It is a story about a 15 year old boy named Craig who is depressed and suicidal. One day when he wants to end his life, he calls the suicide hotline and is told to go to the E.R. He ends up going to the adult section of psychiatric hospital where he meets and befriends many new people. During his 5 days in the hospital he learns a lot about himself and life. Who his real friends are, what he wants to do, why he ended up where he is, and much more.
I found this book on a BuzzFeed list of mental health books to read, and I’m happy I read it because I enjoyed the story very much!
It has a lot of humour while tackling serious problems many of us has gone through, or will go through in our lives. I can relate in some ways with the main character and his “Anchors” (Good things in life) and “Tentacles” (Not good things) and how it affects his life. I think having the main character as a kid makes it more special. Because he is a kid, there is innocence, there is humour because some of his experiences are new to him, but additionally he is very experienced and smart. I really like Craig, and most of the other characters too. I think the mix of different personalities can show that these things can happen to anyone.
Reading these books on mental health is a decision I made because it makes me feel less alone in my own depression. This book may have been a fictional one, but since we know the author also went through this and the story is based on his own experiences, I found it very helpful to read.
Ned Vizzini who wrote the book was himself in a psychiatric hospital for five days, and wrote this book right after he was out. Sadly, the depression took his life a few years later, which is a fact that stayed in the back of my mind while reading this book. Now that I’ve finished the book, I will try and find the film somewhere and see if that’s as authentic and relatable as the book.
– Pius the Explorer –