Discussion

I Want to See More: Anxiety

I believe I have been quite open about the fact that I suffer from Anxiety and Depression. In the past year my Anxiety has become progressively worse and being the book nerd I am I have been searching for novels that talk about Anxiety in a real and raw kind of way.

Unfortunately in my search I have not managed to find many books about generalised anxiety. There are loads of books out there that focus on a lot of variations of anxiety (OCD for example) and this is brilliant and I’m not saying that there should be less of those but I would love to see myself reflected in books to help me know I am not completely alone.

Earlier this year I read Under Rose-Tinted Skies by Louise Gornall (Full Review)and this is the closest I’ve come to seeing myself reflected in a book. The thought process of the main character and the habits etc were such a massive comfort to me that it has become a big favourite of mine this year.Β 

When I have been searching for others I have done my usual look at spoiler free reviews and I’m usually disappointed by the fact when I feel I’ve found one the synopsis or a review will show that the boy/girl is saved from the illness by a love interest. This really puts me off picking them up because there is no magic cure, it isn’t like being in a Disney movie where true loves kiss will save you.Β 

The lack of books has actually inspired me to write a book about my own experience over the past year when my anxiety has been kicking my butt! It won’t be a novel but instead it will be a true, real and raw account of my struggle told in various formats (Scenes, poems, anecdotes etc) and I’m hoping this will make others feel as comforted as Under Rose-Tinted Skies did for me.

Even with writing my book and getting it out there it still makes me sad that I can’t see myself in other people’s works. As always I’d love to know your thoughts:

Have you read any great Anxiety novels?

What books do you want to see more of?

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25 thoughts on “I Want to See More: Anxiety

  1. Omg I literally just did a blog post about anxiety and depression! I think we posted at the same time lol. I have actually never read anything where there is anxiety/depression. There has been elements, but it kind of ends up getting forgotten about. Like when MC has PTSD and then towards the end of the book it’s like they have been cured because they were saved by their love interest. I would LOVE to read your book, I think it would really, really help others out there who suffer from the same thing.

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    1. I hate when they’re saved by Love – like that actually happens irl! I’ll have to check out your post on my lunch break πŸ™‚
      I’m planning on self publishing the book next year it’s just a first draft at the moment and if I read it back now it would probably just be a jumble of words lol

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      1. Well I’d be very interested in reading it 😊 Lol I think first draft is always a bit of a mess, I guess that’s where the joys of editing come in. I always thought about writing a book with characters who suffer from anxiety/depression, but didn’t know how to do it without making it really dark. I think books where the MC saves themself is the best example 😊

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      2. I wasn’t sure how to put it in a novel type form so that’s why I chose to do it as a non-fictions mish-mash of poetry, anecdotes, memories etc I knew I had to do it because I want people to know they’re not alone but putting it down as a novel would have been a bit tricky.

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  2. I understand what you mean, I suffer from anxiety too and can never seem to find any books I can relate to. People keep recommending Finding Aubrey by Sophie Kinsella, I’ve never read it but it seemed a little childish to me.

    Anyway I really want to try Under Rose-Tinted Skies, I hope it’s something I can relate to too. Good luck on your book, it would be nice to read something by someone who actually gets it, you know.

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  3. I suffer from a couple different mental illnesses one being an anxiety disorder…. Are you looking for a true book about a living person? Or are you looking for a fiction novel. I HIGHLY recommend Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. That book made me realize I am not alone, and while Jenny suffers from more than anxiety she lays it all out on the line in that book. Some of it funny some of it sad… If you are looking for a guy that doesn’t save the girl read Pull Me Close by Sidney Halston. Yes it is a romance but let me tell you this ladies anxiety attacks mirrored my own so much I cried. While there is a guy he doesn’t save her, she saves herself. She has an attack when she meets him and realizes she can no longer function as a human so she seeks help. She doesn’t even get cured in the end!! sorry spoiler alert. So he doesn’t fix her, she wants to fix herself.
    Anxiety will be an ongoing battle for the rest of my life. Some months/days/years good some really bad. It’s good to know other people suffer from it to, it makes you feel less alone. If you feel comfortable putting yourself out there in book form then go ahead! We need more people talking about mental illness, it needs to not be referenced in straight jacket jokes. We also need to realize that not all mental illnesses are the same for everyone. So my anxiety may be completely different from yours. So I say write the book or blog posts, I would definitely read them!

