My Thoughts On… It’s All in Your Head by Rae Earl
Author: Rae Earl
Publisher: Wren and Rook
Published: 10th August 2017
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, Waterstones
What I hope you take away from this book: good Mexican food deserves to go viral; good underwear never features the word ‘string’; good mental health is the single most important thing you need to live a happy life.
I don’t have a psychology degree – in fact, I once tried to throw a typewriter at a child psychiatrist (this was in the days before MacBook pros) – but I do have experience, understanding and coping mechanisms to help you get your sh*t together. From anxiety and eating disorders to OCD and psychosis, I want to help break down taboos surrounding mental health conditions (which directly affect 1 in 4 of us each year – you are NOT alone) and help you come out the other side happier and healthier. I’d also like to gift you with a deeper understanding of what’s going on in your head, and how to navigate through life without feeling overwhelmed or isolated.
Where my lack of medical background becomes an issue, Dr Radha swoops in to the rescue. As a GP, mental-health expert and co-host of BBC Radio 1’s The Surgery, I’ve worked with her to make sure all the information and advice is spot-on. She’s clever, she’s kind and she GETS it. I wish my teenage brain had had access to Dr Radha.
After My Mad Fat Diary published, and the TV show followed, lots of people from my past got in touch to say they’d thought I’d been a largely splendid teenager. And, to most people, I probably was. Because I was very adept at hiding my OCD, my anxiety, my depression, my eating disorders, behind a smile and a big sack of silly. And that is why I’ve written this book. Because I hate to think of any teen going through what I did, and feeling like they can’t talk about it, or need to hide it. This is a book to break down taboos, to start conversations, to help you talk about things that seem impossible. It’s a book for fans of Gemma Cairney and Open, Ruby Wax and Frazzled, Matt Haig and Reasons to Stay Alive, Bryony Gordon and Mad Girl. And most importantly, it’s a book to make you feel like you’re not alone. You’re really, really not. @RaeEarl
In a bid to be honest from the offset, I should first admit that I do not read a lot of non-fiction books but after enjoying My Mad Fat Diary TV show, I decided that I should definitely give this book a try – and I am incredibly glad that I did. I have never enjoyed, nor found a non-fiction book so informative so effortlessly before. Rae Earl has a wonderful narrative voice that is easy to read, and makes you truly understand everything. She uses humour to keep the reader entertained, while also managing to touch upon serious and dark topics with a sensitivity and the seriousness that it needs. She does not back down from talking about therapy and medication honestly, including her own experiences with both.
Interspersed throughout the novel are also fantastic illustrations, some with wonderful empowering quotes, others with word vomits and brain screams. All of them work really well with the text and suit a book which is informative, educational and entertaining for teenagers. I honestly believe that this book would help a lot of teenagers today and it is the kind of book that I wish I had when I was teenager. It would have helped me an awful lot. It is a book that will honestly help the stigma that is still surrounding mental health issues.
Alongside all of this, Rae Earl is someone who gets it. Having had mental health issues herself, she understands what it is like more than anyone else. She explains it in a way that someone who doesn’t suffer can grasp the severity of mental health. This is a truly remarkable thing. It is for this reason that I also think this is a book which will help teenagers who don’t have issues to relate better to friends and siblings, and for parents to acknowledge further any problems their children are facing with mental health illnesses.
Lastly, but certainly not least, this book is also full of incredibly helpful and wonderful quotes. I took a lot of pictures of the pages so that I could come back to the quotes at different times as well. It is a book that made me feel less alone, more understood, and more confident in myself as well. It was a truly remarkable read that I would both highly recommend and will definitely be reading time and time again. So, if you haven’t already picked this book up, what are you waiting for?