This Book is Making me Nervous – Novels that Feature Characters with Anxiety Disorder

Mental illness on screen is really difficult for me to see especially anxiety attacks and the like.:

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I think that we, as a society, have come a long away in beginning to lose the stigma associated with mental illness, but we obviously still have a ways to go. It is hard for people who don’t deal with it on a daily basis to understand, so I thought I’d share some books that I thought realistically portrayed what it’s like to live with an anxiety disorder. These are characters that made me feel understood and could maybe help others understand what it’s like.

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Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Sam suffers from not just anxiety, but Purely-Obsessional OCD. I can not even begin to tell you how much of myself I saw in her (to the point where I think maybe I have some form of undiagnosed OCD). This book is raw and real and was so identifiable to me that I often had to put the book down because it was making me so emotional.

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The Real Thing by Cassie Mae

Because this book is NA, I obviously had some issues with it, but I really loved pretty much everything that had to do with Eric. He’s insecure about his weight, has anxiety attacks, and doesn’t like to be touched (FYI – I identify with each thing in that list). I thought Mae did a great job of realistically portraying what it’s like to live with anxiety. I also think she handled the treatment of it much better than most books that have anxiety prone characters. Eric has coping techniques, family support, therapy, and medication.

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Crash into You by Katie McGarry

I’m not a huge fan of Katie McGarry books, but this one is one of my favorites of hers – primarily because the main character, Rachel, deals with anxiety. I don’t really remember enough about the story to say much about it, but I thought it was a pretty realistic portrayal.

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I have read a few reviews about how people don’t like Cath because they were frustrated with her behavior. However, I loved Cath, because I understood her behavior. I have so many highlighted passages of things that Cath says that are just so relatable to someone who lives with anxiety. While I will always recommend Rainbow Rowell’s work to everyone for every reason, this is definitely one to read to help broaden your mental health awareness horizons.

What are some books you’ve enjoyed that include characters with anxiety or other mental health issues?

I'm diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety and Panic Disorder with Associated Agoraphobia. It's real, and it sucks, but medication has given me back my life. You are not alone. Get psychiatric help... it's worth it. I promise.:

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8 thoughts on “This Book is Making me Nervous – Novels that Feature Characters with Anxiety Disorder

  1. Great post! It is awesome that authors are addressing mental health issues. People need educated on what these disorders are and how it effects someones daily life. I am going to check out some of these books.

  2. One of my goals in my writing life is to write a story about what it’s like living with mental health problems. It’s good that there are some out there, though I hasn’t come across any myself, but there needs to be more. Fiction is a powerful way of increasing awareness.

    • I think that’s a great goal! I love when I come across a story with a character that suffers from the same things I do. And I also find it really interesting to read about other things that I don’t know much about. I think that in the past couple years there have been a lot more books like this, but it’s still a small percentage.

  3. Pingback: May 2016 Recap | Stephanie's Book Reviews

  4. Pingback: Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag | Stephanie's Book Reviews

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