Mental Health Book Review: Stop Thinking Like That by Jason Hyland

Overall Rating:

The Mental Health Book Club Podcast hosts, Becky and Sydney, gave this book 3*.

This book is a passionate story of Jason’s struggle with alcoholism and depression. Jason gives great advice on how he accomplished his sobriety. He writes with intense hope and this is infectious for the reader.

Jason shows how you can overcome anything including addiction when you put your mind to. He explains how this is not an easy journey to go on, but how it is a path he intends to stay on. His explanation of what his addiction felt like and entailed is detailed and makes it all the more impressive.

Well written and full of hope, it is a good read for anyone who struggles with addiction or wants to know what it is like.

Find our full review at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com, on iTunes or where ever you get your podcasts.

Mental Health Book Review: Something Changed: Stumbling through Divorce, Dating and Depression: (How to Move On) by Matthew Williams

Overall Rating:

The Mental Health Book Club Podcast liked this book, Becky gave it 3* while Sydney gave it 4*.

Matthew gives an honest and open account of his journey through divorce, dating and depression. It is an important account for men going through similar events in their life. Matthew is able to write in a very frank and relatable way.

Not only does the book open serious discussions about men’s mental health, specifically depression, but it is also funny and open about his journey. Matthew’s story is one in which people can find hope and advice. Each of his categories, dating, divorce and depression, are dealt with in a serious and personal way, which is so insightful.

This book is a great read for anyone who wants to understand what these events might be like from a man’s perspective.

Find our full review at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com, on iTunes or where ever you get your podcasts.

Mental Health Book Review: Searching for Brighter Days: Learning to Manage my Bipolar Brain by Karen Manton

Overall Rating:

The Mental Health Book Club Podcast enjoyed this book, Becky gave it 3* and Sydney gave it 4*.

This book is an honest and heartbreaking story of Karen’s life with mental illness. She writes a frank account from her childhood witnessing domestic violence to her hospital treatments. She discusses medications, her diagnosis with Bipolar Disorder and the stigmas she faced.

You will cry and laugh as you read this book. It is well written and comes from a non-judgemental and loving mother who is just trying to survive. It opens up an understanding of what living with mental illness is like.

The book shows the struggles the healthcare system has been through and how far society has come fighting the stigma of mental illness. However, there is still more work to do.

Find our full review at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com, on iTunes or where ever you get your podcasts.

Mental Health Book Review: Scrambled Heads by Emily Palmer

Overall Rating:

The Mental Health Book Club Podcast enjoyed this book, both Becky and Sydney gave it 4*.

The book takes a simple image of an egg and makes a difficult concept relatable to children helping them understand mental illness. It is a brilliant way to introduce children to many of the symptoms of mental illness. The book can be read alone by advanced readers, or with support from an adult. The book provides readers with a great starting point for conversations around mental illness. This fabulous book is a must for schools, children’s libraries as well as children’s bookshelves.

Emily has also created exercises to complement the book and can be used at home or in the classroom.

Find our full review at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com, on iTunes or where ever you get your podcasts.

Mental Health Book Review: Run for Your Life: Mindful Running for a Happy Life by William Pullen

The Mental Health Book Club Podcast enjoyed this book, Becky gave it 3* and Sydney gave it 4*.

This book is a fantastic ‘how to’ guide to Dynamic Running Therapy (DRT). It outlines why it is important and why it can benefit people. Neither Sydney or Becky are runners, but because it can be applied to walking, they were both intrigued. The point of DRT is to challenge yourself physically and so that means different things to different people.

William lays out how to achieve DRT in easy, well explained steps. He discusses the importance of each step and explains clearly how to achieve them. Now this might be easier to do with a therapist, but he also explains how a friend or even doing this alone could work.

If you are someone who finds that you think a lot when exercising, then this book is for you. If you find it hard to open up and getting to what is bothering you, this could work for you. This book is definitely worth a read.

The Mental Health Book Club Podcast enjoyed this book, Becky gave it 3* and Sydney gave it 4*.

This book is a fantastic ‘how to’ guide to Dynamic Running Therapy (DRT). It outlines why it is important and why it can benefit people. Neither Sydney or Becky are runners, but because it can be applied to walking, they were both intrigued. The point of DRT is to challenge yourself physically and so that means different things to different people.

William lays out how to achieve DRT in easy, well-explained steps. He discusses the importance of each step and explains clearly how to achieve them. Now, this might be easier to do with a therapist, but he also explains how a friend or even doing this alone could work.