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    1. I don’t mind if it’s about a fictional character or a real person I think that the delivery is more important to me at this stage because I feel so isolated and un-represented.
      Thank you so much for your recommendations I’ve added them to my list of books to add to my TBR, though Furiously Happy was already on there.
      I can relate as Anxiety and Depression is going to be something I battle all my life too.

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  4. I think it’s awesome that you’re writing a book about your own experience! I suffer from anxiety and depression too, and like you, have struggled to find books which reflect my experiences. I found Under Rose Tainted Skies very relatable too. The only other book about anxiety I have read is Finding Audrey, and whilst I could definitely relate to the main character, I did feel that it was slightly along the lines of ‘romance saves girl from mental illness’. One book I would really recommend is Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne (it’s the first book in the trilogy we were talking about the other day on my post about What’s a Girl Gotta Do?). The main character Evie has OCD, rather than generalised anxiety, but I still found a lot of her thought processes and the way her anxieties affect her everyday life very relatable. I’d like to be able to find more books about characters with depression too, as they seem to be pretty hard to come by – have you read any?

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    1. It really does make me sad when authors end up a book about anxiety with love saving the day, it makes me feel even more isolated than I would’ve done before reading it. I am loved (I have a good family unit and I’m engaged to my partner of 4 years) but unfortunately that isn’t enough to “save me”.
      I think I have Am I Normal Yet on my wishlist so I’ll have to bump it up a little or more it to the books I want to buy list.
      Thank you for commenting, I’m loving the amount of people reaching out because of this post I think it’s important to talk about it freely so others don’t feel the shame I used to feel about it.

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      1. Absolutely agree – it’s damaging for us, because we wonder why we still feel like this, even though we have people who love us, and it’s damaging for the people who love us, because they wonder why they can’t ‘save’ us. I really hope you enjoy Am I Normal Yet if you decide to pick it up πŸ™‚ And you’re so welcome, thank you for writing it – posts like this make me feel less alone.

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  5. I’m so sorry your anxiety has been more of a struggle this year. I really admire how open you are about your struggles with anxiety, I’m sure you are an inspiration to other bloggers who also suffer from anxiety.

    While I’m glad you found a book that you see yourself in, it is not acceptable that you have only found ONE.

    ” I’m usually disappointed by the fact when I feel I’ve found one the synopsis or a review will show that the boy/girl is saved from the illness by a love interest. This really puts me off picking them up because there is no magic cure, it isn’t like being in a Disney movie where true loves kiss will save you.”

    I felt this way about Finding Audrey by Sophia Kinsella. While I appreciate that Sophia Kinsella attempted to center a book around a character who struggles with anxiety and depression, I felt that she is guilty of having the love interest “cure” the main character.

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    1. I’m hoping to stumble across more than one but not many deal with generalised Anxiety it’s usually the very specific kinds like OCD which is great and I’m really glad people with OCD are being represented but it just makes me a little sad sometimes that I can’t see myself in books.
      I’ve heard that a lot about Finding Audrey so I might try to give that one a miss.

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  6. I’ve been searching for some more real portrayals of anxiety and depression as well, I’m currently reading Under rose tinted skies and really loving it but there are so many books I’ve read that have had a boy come and magically fix everything and no that doesn’t happen (at least not in anyone I’ve known in real life) I’ve read some non fiction on Anxiety and depression and it’s done in a real and hard to read way but I’d like to see it portrayed in YA more too. It’s amazing you’ll be writing about your own struggles and stregths it’s a hard thing to do but I hope you knock it out of the park!

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  7. That’s so awesome! I know I’m already preparing blog posts for next year that feature more of the books I want to see rather then the super hyped ones and also some more own voices books, it needs to be talked about more so writers and publishers know there’s an audience here waiting for these types of books. I just finished under rose tinted skies and I loved it so much it has to be my fave book about anxiety and such an accurate portrayal, I am no where near as severe as Norah but a lot of her thoughts and feelings were just so real for me and the authors note made me even happier I picked up that book. I can’t wait to read some of your work when you’re ready to share it with the world ❀️

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