If you’re just skimming or stopping by: yes. That’s all you need to know. Yes to this book. I. Love. This. Book.
The main character, Craig, is having some problems with depression and finds himself in an adult mental hospital after almost killing himself one night. I think this is a very important book for anyone to read, whether they’re in high school, out of it, or even way past it. Mental illnesses aren’t always treated as they should–like actual illnesses–which is kind of ridiculous. With so many people struggling with things like depression and anorexia and OCD, we really need to not be ignorant in this topic area.
It’s now to the point where 1 in 5 Americans (yeah I googled it) suffer from a mental illness, yet many aren’t comfortable getting help or even talking about it. And, like Craig, there’s not always a specific reason for why people become depressed or anorexic or what have you. It’s a chemical imbalance, one that doesn’t necessarily occur because of a traumatic event or an extremely difficult life. Just because Craig has a supportive family and is in a good school and is a smart kid doesn’t mean he’s going to be okay, or take everything the same way everyone else does. It’s okay for him to get help. Just like it’s okay for a person with a broken bone to get help from a hospital, it’s okay for someone with a mental illness to, too.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story is a beautiful, refreshing, and, yeah, funny story. And this part on the last page (after the story) just made me love the book and Ned Vizzini, himself, so much more:
Ned Vizzini spent five days in adult psychiatric in Methodist Hospital, Park Slope, Brooklyn, 11/29/04 – 12/3/04.
Ned wrote this 12/10/04 – 1/6/05.
I’ll definitely be looking into this author some more.