What do you think of when you hear the phrase “science fiction?” Robots? Time travel? Aliens? What about ‘realism?’ Not so much?
Most people don’t think that science fiction has much to say about reality. Science fiction is supposed to be about adventure and entertainment. It’s supposed to imagine futures that are far more advanced than our own, and to stretch modern science into something fantastic. Science fiction isn’t supposed to tell us anything about the actual state of things, right?
Well, this week, instead of picking just one book to feature, I have created a summer reading list comprised of twelve science fiction books that each depict the reality of one or more mental health conditions, sometimes even better than textbooks or realism. Whether it’s providing a nuanced depiction of addiction, exploring the complexities of violence, or exposing uncomfortable truths about pleasure and consumption; in these twelve examples, Sci-Fi is the best vessel for teaching us something about real life. It’s the time of the year when people are creating summer reading lists. If you want to keep things fun and exciting, while continuing to explore and better understand mental health issues, try these twelve science fiction books.
Hello! Thank you for dropping by this fine day in July! Or if you’re in the part of the world that says things like “fine day in December” (so weird), then thank you for dropping by this cold wretched day in July.
Today’s post features a mama struggling with depression over in The Netherlands. I completely feel for her and understand 100% the burden of being a mom and wife while having to also tend to your depression. Motherhood is often a very lonely job. I mentioned Summer in the paragraph above…Well, Summer used to be, hands down, my favorite season. I fiended for it all through the year, waiting with mounting excitement for the time when it would be warm enough to go out all day, when I could enjoy my favorite physical activity-swimming-and when I could feel happy enough to spend time with my friends.
Now, Summer is just another season to feel even more lonely and stressed. Don’t get me wrong: I love my kids. But without any help over here, I never get to swim. Never. They aren’t in daycare long enough for me to really enjoy anything; especially since I have to spend that time cleaning, shopping, or trying write marketable articles. Any outdoor excursion becomes an event. One which involves arguments over socks, inexplicable screaming fits, a monstrous stroller to haul, heavy bags loaded with diapers and snacks and extra clothes and diaper wipes…you get the picture. Nothing is carefree. Nothing is fun. It’s taking a toll. I can feel a very serious depression creeping up on me, wrapping its hands around my eyes again. I’m not built for a life where nobody cares for me. No help in sight. No end in sight. Just my lonely, burdened existence.
So I understand where Mom Mandy from The Netherlands is coming from. She is a gorgeous woman with a beautiful family, living in a country internationally lauded for its peacefulness. My reasons for saying all this are not to guilt Mandy for her feelings but to point out that Depression and Anxiety are, in fact, illnesses with biological causes. People can have the most enviable-looking lives…people can be in the middle of their favorite season…and still experience Depression. Just as beautiful women with loving families can get cancer or the flu, they can also get Depression and Anxiety. Let’s dive into this interview to see how Mandy experiences and copes with her illness.
It’s tha otha Monday again..time for a new book! Wow..time just keeps rolling on. It honestly feels right now as though time has turned into taffy and is just stretching oh-so-slowly while turning on its mysterious mechanism. One week feels like a month. I think it’s stress. It must be stress. Last week, at my peer support group, it seriously felt like it had been a month since I’d last attended. It had been a week. Minds can be strange, stressful places to dwell. (Get ready for an awkward transitional sentence!) And this weeks’ book selection helps us to better understand just that.
I’m deviating from fiction again to present a non-fiction book about mental illness unlike any other I have presented here before. And I’ve got a special treat after the review, so stick around!
You may have heard of this book’s author, Rebecca Lombardo. She is a pretty big name in the mental health discussion; besides her new book, she writes a popular blog, hosts a podcast, and created the viral hashtag (that I myself use a lot) #KeepTalkingMH. She lives with Bipolar Disorder and PTSD, similar to Sheila O’Donnell who I interviewed last month, but as the title of her book stresses, each story is unique, even among those who share symptoms or diagnoses. Read on to find out what It’s Not Your Journey is all about, and my thoughts on it.