If you are someone who finds that you think a lot when exercising, then this book is for you. If you find it hard to open up and get to what is bothering you, this could work for you. This book is definitely worth a read.

Find our full review at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com, on iTunes or where ever you get your podcasts.

Mental Health Book Review: Love and Remission by Annie Belasco

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The Mental Health Book Club Podcast loved this book, and both Becky and Sydney gave it 5*.

This book is a fantastic account of Annie’s journey through cancer, romance, remission and mental illness. Becky commented that this story was like ‘Bridget Jones meets cancer’. It is funny, heartfelt, honest and uplifting. It will make you cry with sadness and laughter in equal measures.

Annie is someone you will love getting to know through her novel. She is so open and honest about the ups and downs of her life. She has the uncanny ability to find humour in the darkest of times.

This book highlights the need for equal consideration of both physical and mental health and how one will always affect the other.  The truth and wisdom that Annie expresses in this book is given without judgement and with an authenticity that makes it admirable.

Find our full review and interview with Annie, at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com, on iTunes or where ever you get your podcasts.

Mental Health Book Review: The Stranger on the Bridge by Jonny Benjamin MBE

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The Mental Health Book Club LOVED this book, both Sydney and Becky gave it 5*. Not only is it well written and edited, it is also honest and insightful. Jonny is open about his journey from being on the bridge and his encounter with Neil Langbourn, who talked him down on that fateful day, to the amazing mental health campaigner he is today.

Learning about Jonny’s campaigning in schools and in the private sector as well as him accepting his MBE is inspiring. Jonny not only addresses how far society has come in accepting mental health as equal to physical health but he also speaks about how far we still have to go, especially when it comes to men’s mental health.

Jonny also speaks of the impact of his Jewish culture and sexuality had on his mental health. A topic that is not always addressed. He discussed his relationship with his parents and his worry about worrying them, and the difficulties that brings to his asking for help and support from the people he loves.

Jonny gives advice on self-care through his own experiences with mindfulness and positivity. It is heart-breaking to read at times but also leaves you in awe of Jonny’s endless kindness and compassion.

This book is a fantastic read, especially for anyone who ever wondered what dealing with mental health illnesses is like. Jonny has schizoaffective disorder and is very open about his experiences with this long-term illness.

Mental Health Book Review: It’s not your Journey by Rebecca Lombardo

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The Mental Health Book Club Podcast really liked this book. Sydney gave it 5* and Becky 4*. Sydney felt a particular connection with this book as she shares a Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis. Rebecca also talks about her Bipolar, Anxiety and Depression diagnosis.

Rebecca’s honesty and sincerity comes through in her writing. She is so open about how her life has been and is affected by her mental illness. She discusses medication, treatments and hospitalisation as well as the daily struggles she faces. Her honesty is so moving especially as she discusses her attempt to take her own life.

The courage she shows as she navigates her illnesses is incomparable. The strength she shows as she faces grief, family and other life events is relatable to everyone. Even after publishes let her down she continues to move forward.

The raw emotion and honesty in this book will make it hard for anyone to put down. We were lucky enough to also get an interview with Rebecca to go alongside our review.

Find it at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com, iTunes or where ever you get your Podcasts.

Mental Health Book Review: Insane: America’s Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness by Alisa Roth

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The Mental Health Book Club Podcast enjoyed this book, Becky gave it 5* and Sydney gave it 4*.

This book blows open the way America treats the mentally ill in their justice system, from encounters with the police to standing in front of the judges, to being in prison. The stories Alisa chose will break your heart and shock your core, yet they are only the tip of the iceberg of examples.

This book is thoroughly researched and open about the limits it had when accessing the system. Alisa details not just the problems but goes through any solutions she came across as well. The depth of information in this book is vast and to its credit.

This book not only questions the American justice system but makes the reader question what is going on in their own country. Being British Becky and Sydney did just that. Reducing the stigma and improving the treatment of the mentally ill could reduce those within the justice system.

We recommend you read this book as it will show you that any one of us could end up in some of these situations.

Find our full review and interview with Alisa at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com, on iTunes or where ever you get your podcasts.

Mental Health Book Review: In my Heart: A book of feelings by Jo Witek and illustrations by Christine Roussey

Overall Rating:

The Mental Health Book Club Podcast loved this book, both Becky and Sydney gave it 5*.

