(Don’t) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation About Mental Health edited by Kelly Jensen is a collection of essays, poems, and art on how bestselling authors, actors, and artist have coped and thrived with mental illness. This is a very important anthology. It covers mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, trichotillomania, eating disorders, bipolar issues, PTSD, and many more.
This isn’t about the science or trying to find a cure. This is more about experiences. Everyone writes about their struggle with their illness. Some of it is how their illness has affected their lives, from misdiagnosis to popular stigmas. There are discussions about defining words, the language used by others, not letting words define you as a person, and how you are not your mental illness. Also, how people found help, and how they still work with their health today. There are authors that recommend other titles, fiction or non-fiction if the reader would like to continue their education and learn more. And even some helpful meditations.
This was a tough review to write and I don’t know if I have given it the proper write up it deserves. I highlighted many phrases or descriptions that clicked. Some of the most relatable works in this anthology for me were, The Train of Overthinking by Gemma Correll; this cartoon, for me, perfectly represents getting stuck in the loop of negative thoughts and Black Hole by Victoria V. E. Schwab which just made me feel less alone about getting stuck inside my head.
I wish I had something like this when I was a teen. Some books and movies put a Hollywood spin on some illness or just completely got it wrong. This anthology allows realistic representation and helps suffer feel less alone. You don’t have a mental illness but maybe you know someone who has or is currently going through some stuff and all I can ask is read this. It can help you have a better understanding, a little more compassion, and start conversations.
ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. (Don’t) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation About Mental Health edited by Kelly Jensen will be published by Algonquin Young Readers on October 2nd, 2018.