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Recovery Themed Books/TV shows/Movies/Podcasts

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi All

There is a tonne of first-person literature out there telling about experiences of MH.
I've read a tonne of it. And watched so many tv shows and movies on this theme.

Does anyone have any advice of media/books dealing with recovery from MH struggles? I'm really interested also to read about ppl who have survived attempts.

The only book I know about this is Rosie Waterland Every Lie I've Ever Told

I found some support in the chapter on addiction in So Sad Today - but that was otherwise a harrowing book.

Rupi Kaur's poems are quite empowering.

Anyone else got any tips?

29 Replies 29

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hey Doz - that sounds awesome i'll check it out.
I'm glad you liked it.

Glad to have your input here which is always so valuable.

Another one I can think of is Lars and the Real Girl -

although the situation he's in is truly specific it was interesting the way the movie discussed trauma, also the brother who was judgemental and intolerant of MH in his family member - i think that story arc was quite giving and leads to thoughts about prejudice against those struggling with MH.

Even though it's quite dark I think The Yellow Wallpaper was ahead of it's time - a short story showing the power imbalances in how we diagnose and make assumptions about ppl with mental illness.

I thought the TV show Girls was a terrible depiction of MH Those Girls seems to seek out quick fixes to avoid getting MH treatment. Fun show but dismal treatment of MH issues, in my humble opinion.

Anyone into Homeland? I haven't' seen it but I believe she has Bipolar.
Can't really think of anything else good...
Romantic Thi3F had recommended a really good graphic novel, Eyes too Dry

it's set in Melbourne with two 25 year old best friends. One struggles with depression and suicidal ideation and her friend tracks their relationship ups and downs as they try together to navigate recovery. It's quite beautiful and helpful.

There's a podcast by Honor Eastly called "No Feeling is Final"

she's cool

Melbourne-based writer/creator who talks about navigating the mental health system. A lot of stuff she talks about resonates.

Hannah Gadsby's Nanette

TW sexual abuse -

inspiring story about telling ur truth

"there is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself"

Community Member

Great thread idea Sleepy. Hannah Gadsby is funny, haven't watched Nanette or any of these, or read any.

I'm not sure of any myself.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

HIghly recommend

Lars and the Real Girl

and the amazing

Manchester by the Sea

which are two movies dealing with trauma in interesting ways.

Manchester by the Sea is about a set of ppl in a small town who are traumatised by different life events and how they rebuild. I could relate to a lot of their experiences, including one having a panic attack, one talking about feeling numb, and how they cope with what they've lived.

It felt very true and real to me.


Of course there is the classic "The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath. It can be a bit dark but ultimately speaks of the main character, Esther's journey with MH. Sylvia Plath was also a Pulitzer award winning poet. Sylvia had her own MH struggles throughout her life, and much of her work draws on this. Not sure how uplifting her writing is, but reading about other people's struggles can make one feel less alone.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Thanks so much Boudaica, you make great points about Sylvia Plaths work

I think ppl might find comfort in some of her poems regarding struggling after having birth and PND....

I like Morning Song for this

and Tulips I believe is about her being in a hospital

Do u have a fave of hers?

Hi Sylvia,

I've always loved Tulips actually, though I have not spent a lot of time in hospital, I still related to the feeling of being vulnerable and watched and unable to escape. I used to enjoy her work long ago, but my ex had given me the books, as he thought I would relate and I have memories of him reading the poems in Ariel to me, hence I tend to leave them in the past nowadays! I spent my youth always reading, but have little time for it now (aside from that which is prescribed for me for study). I really miss it, and one day when I have time to myself I will return!!

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi there, this isn't necessarily about Recovery itself, but I believe that reading this story has helped me conceptualise recovery and how the MH system sometimes inhibits recovery, and is patriachal and demeaning to certain groups (the word hysterical, anyway?)

I love the short story The Yellow Wallpaper

Have a read for an interesting viewpoint on how being stigmatised and infantalised for MH struggles is a form of abuse.... still relevant today, sadly