I'm often looking for stories that deal with the issue of mental illness in a way that's real and concrete and graphic. I don't often find them. There seems to be a glamourization of mental illness that grates on my nerves or a sugar-coating of it that infuriates every bit of me.
I know I'm rather late to discovering this, but Ned Vizzini's It's Kind of a Funny Story is the book I'm going to press into many hands of many kids who are dealing with depression. One of many great passages after the jump, where our main character Craig is being instructed to fill out his meal request form in the hospital's psychiatric ward:
"If you want two of anything, put two-x by it." I start putting 2xs.
I wish the world were like this, if I just woke up and marked the food I'd be eating and it came to me later in the day. I suppose it is like that, except you have to pay for whatever you want to eat, so maybe what I'm asking for is communism, but I think it's actually deeper than communism--I'm asking for simplicity, for purity and ease of choice and no pressure. I'm asking for something that no politics is going to provide, something that probably you only get in preschool. I'm asking for preschool."