“Sometimes thinking too much can paralyze you.” Will, the male protagonist in This is My Brain in Love by I.W. Gregorio, exudes a cool confidence despite his history of anxiety. Born as a Nigerian-Italian American to a wealthy family, he leads readers into the mind of a person living life with anxiety. A simple phone call can lead him into a paralyzing mind puzzle. He is completely “adorkable” to the main protagonist, Jocelyn, who can “count on [her] hands the number of times when [she] felt unadulterated happiness. [She’s] never been a bouncy Tigger or a kind of steadfast Piglett. [She’s] an Eeyore plain and simple.”
This beautiful love story explores many realities facing modern teens as the world navigates our lives and we use our skills and emotional intelligence as the compass to direct the path. With the weight of her family’s business on her shoulders, Jocelyn demonstrates the realities of depression.
This novel seeks to “normalize seeking help for mental illness, and even touches on where it may not be accessible because of money or other factors.” The conversations surrounding mental illness and love, as well as balancing growing up as a teen in modern society are endless.
According to the CDC, the number of children from ages 6-17 dealing with depression and anxiety have increased over time. The treatment rates are slightly different depending on the mental disorder the child is living with. For depression, nearly 8 in 10 children diagnosed with depression received treatment. Meanwhile for other behavioral disorders the rate of treatment drops to roughly 5 in 10.
Crossroads' Youth Services division aims to provide the most wide range of mental health services to youth in Cleveland County. Making a plan and having support means living a healthy life. If you know of a teen or family dealing with any mental health concerns please contact Crossroads at 405-321-0240.