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Young adults: Mental health

Written by · Published Jun 5, 2018

To reserve any of the following books for teenagers and young adults about mental health to your local library, click on the links to reserve them from our online catalogue, visit any of our libraries, or contact us on 01473 351249 or help@suffolklibraries.co.uk

You can sign up for a library card online for free. You can sign your child up for a library card at any age.

See also:

General mental health

Dear Katie, by Katie Thistleton, Radha Modgil & Sally Angel

“Growing up is hard. This book makes it a little bit easier. Exploring the sometimes challenging issues everyone faces as part of growing up, Katie answers questions from real kids and teens with real issues. From falling outs with friends to disagreements with family, trouble at school to concerns about mental or physical health, Katie covers every topic with thoughtful and emotionally sensitive advice that will resonate with readers.

“With additional guidance from TV and radio doctor Radha Modgil, as well as psychotherapist Sally Angel, this book is full of advice and guidance to help kids through the difficult years of growing up.”

It’s All in your Head, by Rae Earl

“What I hope you take away from this book: good Mexican food deserves to go viral; good underwear never features the word ‘string’; good mental health is the single most important thing you need to live a happy life.

“I don’t have a psychology degree - in fact, I once tried to throw a typewriter at a child psychiatrist (this was in the days before MacBook pros) - but I do have experience, understanding and coping mechanisms to help you get your sh*t together. From anxiety and eating disorders to OCD and psychosis, I want to help break down taboos surrounding mental health conditions (which directly affect 1 in 4 of us each year - you are NOT alone) and help you come out the other side happier and healthier.”

Mind Your Head, by Juno Dawson, Olivia Hewitt & Gemma Correll

“We all have a mind, so we all need to take care of our mental health as much as we need to take care of our physical health. And the first step is being able to talk about our mental health.

“Juno Dawson leads the way with this frank, factual and funny book, with added information and support from clinical psychologist Dr Olivia Hewitt. Covering topics from anxiety and depression to addiction, self-harm and personality disorders, Juno and Olivia talk clearly and supportively about a range of issues facing young people’s mental health - whether fleeting or long-term - and how to manage them, with real-life stories from young people around the world.”

The Teenage Guide to Stress, by Nicola Morgan

“Nicola Morgan is something of an authority on the teenage brain and is often invited to schools and colleges to speak on the subject. She came up with the idea of The Teenage Guide to Stress because so many parents and teenagers contacted her for advice and help.

“The book is divided into three sections: Section one explains what stress is and looks at the ways teenage stress is different. Section two deals with a number of issues that affect teenagers - from anger, depression and sexual relationships to cyber-bullying, exams and eating disorders - and offers guidance and advice, as well as looking at how pre-existing conditions such as OCD and dyslexia are affected by adolescence. Section three is concerned with how to deal with and prevent the symptoms of stress, as well as healthy ways of looking after your mind and body.”

Open Your Mind: your world and your future, by Gemma Cairney

“Full of honest and practical advice from Gemma Cairney and a whole host of trained professionals and real people, Open Your Mind is the best friend of a book everyone needs. From stress, trauma, and anxiety, to your place in the world and everything in between. It includes chapters on anxiety, depression, addiction, politics, our natural world, and feminism.”

Under Rose-tainted Skies, by Louise Gornall

“Norah is confined by agoraphobia: for her, the outside is a glimpse of sky. But a chance encounter with Luke, her next-door neighbour, changes everything. Determined to be the girl she thinks Luke deserves - a ‘normal’ girl - Norah’s love and bravery opens a window to unexpected truths.”

Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes?, by Holly Bourne

“Welcome to Camp Reset, a summer camp with a difference. A place offering a shot at ‘normality’ for Olive, a girl on the edge, and for the new friends she never expected to make - who each have their own reasons for being there. Luckily Olive has a plan to solve all their problems. But how do you fix the world when you can’t fix yourself?”

The Rest of Us Just Live Here, by Patrick Ness

“This bold, irreverent novel powerfully asks what if you weren’t the ‘chosen one’? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? What if you were like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up his high school. Again. Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life. Even if your best friend might just be the God of mountain lions!”