This book is a fantastic read and is a must for schools, children’s libraries as well as children’s bookshelves. The books heart concept is perfectly represented by the cut-out heart which decreases in size as the book moves on.

It is fun, beautiful and a great teaching tool. The book explains emotions in a simple and yet profound way. Children are able to understand the variety of emotions we feel and understand how you might feel them physically.

The book can be read alone by advanced readers, but more usefully it can be read with an adult to help start a conversation around emotions and their validity.

Find our full review at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com, on iTunes or where ever you get your podcasts.

Mental Health Book Review: If I Could Tell You How It Feels by Alexis Rose

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The Mental Health Book Club Podcast enjoyed this book, both Becky and Sydney gave it 3*.

Alexis writes an honest and poignant account of how she lives with PTSD. The book is open and insightful. Alexis articulates her emotions and symptoms with compassion and intellect. The book can give any reader an insight into what it is like to live with PTSD and how Alexis copes.

The book is well written and structured with a mixture of essays and poems entwined with her accounts. Alexis talks about grief, parenting, loss, therapy and so much more. She shows what it can be to be a survivor and how to go on living.

Find our full review and interview with Alexis at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com, on iTunes or where ever you get your podcasts.

Mental Health Book Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

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Becky’s Rating:

Sydeny’s Rating:

The Mental Health Book Club Podcast enjoyed this book, Becky gave it 3* and Sydney gave it 4*.

This is a heart-warming novel aimed at young adults. It deals with the stigma and symptoms of mental illness in a teenage world. Audrey is a lovely character who will make you laugh and cry in her story of mental illness. Her new friend Linus stumbles into her life and together they try to solve her issues with romance and friendship. The book has an amazing way of showing the way in which mental health effects the wider family without victimising anyone. Audrey comes across as a fighter and a survivor, her character has a depth and intelligence that can be lost when writing a character who is dealing with mental illness. a

This book is a bright and inspiring story which should be in every secondary school library. It is a great way for young adults to gain an understanding of what it is like to have a mental illness and that people are not alone.

Find our full review at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com, on iTunes or where ever you get your podcasts.

Mental Health Book Club: Daddy Blues: Postnatal Depression and Fatherhood

Overall Rating:

The Mental Health Book Club Podcast hosts Becky and Sydney both gave this book 3*.

The book is a frank and honest account of a man’s struggle with his mental health after the birth of his child.  It discusses the traumatic birth of his son and his wife’s struggles with her own depression.

Being women without children, we did not feel we were Mark’s primary audience and so we felt a little detached from the topic. However, we could see that this book has to anyone in a similar situation and will provide hope that it can get better. Anyone who has had a child will see some experiences they can relate to.

Being a parent is hard and it changes so much, this book explores this with a raw honesty that is rare amongst parents. Often parents are expected to be happy as they have a new child, but this book shows some of the darker times that can be had.

Not only does this book address men’s mental health but also it raises the profile of an almost unheard of mental health illness, postnatal depression in men. The book also touches on the use of alcohol to self-medicate when depressed.

We had no idea men could get postnatal depression and this book raises awareness and shows how Mark goes on to help other men that are suffering. His dedication is an inspiration.

Find our full review on our podcast at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com, iTunes or where ever you get your podcasts.

Mental Health Book Review: Birth of a New Brain by Dyane Harwood

Overall Rating:

The Mental Health Book Club Podcast loved this book, both Becky and Sydney gave it 5*.

We adored this book and could not put it down. Not only is its honestly infectious, Dyane writes in a way which means you cannot help but care for her. Dyane’s struggles with postpartum bipolar affective disorder is complex and heart-breaking. The support she gets from her husband and her doula (post birth support) is amazing, a role we had never heard of before.

Dyane’s honesty is raw and will leave you with a much better understanding of bipolar disorder. She reflects on her father’s struggles with the same illness and times in her past when she might have been experiencing it, unknowingly.

It is hard to read the treatments and failures in medication that Dyane goes through. The hope that something will work is finally reached but it is a long bumpy road. Her experiences with the controversial electroconvulsive therapy are explained without judgement. Dyane explains that everyone is an individual and owns the fact this is just her story. However, it is a story many can find hope and understanding.

This book is an amazing story by a courageous and strong lady who overcomes any obstacle put in front of her. She is an inspiration and now a friend.

Find our full review and an interview with Dyane at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com, on iTunes or where ever you get your podcasts.

Mental Health Book Review: Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes by Holly Bourne

Overall Rating:

The Mental Health Book Club Podcast loved this book, both Becky and Sydney gave it 5*.

