Mental Health Monday is a weekly post from bloggers, authors and everyday people who wish to share their mental health stories and struggles. Check out here for more information.
I’m so excited for this weeks guest. Jamie is one of my favorite people and such an amazing friend. I know if I need to talk about books, or need advice in regards to my blog she’s one message away. I know I could reach out if I needed someone to just listen about life. I had the pleasure of meeting her and some other wonderful bloggers in Toronto this year, and I can’t wait to hang out with her again. You guys NEED to go to her blog and send her lots of love. On Twitter too. Just send her love everywhere!
Without further ado, my magnificent friend Jamie.
When Sarah first pitched the idea of writing a post about mental illness, my first thought was to do a post on recommending books that talk about the specific mental illnesses that I have that are shown accurately and also sensitively. But, to be honest, there are not a lot that I have read because they are either 1. bad representations or 2. not out yet. So I decided to take a different approach and talk to you about Depictions of Therapy in Media.
As someone who has multiple conditions (bipolar disorder, ADD, and anxiety disorder), I see a therapist on a monthly basis. I do it over the phone because travelling is inconvenient with my job and I find it helpful to be able to pace around while talking. I also get to do it in the comfort of my own home which makes it easier for me. I don’t think therapy is for everyone, but I do think that therapy gets a bad reputation in the media. It is usually seen as something that characters are forced to go to and in the end, it doesn’t really help them because they can “fix themselves” or “know themselves well enough” that pshaw who needs a professional’s opinion? And while this may be okay for some people and some conditions, I could definitely NOT live without therapy.
Therapy is highly stigmatized and if you announce to people that you go to therapy, you’re usually met with “oh you must be crazy.” Which, in and of itself, drives me up the wall. But I digress. Going to a therapist does not make you “crazy” or “in a bad place” or “dangerous” or ANYTHING ELSE. Just like when you see a doctor about a cold, you see a therapist to help you with the mental illness that you have. This is not to say that EVERYONE should go see a therapist, but it is nice to have someone who knows about your condition and can help you in an appropriate way rather than just saying “well if you started looking on the bright side of things!” (*grumbles*)
Here are some books that I have read recently that showcase therapy in a POSITIVE way. Even if the main character started out feeling apprehensive about therapy, by the end they realized that therapy was the right choice for them. I hope you all take the time to learn more about therapy and it’s many positive uses before taking media portrayals of therapy as your basic knowledge of it and forming an opinion from there.
Jamie is a Canadian book blogger who owns more books than she can fit in her room. She mostly reads YA but has a soft spot for any type of Science Fiction and Fantasy, so she carries those around with her as well. Jamie typically reads while drinking tea, curled up in a little ball for maximum warmth.