5 graphic novels about mental health

Author: Wendy Tuxworth

I love graphic novels a lot, and I’ve been trying to read more of them in 2019. I also think that graphic novels are a great way to talk about mental health. It is such a complicated topic that I think the marriage of two mediums really helps portray what the characters are thinking and feeling. So, here are 10 graphic novels that talk about mental health.

I have not read all of the books on this list, but I have tried to include content warnings for all of them. If you think I’ve missed any out, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

1. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Allie Brosh’s memoir, done in her classic Microsoft Paint style, is a classic graphic novel about mental health. She combines hilarious stories about her dogs with extremely relatable stories about her experiences with depression.

Content warnings: depiction of major depressive episode, suicidal ideation

2. Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me by Ellen Forney

Shortly before her 30th birthday, Ellen Forney is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This is her memoir, which looks at the intersection between mental health and creativity, as well as her experiences as a queer woman.

Content warnings: depiction of major depressive and manic episodes, sex, mentions of suicide


3. Tyranny by Lesley Fairfield

This is a young adult graphic novel that follows Anna and her eating disorder, Tyranny. With its sparse and punchy writing and illustrations, this is an emotional and educational book that looks at anorexia.

Content warnings: fatphobia, death of a friend, grief, body dysmorphia, anorexia

4. Skim by Mariko Tamaki

This is a graphic novel about a queer Wiccan girl whose classmate completes suicide. Her school brings in guidance counselors to provide lectures on the “cycle of grief,” and the popular clique starts a new club (Girls Celebrate Life!) to bolster school spirit. Skim sinks into an ever-deepening depression.

Content warnings: suicide, homophobia, racism, sexism, fatphobia

5. Spinning by Tillie Walden

Tillie Walden’s memoir Spinning is about ice skating competitions, queerness, and outgrowing passions. It also looks at her experiences of depression and unhappiness, which really can be seen through the cool colour palette of the drawings.

Content warnings: homophobia, depression, bullying, car accidents, menstruation and sexual harassment

I’ve got another 5 graphic novel recommendations coming soon – what ones would you like me to talk about?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s