This book is written as a powerfully profound story of Olive who is struggling with her mental health. Refusing to know her diagnosis she attends Camp Reset to get the intense treatment she needs.

While there she meets other adolescents, who share her struggles in their own unique way. Yet together they can unite to find their own way to fight their struggles and help the world be a little kinder.

The book is filled with humour while dealing with some serious points. Our favourite moment was, of course, the Alpaca moment, which we even recreated when we visited an alpaca farm recently.

This book stands up to the stigmas around mental illness while also being a fantastic novel for young adults and adults alike.

Find our full review and interview with Holly at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com, on iTunes or where ever you get your podcasts.

Mental Health Book Review: A Brotherly Lesson by Brady R Wilson and Anne Hartinger

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The Mental Health Book Club Podcast enjoyed this book, Becky and Sydney both gave it 4*.

This book is a fantastic children’s book that deals with a tough topic in an honest and heart-warming way. The book allows children to understand some symptoms and treatments for mental illness through very relatable characters.

Children can read with or without parents to help them understand mental illness in a way which is on their level. The images are very cute and child friendly.

Great book for anyone who has or works with children and would like to help them understand mental illnesses.

Find our full review at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com, on iTunes or where ever you get your podcasts.

Mental Health Book Review: Stand Tall Little Girl by Hope Virgo

Overall rating:

Hope Virgo writes so openly about her own experience with the eating disorder Anorexia Nervosa. It is truly eye opening about certain aspects of the condition that are not often talked about so candidly particularly the competitive nature of anorexia and how it pretends to be your friend but when it really isn’t.

The inclusion of her mother’s perspective of Hope’s condition, how she felt about missing the signs and how she dealt with her other children and the breakdown of her relationship with Hope’s dad. This is important because mental health conditions are tricky and difficult, and Hope was able to hide it from her mum.

Hope also discusses the nature of relapse in mental health which is always difficult for people to understand even if you have been there. Whilst Hope can consider herself in control most of the time – she still faces some challenges with the foods that she eats. She discusses how she dealt with that relapse and how the help was not available despite seeking it which is devastating. During this time her mum is there supporting Hope and it is wonderful that Hope is continuing to talk about Anorexia.

For the Full Review:

Episode 41 pt1

Episode 41 pt2

Mental Health Book Review: A Beginner’s Guide to Being Mental: An A – Z from Anxiety to Zero F**ks Given by Natasha Devon

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After attending the book launch in London and listening to Natasha talk about mental health we were excited to read this book for the podcast and even bumped it up the list. We are pleased to say that this book did not disappoint and both of us found it hard to put down. This book provides a fantastic overview of mental health. This topic is sensitive, and Natasha handles that very well, interweaving her own journey with mental health, information from experts, science, and humour which means that this book will appeal to a wider range of readers.

On the podcast we identified six letters to discuss but that in itself was a difficult task! There was so much in this book that provoked us to ask more questions and talk about societal issues that impact everyone’s mental health.

If you are looking for a self-help book, then this is not the book whilst she gives tips at the end of each letter the advice is minimal and highlights that because we all have a brain it is okay to feel this way. This book is a great starting point to get people talking about mental health – in comparison, physical health is easily discussed by people.

The main messages that we took away from this book were:

  • Mental health is just as important to physical health
  • We all have a brain so mental health is something everyone should be talking about
  • Social pressures impact mental health

Listen to our full review in:

Episode 43 pt1

Episode 43 pt2

Episode 43 pt3

 

Mental Health Book Review: Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne

Our Review

Overall rating:

Am I Normal Yet is a breath of fresh air talking openly about the issues surrounding mental health. Evie suffers from OCD and at sixteen not only does she have to fight with her own mental health but she has to deal with the inevitable teenage issues of college, friends and boys and let’s be honest being a teenager is hard enough without the additional issues Evie has to face.

This book has a strong theme of feminism running throughout and didn’t end in the very clichéd love conquers all view of the world that some books I have been reading recently have contained. If only recovering from mental health was so easy, dating and having another person in your life will often complicate matters and make you feel even more insecure than you may have been before.

You get to see the ups and downs associated with mental illness and the issues associated with medication and therapy, along with concerns about others reaction to a mental health diagnosis.

It is also interesting to read about the fact that the condition that Evie is suffering from can be considered “typical OCD” with Evie performing the stereotypical repetitive behaviours being commonly seen with OCD, doesn’t mean that it is any less severe and debilitating to a person’s life.

