Cover image for Your brain needs a hug : life, love, mental health, and sandwiches
Title:
Your brain needs a hug : life, love, mental health, and sandwiches
ISBN:
9781250307859
Edition:
1st Imprint ed.
Physical Description:
282 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm.
General Note:
Originally published in the United Kingdom by Wren and Rook in 2017.
Contents:
What this book is about -- How the hell are you? No. Who the hell am I? -- The brain -- Anxiety -- Phobias -- Eating disorders -- OCD -- Psychosis -- Self-harm -- Depressions -- How to wear and cope with your diagnosis -- Self-esteem and how to get it -- Social media -- Sex and relationships -- Friendships -- Drugs and Alcohol -- Parents -- Helping someone with mental illness -- Dr. Pop -- Organizations, books, and apps that can help you get better.
Summary:
Imbued with a sense of humor, understanding, and hope, Your Brain Needs a Hug is a judgment-free guide for living well with your mind. My Mad Fat Diary author Rae Earl offers her personalized advice on the A to Zs of mental health, social media, family and friendship. When she was a teenager, Rae dealt with OCD, anxiety, and an eating disorder, but she survived, and she thrived. Your Brain Needs a Hug is filled with her friendly advice, coping strategies and laugh-out-loud moments to get you through the difficult days. Witty, honest, and enlightening, this is the perfect read for feeling happier and healthier and learning to navigate life without feeling overwhelmed or isolated. --
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Summary

Summary

Imbued with a sense of humor, understanding, and hope, Your Brain Needs a Hug is a judgment-free guide for living well with your mind.

My Mad Fat Diary author Rae Earl offers her personalized advice on the A to Zs of mental health, social media, family and friendship. When she was a teenager, Rae dealt with OCD, anxiety, and an eating disorder, but she survived, and she thrived.

Your Brain Needs a Hug is filled with her friendly advice, coping strategies and laugh-out-loud moments to get you through the difficult days. Witty, honest, and enlightening, this is the perfect read for feeling happier and healthier and learning to navigate life without feeling overwhelmed or isolated.

An Imprint Book

" A validating, hopeful, and practical guide to mental health ... heartfelt and honest... Teens struggling with mental illness will find comfort and valuable information in this superlative guide. " -- Kirkus Reviews , starred review

" Perceptive and accessible ." -- Publishers Weekly


Author Notes

Rae Earl was born in Stamford, Lincolnshire, in England. After graduating from Hull University, she did every job in a radio station except "accountant." Rae has written articles for The Guardian , Marie Claire , and Elle , and she has been featured in The Telegraph and The Times , among others. She has also appeared on BBC Breakfast TV, BBC World Service, and countless local radio stations. Her books include My Mad Fat Diary , My Madder Fatter Diary, My Life Uploaded, and Your Brain Needs a Hug. My Mad Fat Diary and My Madder Fatter have been made into a TV show that is shown in over fifty countries worldwide. She currently lives in Hobart, Tasmania, with her husband and son.


Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up--Written with acute humor that softens the subject matter, this guide and advice manual is written from the perspective of someone who has a mental illness. Anxiety, phobias, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, psychosis, self-harm, and depression are described mainly through Earl's experiences, as are general mental health topics such as self-esteem and relationships. The author provides strategies that may resonate with readers, and there are brief passages penned by Dr. Radha, a GP and BBC Radio 1 presenter. Organizational issues abound--for example, information on suicide is categorized under self-harm, though it also applies to other disorders like depression and may be missed by those who pick and choose chapters. That said, the poignant argument against suicide is personal and compassionate. Other problems include a positive portrayal of mania when it is briefly discussed and being dismissive of using medication as a treatment, particularly with anxiety. Harrison's often full-page illustrations fully capture snippets of the text, emphasizing just the right sentiments and adding a dimension of support. VERDICT Despite its flaws, this may find readership with those who need a personal perspective and are ready and willing to laugh about the topic. An additional purchase.--Alex Graves, Manchester City Library, NH


Publisher's Weekly Review

With her trademark self-deprecating humor, writer and broadcaster Earl (My Mad Fat Diary) offers her teenage audience a comprehensive overview of mental health conditions and treatments. She also addresses common YA challenges, some age-old (communicating with parents) and some new (navigating social media). Conveying wisdom gleaned from her own experience, Earl shares her struggles with anxiety, phobias, eating disorders, OCD, psychosis, self-harm, and depression, telling stories of the people and processes that have helped her heal. Gentle advice to any reader currently experiencing similar distress ("Please stop self-harming. Do something else instead. Here are some suggestions") is followed by concrete recommendations, such as, "Talk to someone" and "Write down how you feel." Earl astutely balances her ability to laugh at herself with compassion for the pain she and others experience; for example subtitling her chapter on phobias "It's A Laburnum Tree!!! Get Away From It!!" Entertaining graphics and charts illustrate key ideas, including slogans ("You are enough"), self-help strategies, and advice on when to seek professional help. Perceptive and accessible, this guide will prove a valuable resource for both people experiencing a wide array of mental-health challenges and those who want to help them. Ages 15-up. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

A validating, hopeful, and practical guide to mental health.Earl (My Life Uploaded, 2018, etc.) begins this heartfelt and honest self-care guide by detailing her own struggles with and triumphs over mental illness, from anxiety, phobias, and eating disorders to OCD, psychosis, and self-harm. She also covers depression, using her mother's experiences with bipolar disorder as an example. Throughout, the author repeatedly acknowledges that everyone experiences mental illness differently, and what worked for her might not work for others, but her tips and advice are worth a try. The book also covers how to cope with a mental illness diagnosis, develop and maintain self-esteem, navigate friendships and sex, and approach drugs and alcohol. She also includes a chapter on supporting someone with a mental illness. Humorous advice and entertaining black-and-white artwork keep the tone upbeat without minimizing the seriousness of mental illness. While teen readers are the primary audience, adults who have grappled with mental illness will also find sound advice among the pages. Paratextual material includes sidebars from Dr. Radha, aka Dr. R.; the extensive backmatter includes a playlist of songs and lists of organizations, books, and apps. The accessible writing style and attractive layout enhance this appealing and useful volume.Teens struggling with mental illness will find comfort and valuable information in this superlative guide. (resources, index) (Nonfiction. 13-18) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

More recognizable in the UK, where her autobiographical My Mad Fat Diary (2016), which recounts her mental health and overweight struggles in her teenage years in the 1980s, was turned into a TV show, Earl brings her insight and wit to American adolescents. In this guide, she uses candor, humor, personal anecdotes, and a conversational style to discuss topics in mental health. Earl begins with a call for accepting our imperfections, eliminating the stigma of seeking help, and recognizing that there is no normal when it comes to brains. From here, readers may dip in and out of chapters on anxiety, eating disorders, OCD, and other mental health issues. Still more chapters address such related topics as drugs and alcohol, social media, and sex and relationships. No matter the subject, Earl emphasizes self-care (both physical and mental) and offers tips to deal with and hopefully overcome each hurdle. Funky digital art, lists, contacts for support organizations, and an all-time favorite tunes for better mental health playlist further the balance of cool and compassionate.--Angela Leeper Copyright 2019 Booklist