Depression

Am I Depressed and What Can I Do About It? A CBT self-help guide for teenagers experiencing low mood and depression, by Shirley Reynolds & Monika Parkinson

“Depression is one of the most common mental health problems and is estimated to affect around 15% of people at some point during their life. For many people depression is a life-long disorder which starts during the teenage years - around 10% of teenagers are estimated to have an episode of depression and many more experience persistent low mood.

“This accessible, engaging and age-appropriate self-help guide based on current research and best practice for young people aged 13 to 17 who experience low mood and depression, and their friends, family and health professionals.”

Night Shift, by Debi Gliori

“With mainly black and white illustration and deceptively simple text, author and illustrator Debi Gliori examines how depression affects one’s whole outlook upon life, and shows that there can be an escape - it may not be easy to find, but it is there.”

Panther, by David Owen

“Life isn’t going terribly well for Derrick; he’s become severely overweight, his only friend has turned on him, he’s hopelessly in love with a girl way out of his league, and it’s all because of his sister. Her depression, and its grip on his family, is tearing his life apart.

“When rumours start to circulate that a panther is roaming wild in his south London suburb, Derrick resolves to capture it. Surely if he can find a way to tame this beast, he’ll be able to stop everything at home from spiralling towards disaster?”

Anxiety

My Anxious Mind: a teen’s guide to managing anxiety and panic, by Michael A. Tompkins, Katherine Martinez & Michael Sloan

My Anxious Mind outlines a simple and proven plan to help you understand and deal with your anxiety and panic. It is full of simple-to-use tools and strategies that easily fit into any teen’s busy routine.”

Dear Evan Hansen: the novel, by Val EMmich, Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul

“When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a family’s grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell, that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend.

“Suddenly, Evan isn’t invisible anymore. And Connor’s parents, with their beautiful home on the other side of town, have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his ‘closest friend’. As Evan gets pulled deeper into their family, he knows that what he’s doing can’t be right, but if he’s helping people, how wrong can it be?

“No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose. He’s confident. He’s a viral phenomenon. Until everything is in danger of unravelling and he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself.”

Running on Empty, by S. E. Durrant

“AJ’s grandfather has always been the one to keep his unusual family together, so when he dies things start to unravel at the edges. AJ is worried about his parents but they don’t really seem to notice.

“In order to deal with his grief and to keep his anxiety at bay, AJ does what he and his grandfather did best: running. Round and round the Olympic Park, aiming for the nationals, running to escape, AJ only seems to be heading ever closer to disaster.”

Optimists Die First, by Susin Neilsen

“Petula has avoided friendship and happiness ever since tragedy struck her family and took her beloved younger sister Maxine. Worse, Petula blames herself. If only she’d kept an eye on her sister, if only she’d sewn the button Maxine choked on better, if only. Now her anxiety is getting out of control, she is forced to attend the world’s most hopeless art therapy class.

“But one day, in walks the Bionic Man: a charming, amazingly tall newcomer called Jacob, who is also an amputee. Petula’s ready to freeze him out, just like she did with her former best friend, but when she’s paired with Jacob for a class project, there’s no denying they have brilliant ideas together - ideas like remaking Wuthering Heights with cats. But Petula and Jacob each have desperately painful secrets in their pasts - and when the truth comes out, there’s no way Petula is ready for it.”

Body image and eating disorders

Can I Tell You About Eating Disorders? A guide for friends, family and professionals, by Bryan Lask, Lucy Watson & Fiona Field

“Meet Alice - a teenage girl with anorexia nervosa. Alice invites readers to learn about anorexia nervosa and how it makes her see herself differently from how other people see her. She also introduces readers to Beth who has bulimia nervosa, Sam who has selective eating problems, Francesca who has functional dysphagia and Freddie who has food avoidance emotional disorder. They all explain why they find food difficult and how their eating disorders are different.”

Banish Your Body Image Thief: a cognitive behavioural therapy workbook on building positive body image for your people, by Kate Collins-Donnelly

“The body image thief is a sneaky character - if you’re not careful, he’ll steal away all your positive feelings about your body from your ‘Body Image Vault’, leaving only the negative ones behind. How can you banish him? Fortify your vault with positive self-beliefs so he can’t break in!”