I must admit there was one part of the book I disagreed with as yes not all discussion about mental health has been useful that what it is doing is highlighting that more public discussion is needed. I would like to remain hopeful that if people were fully away of mental health conditions and their impact that they wouldn’t be using the terms incorrectly if their knowledge of the condition was complete.

Quote

Mental illnesses have gone too far the other way. Because now mental health disorders have gone “mainstream”. And for all the good it’s brought people like me who have been given therapy and stuff, there’s a lot of bad it’s brought too. Because now people use the phrase OCD to describe minor personality quirks.

“Oooh, I like my pens in a line, I’m so OCD.”

NO YOU’RE F*****G NOT!

I think that people have been mislabelling themselves as being OCD for years, long before mental health illnesses started to become more widely accepted in society’s broader conversation.

We at the Mental Health Book Club would highly recommend this book.

Listen to our full review in Episode 17

Mental Health Book Review: A Bitter Pill to Swallow by Tiffany Gholar

Our Review

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Sydney’s rating:

Becky’s rating:

The Harrison School helps children and teenagers struggling with their mental health to continue with their education whilst being treated for the issues that they are experiencing. At the school, we meet Janina who has been diagnosed with depression and has been at the school for four years and is afraid to leave the schools safety.

Devante has been a witness to a life changing traumatic shooting in which the girl he cared about lost her life and he is finding life difficult. He attempts suicide but is stopped and decides to enrol at the Harrison School. Devante is diagnosed with acute stress disorder and he meets Janina. Their friendship helps them both on their journey to recovery.

As a result of a new addition to the Harrison School team is given a select group of students to look after and as a result starts to question Janina’s diagnosis. After investigation and new research it is decided that Janina is not mentally unwell but has been mis-diagnosed because the people around her failed to acknowledge her intellect. Showing that the labels we take on are fluid and can change over time.

Whilst at the Harrison School Devante begins to see that there are others in a similar situation to him, he is not alone and there are other people who are in a worst position than him.

This book shows the differences between different mental health conditions and their durations. It also shows the fluidity of mental health diagnosis and that labels are not necessarily everything and that treating teenagers as people has a huge beneficial effect.

Listen to our full review at:
Mental Health Book Club Episode 15

Mental Health Book Review: Autism Anxiety and Me by Emma Louise Bridge

Our Review

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Sydney’s rating:

Becky’s rating:

This is our first non-fiction book that we have read for the Mental Health Book Club Podcast. The book is written by Emma Louise Bridge, a 24-year-old female diagnosed with Autism and this is a collection of her diary entries exploring Emma’s world. After each diary entry Penelope Bridge, Emma’s mother, adds her own thoughts about the entries and summarises the main points that have a profound impact on Emma’s life.

We read about different scenarios that Emma faces which provide a real insight into the differences in the way a person with autism processes the world. Emma describes different ways of thinking, such as, literal thinking, theory of mind the impact changes in routine may have. There is also a lot of discussion on the issues that people may face as a result of hypersensitivities in terms of sound and touch and how Emma would find certain textures and noises difficult to handle.

This book really has two separate audiences – young people who might relate to the feelings and situations Emma describes, and those who are wanting to find out more about the impact of autism. The diary is interesting due to the insights into the workings of Emma’s mind and although Penelope’s summaries pull you out of Emma’s mind and sometimes detracts from the diary itself, it does provide valuable information that the second audience may be seeking.

Listen to our full review at:

Mental Health Book Club Episode 9

Mental Health Book Review: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

Our Review

Overall rating:

Sydney and Becky’s rating:

This book covers the topic of suicide and a suicide pact – if you feel that these topics may trigger you this is not the book for you. If you need urgent help and are in the UK you should call 999. Alternatively you can contact the Smaritans on 116 123 https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us or call Childline for free on 0800 1111 or contact them via their website at https://www.childline.org.uk/get-support/

Aysel, a sixteen-year-old who has decided that she wants to die. She finds Roman (Frozen Robot) in an online chatroom for people seeking a suicide partner as she is unsure if she can do this on her own and he has a very over protective mother. Both Asyel and Roman have suffered unimaginable tragedy, a father who has killed and a sister under her brother’s care dies from a seizure in the bath means both don’t want to continue.

