manual of Mental Illness and Recovery [Book review]. School Library Journal, 59(12), 145.
Follos, A. (2013). Cameron and the Girls [Book Review]. School Library Journal, 59(4), 156.
Jensen, K. (2014, May). Lists of lists: Teens and mental health resources [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/2014/05/list-of-lists-teens-and-mental-health-resources/
Lipinski, A. (2010, March). Fairfield, Lesley. Tyranny [Book review]. School Library Journal, 56(3), 184+.
Poynor, J. (2014, June). Dotson, Alison. Being Me with OCD: How I Learned to Obsess Less and Live My Life [Book review]. School Library Journal, 60(6), 144.
“ReachOut Reads Interview: David Stahler, Author of ‘Spinning Out.'”(2011, May). Retrieved from http://us.reachout.com/blog/interview-david-stahler-spinning-out-reachout-reads
“Teens & Young Adults.” National Alliance on Mental Illness. Retrieved from http://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Teens-Young-Adults
Tyranny. (2009). [Book Review]. Kirkus Reviews, 77(18), 167.
Yutzey, S. D., & Glantz, S. s. (2014). Dotson, Alison. Being Me with OCD [Book review]. Library Media Connection, 33(3), 71.