Tyranny: I keep you thin, by Lesley Fairfield

“One day, horrified by her reflection in the mirror, Anna makes a life-changing decision - that food is the enemy. Her obsession with being thin and beautiful will now dominate her every waking and sleeping hour.”

ADHD

Putting on the Brakes: understanding and taking control of your ADD or ADHD, by Patricia O. Quinn & Judith M. Stern

“Written by two nationally recognized ADHD experts, Putting on the Brakes is loaded with practical ways to improve organizational, focusing, studying, and homework skills and contains more strategies for making friends, controlling emotions, and being healthy. This book gives kids with ADHD the tools for success in and out of school and helps them to feel empowered to be the best they can be!”

The Definition of Us, by Sarah Harris

“Florence is pretty sure she’s not got much in common with the other patients at Manor Lane Diagnostic & Therapy Centre. Wilf has ADHD and a tendency to punch doors, Andrew’s ASD means he likes to run to a schedule as precise as a Japanese train, and Jasper would be far too perky if it wasn’t for his moods at mealtimes.

“It’s only when Howard Green, the centre’s psychotherapist, goes missing that they start to share some common ground. They’ve told Howard things they’ve never told anyone before. They trusted him and were making progress. Starting again with someone else is an unbearable prospect. Together the four of them decide that they need answers and set off on a road trip, vowing to track him down.”

OCD

Breaking Free from OCD: a CBT guide for young people and their families, by Jo Derisley

“OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder, is a potentially life-long debilitating disorder, which often emerges during teenage years. This step-by-step guide uses the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy and is written for adolescents with OCD and their families, to be used in home treatment or as a self-help book.”

History Is All You Left Me, by Adam Silvera

“OCD-afflicted seventeen-year-old, Griffin, has just lost his first love - his best friend, ex-boyfriend and the boy he believed to be his ultimate life partner - in a drowning accident. In a desperate attempt to hold onto every last piece of the past, a broken Griffin forges a friendship with Theo’s new college boyfriend, Jackson. And Griffin will stop at nothing to learn every detail of Theo’s new college life, and ultimate death.

“But as the grieving pair grows closer, readers will question Griffin’s own version of the truth - both in terms of what he’s willing to hide, and what true love ultimately means.”

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, by Teresa Toten

“When Adam meets Robyn at a support group for kids coping with obsessive-compulsive disorder, he is drawn to her almost before he can take a breath. He’s determined to protect and defend her, to play Batman to her Robin, whatever the cost.

“But when you’re 14 and the everyday problems of dealing with divorced parents and step-siblings are supplemented by the challenges of OCD, it’s hard to imagine yourself falling in love.”

Clean, by Juno Dawson

“Meet the patients of the Clarity Centre: Kendall, the trans anorexic model-wannabe, vicodin addict Saif, OCD hoarder Guy, over-eater Ruby, washed-up reality TV survivor Brady, and last but definitely not least, spoiled heiress Lexi Volkov.

“Lexi hit rock bottom. After almost overdosing in a penthouse suite her brother stages an intervention and takes her to the Clarity facility for troubled young people. After a gruelling and painful detox, Lexi enters group therapy and meets her fellow ‘inmates’. Through her therapy sessions and a ten step programme, Lexi gradually opens up about her destructive life.”

All the Things that could go Wrong, by Stewart Foster

“Dan is angry. Nothing has been the same since his big brother left, and he’s taking it out on the nearest and weakest target: Alex.

“Alex is struggling. His severe OCD makes it hard for him to leave the house, especially when Dan and his gang are waiting for him at school…

“Then the boys’ mums arrange for them to meet up and finish building the raft that Dan started with his brother. Two enemies stuck together for the whole of the school holidays – what could possibly go wrong?”

Am I Normal Yet?, by Holly Bourne

“Evie, Amber and Lottie: three girls facing down tough issues with the combined powers of friendship, feminism and cheesy snacks. Both hilarious and heart-rending, this is Evie’s no-holds-barred story of struggling to live a ‘normal’ teen life in the grip of OCD.”

Sophie Green

Sophie Green

I work for the Suffolk Libraries stock team. I also write children’s fiction, short stories and comedy. Visit my website.