muniemoe's review against another edition
I believe that this collection could be a helpful tool for two reasons, 1) it could help teens who struggle with mental illness to read from people who have had some of the same struggles and 2) it can help make other teens be more empathetic to their peers who do have to deal with anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc.
One of the main mental illnesses discussed in this collection is anxiety, and it was interesting to read how anxiety manifests differently for different people and in varying degrees. While I was aware of that it was still interesting to read from someone's first had experience on what that is like and how they have learned to live with their anxiety, especially when they have episodes that are particularly bad.
Another mental illness that is the theme of a good chunk of these essays is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which I also did not realize can be manifested in different ways. It was also interesting to see how depression and/or anxiety are often linked to OCD.
One issue that was discussed in a couple of the essays, particularly the essays by Melissa Marr and Ellen Hopkins was PTSD, and again how different issues can contribute to PTSD. For example, Ellen Hopkins' essay focuses on her grandson, who her and her husband adopted (along with his siblings), because their mother is a drug addict and how they had to deal with his anger issues that were a result of PTSD from growing up in the home of an addict who was neglectful and abusive, as well as being separated from his mother. She also details how that was affecting him, but also how it affected the rest of the family. Another essay that dealt with PTSD was by Melissa Marr, who was attacked twice, once in a situation where she should have been safe and how she knows that people view her fears as irrational, and how she even recognizes that to some degree but there is very little she can do except put into practice the coping mechanisms that she has come up with in order to help settle her thoughts and make her feel somewhat safe.
Overall, this was a really good read, I enjoyed reading about the different experiences with mental illnesses and even the stigma that sometimes comes along with them. I highly recommend this for anyone who wants to read the first-hand experiences of individuals who have learned to live with their particular mental illnesses. 4/5 Stars.
Graphic: Addiction, Alcoholism, Child abuse, Drug abuse, Mental illness, Grief, and Panic attacks/disorders
Moderate: Domestic abuse, Self harm, Violence, Physical abuse, Schizophrenia/Psychosis , Death, Emotional abuse, and Suicidal thoughts
Why not five stars? 31 stories seemed like about ten too many. I found myself thinking "your story isn't that different from hie/her story" so I ended up skipping a few and started reading only the essays by authors I knew.
I don't necessarily know if this work will appeal to the teen reader, especially because many of the life issues discussed in this book are more relevant to adults. I think this book would be perfect for a new adult reader, who has more autonomy in their life and can better relate to the work, husband, kid, issues brought up through these essays.