jwinchell's review

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4.0

At first I couldn't get enough of this collection. I read a few essays at a time and thought a lot about my own struggles with anxiety and depression. The essays about bipolar disorder and OCD were particularly illuminating for me. But then, about 2/3 through, I felt like every essay bled into the next (except for Francisco X. Stork's); I think this collection could have used some serious editing, especially because I'd never heard of so many of the authors. Still, an important contribution to most collections for young people.

jecinwv's review

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4.0

This was a wonderful, open, and safe collection of short stories about authors real-life struggles with a variety of mental health issues. While this is marketed for teens, the authors stories span from childhood into adulthood. Most of these were relatable. Some made me cry. Some made me super glad to have all the support I do. I think the messages in here are various and wonderful. This is a book of hope. Among it all I was also surprised to see Amber Benson who played Tara in Buffy The Vampire Slayer wrote in this. Also, a student from my Alma mater WVU.

calypsogilstrap's review

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4.0

Great nonfiction addition to any collection but especially great read for those with anxiety, depression, or other mental health days that are not the best. I loved this!

alesserrain's review

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inspiring reflective

3.5

muniemoe's review against another edition

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5.0

This book giving me an insight of people who is in a battle with their mental health. And how they face it bravely. This book is a must read for a people who might think they are lost and alone in this world.

jazzyjan94's review

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4.0

Life Inside My Mind was an interesting read because it is a collection of essays written by thirty-one authors who discuss their personal struggles with mental illness. Each author does their best to describe their particular struggles, and they don't hold back. Each essay is very much a testimony of the realities of life with mental illness, and is a great reminder for those who do have these struggles that they are not alone. Several of the authors provide tips on what worked with them in coping with their particular struggles, others go in depth and talk about what goes through their mind when they are struggling with depression, anxiety, etc. Some of the authors that contributed to this collection include Francesca Lia Block, Melissa Marr, Maureen Johnson, Jennifer L. Armentrout and Ellen Hopkins.

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.

deathmetalpainter's review

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challenging dark emotional hopeful informative inspiring sad tense fast-paced

4.0

This collection of essays about mental illness is sometimes reassuring in that what you might be experiencing is more common than you might think. But it also might trigger you into a panic because some situations are so similar to your own. It's enlightening in the way one shines a torch into a closet containing corpses. This is the real pandemic: the mass trauma of a capitalist slave culture obsessed with flaunting progress and status at the expense of our own humanity. I'm grateful for the apocalypse: the great revealing of what we tried to ignore. Take all the time you need, because you've given up enough already.

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annebennett1957's review

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4.0

Excellent collection should be found in every high school library in the land. All 31 of the authors open up about their own struggles related to mental illness, either personal or related to a close friend or family member. Some of their stories were heart-breaking, all of them hopeful. I want to get this book into the hands of several people I know who I think wold benefit from it.

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.

sc104906's review

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4.0

In this collection of essays, several authors give insight into how mental illness has impacted their lives. While some essays focus on their personal struggle with mental illness, others express the impacts of friends and family with mental illness. This work created a well-rounded look at the ripple effect of mental illness within our lives and in society. Authors explain their journey to mental health and provide concrete explanations of what works for them currently. There is a strong focus on using prescription drugs to achieve health, this may turn some off, but I believe that it is all part of the process.

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.

alynic93's review

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I’ve come to realize I don’t like short story collections. Although some of the short stories may be good, there are too many misses that I feel obligated to get through. I wasn’t enjoying myself.