Living with Mental Health

Mental Health is an invisible illness that many people shy away from talking about. I have lived with my invisible illness for 5 years, and I think it's time to talk. From counselling, to art therapy, you name it I have tried it. I have fought a war with self harm and I have the battle scars to prove it. One statement I am always presented with is 'but you seem so happy', and that my friends is how I live my day to day life, I hide and I seek comfort from books. This brings me back to the main topic off this article, how do 'Young Adult' novels help people like me cope with Mental Health issues.

Young Adult Novels

Over the past few years YA (Young Adult) books have become more and more popular and they often feature characters struggling with mental health issues. These novels allow for the reader to immerse themselves within the world of these characters, and take a journey with them to understand there Mental state better. For each individual these stories will effect them differently, but each reader will take a lesson from it, even if it just makes them feel as if they are not alone. Suffering from an illness that can not be seen, can often make for a very lonely existence. Therefore, by feeling as if you are taking a journey with these characters, we often learn to deal with out own issues.

This often creates a space in our heart for an author who has been able to show us there really is hope on the out side of our dark and foggy lives.

Dealing with Self Harm

Self Harm is a completely different battle all together. We go to extreme extents to hide it and cover our tracks. However, sometimes it is inevitable that someone will find out and you then have to try explain it to them.

Through experience off my own, I have found it extremely hard to explain to someone that you are in so much pain that to cause pain to yourself is the only way to cope. Through reading many books with the protagonist dealing with mental illnesses and also self harm, these stories have helped me to explain to my loved ones why my last resort is often to hurt myself.

Books such as "The Manifesto of how to be Interesting" and "All the Bright Places" have put my feelings in to words form me and made moving on and seeking help an easier process. So to all the authors who have helped myself and others in my situation; thank you for turning this taboo subject in to something that isn't so scary anymore.