As a result of their friendship and the fact that Asyel has someone to talk to about how she feels, she begins to notice her mood changing, and her depression lifting allowing her to see that she doesn’t want to die. However, Roman has a differing opinion and she spends her time trying to convince him to live.

Even though Roman had made up his mind and regardless of him being able to open up to Aysel the main positive message from this book is to talk about how you feel, don’t hide it, because when you are deep in depression you find it hard to see the reality. A very realistic message that can be understood by people who have been touched by depression, and that people who haven’t been there should know.

I think this is a very important topic to explore for all ages. Suicide is not something routinely talked about in general society, but hiding your feelings and any thoughts about suicide is dangerous. There is still so much stigma surrounding suicide that getting help should not be viewed poorly.

I was a little taken aback by some of the language and the concept of suicide pacts and partners in themselves. The advert that is posted by Roman states he doesn’t want a “flake” someone who will back out of the pact and this is referenced several times during the book. My issue here is that there could be some legal ramifications as there have now been cases where people have been prosecuted for encouraging another person to commit suicide (www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tell-someone-to-kill-themselves-and-you-could-end_us_5945800ce4b0940f84fe2f19 and www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-42142969) . I couldn’t help but wonder for a more impressionable person that by telling them I don’t want a flake could add additional pressure if that person changes their mind. (For me as a person with borderline personality disorder and find self-identity tricky I generally go along with the thoughts and opinions of others around me).

Whilst I think this story could happen in reality and that the book covers an important topic, but be aware that some of the language may make you feel conflicted.

Listen to our full review at:
Mental Health Book Club Podcast Episode 11

Mental Health Book Review: Anxiety Girl Falls Again by Lacey London

Our Review

Overall Rating:

Sydney’s Rating:

Becky’s Rating:

Sadie has moved on from her bout with anxiety and depression and has changed her entire life. She has sold her swanky apartment and moved into a quaint cottage, she has a new job as a counsellor leading several anxiety anonymous support groups and Ruby has become a prominent part of her life. She seems like she has turned her life around and has beaten her issues with mental illness.

Her life becomes more interesting when Aidan Wilder walks into one of Sadie’s support groups. He intrigues her so much that she can’t stop thinking about him and wants to learn more. She makes it her mission to help this new mysterious man fight against his own demons. As the book progresses we start to find out more about what brought Aidan into Sadie’s life after a heart-breaking tragedy leaves him lost and struggling to continue with life.

Those around Sadie that care about her begin to worry about how involved she has become with a man she barely knows and as a reader I began to question how ethical some of her behaviour is whilst helping Aidan, and if she is perhaps at times overstepping and becoming unprofessional with him.

The other cause for concern as a reader is the way that Sadie believes that she is done with anxiety and that it will never be a problem for her again, whilst for most reality is rarely like that. I can understand her annoyance at those around her constantly checking up on her wellbeing and that people can feel this way but she fails to see their point of view. After all, in the last book she had made a suicide attempt – at that point it is justified for people to be concerned about you.

Again this is a quick read, the descriptions and discussions about grief are realistic and I look forward to reading the next instalment in the Sadie Valentine series.

Listen to the full review:
Mental Health Book Club Podcast Episode 9

Mental Health Book Review: Dandelion Angel by C.B. Calico

Our Review:

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Sydney’s rating:

Becky’s rating:

Our behaviour is influenced by our parents, we often take on their mannerisms and behaviours. Let’s face it how many times have you found yourself doing something that you can associate with one of your parents?

But, what happens if a parent has an undiagnosed mental health issue that impacts their emotional response to the world around them? Well, it can have a long lasting and devastating impact late into their children’s adult life.

Dandelion Angel by C.B. Calico follows the stories of four adult daughters and their mothers who have undiagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD). A parent with this mental health condition often results in an emotionally chaotic and unstable home environment for the children in their care. These mothers are often demanding, emotionally neglectful, rage filled and even physically abusive towards their own offspring.

In our opinion C.B. Calico explores the impacts of BPD on the entire family, in a sympathetic way, whilst not excusing the mother’s actions or behaviours. We learn about the childhood stories of the mother’s and whilst they are heart breaking in themselves, they are not there as an excuse to justify their later behaviour towards their children. Their stories are provided to give an insight into the situations that shaped them into the people we read about in this book. Each grown up daughter still bears the emotional scars left by their mothers, but yet all four have been able to move forward with their own lives in differing ways. This story provides hope to those who may have experienced similar upbringings.

Listen to Pt 1 of the full review here.

Listen to Pt 2 of the full review here.