,

Best Mentally Ill Characters

This list is for the best characters, not the best books. The character does not have to be officially diagnosed as mentally ill or go to therapy in the book to qualify. Fiction only please.

If you can, please add the name of the character you've voted for in the "why you added this book" section.
1

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4.22 avg rating — 1,545,149 ratings
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2

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4.04 avg rating — 749,103 ratings
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3

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3.87 avg rating — 891,989 ratings
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4

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3.81 avg rating — 3,158,537 ratings
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5

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4.20 avg rating — 686,102 ratings
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6

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4.11 avg rating — 2,720,662 ratings
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7

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4.25 avg rating — 1,312,883 ratings
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8

by
4.19 avg rating — 544,611 ratings
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9

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4.18 avg rating — 572,900 ratings
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10

by
4.03 avg rating — 844,795 ratings
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11

by
3.92 avg rating — 208,933 ratings
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12

by
4.20 avg rating — 597,522 ratings
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13

by
3.88 avg rating — 1,588,345 ratings
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14

by
3.98 avg rating — 784,657 ratings
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15

by
3.69 avg rating — 2,609,393 ratings
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16

by
3.96 avg rating — 169 ratings
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17

by
3.91 avg rating — 201,293 ratings
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18

by
3.93 avg rating — 17,321 ratings
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19

by
4.04 avg rating — 542,776 ratings
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20

by
3.96 avg rating — 115,317 ratings
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21

by
3.98 avg rating — 154,725 ratings
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22

by
4.16 avg rating — 2,936,382 ratings
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23

by
4.11 avg rating — 137,766 ratings
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24

by
4.03 avg rating — 385,356 ratings
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25

by
4.09 avg rating — 236,449 ratings
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26

by
4.16 avg rating — 64 ratings
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27

by
4.09 avg rating — 182,001 ratings
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28

by
4.28 avg rating — 1,096,765 ratings
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29

by
3.93 avg rating — 234 ratings
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30

by
4.06 avg rating — 8,802 ratings
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31

by
4.03 avg rating — 479,230 ratings
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32

by
3.86 avg rating — 28 ratings
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33

by
3.87 avg rating — 124,202 ratings
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34

by
3.89 avg rating — 242,277 ratings
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35

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 996,871 ratings
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36

by
3.84 avg rating — 182,345 ratings
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37

by
3.63 avg rating — 5,523 ratings
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38

by
4.07 avg rating — 772,916 ratings
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39

by
4.07 avg rating — 460,195 ratings
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40

by
4.25 avg rating — 1,011,635 ratings
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41

by
3.88 avg rating — 29,959 ratings
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42

by
4.11 avg rating — 60,771 ratings
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43

by
4.09 avg rating — 1,256,885 ratings
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44

by
4.24 avg rating — 202,370 ratings
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45

by
3.95 avg rating — 669,637 ratings
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46

by
4.01 avg rating — 1,102,523 ratings
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47

by
4.24 avg rating — 873,084 ratings
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48

by
3.11 avg rating — 143 ratings
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48

by
3.68 avg rating — 632 ratings
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48

by
3.71 avg rating — 122 ratings
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48

by
4.40 avg rating — 15 ratings
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48

by
3.90 avg rating — 107 ratings
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53

by
4.26 avg rating — 63,115 ratings
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54

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 28,874 ratings
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55

by
3.98 avg rating — 10,908 ratings
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55

by
4.33 avg rating — 371,792 ratings
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57

by
3.60 avg rating — 100,424 ratings
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58

by
3.90 avg rating — 759 ratings
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59

by
3.97 avg rating — 183,243 ratings
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60

by
4.23 avg rating — 696,965 ratings
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61

by
4.11 avg rating — 184,648 ratings
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62

by
3.95 avg rating — 2,561,756 ratings
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63

by
3.89 avg rating — 1,358,375 ratings
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64

by
3.70 avg rating — 200,597 ratings
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65

by
3.57 avg rating — 1,717,442 ratings
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66

by
3.77 avg rating — 26,252 ratings
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66

by
4.13 avg rating — 123 ratings
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66

by
3.90 avg rating — 26,487 ratings
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69

by
3.68 avg rating — 19,648 ratings
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70

by
4.28 avg rating — 419 ratings
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70

by
3.99 avg rating — 196 ratings
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70

by
3.49 avg rating — 37 ratings
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70

by
4.03 avg rating — 167,399 ratings
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70

by
4.18 avg rating — 11 ratings
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70

by
4.05 avg rating — 20 ratings
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70

by
3.24 avg rating — 303 ratings
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70

by
3.25 avg rating — 4 ratings
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70

by
3.81 avg rating — 1,705 ratings
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70

by
4.14 avg rating — 25,616 ratings
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80

by
4.17 avg rating — 18 ratings
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81

by
4.02 avg rating — 3,113 ratings
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82

by
3.54 avg rating — 163 ratings
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82

by
3.71 avg rating — 339 ratings
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82

by
4.01 avg rating — 856,180 ratings
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85

by
4.31 avg rating — 330,147 ratings
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86

by
4.03 avg rating — 102,385 ratings
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86

by
4.37 avg rating — 195,740 ratings
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88

by
4.01 avg rating — 32,022 ratings
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89

by
4.19 avg rating — 563,083 ratings
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89

by
4.21 avg rating — 13,789 ratings
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91

by
4.11 avg rating — 73,446 ratings
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92

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 7,064 ratings
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93

by
3.59 avg rating — 5,562 ratings
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94

by
3.86 avg rating — 8,862 ratings
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95

by
3.70 avg rating — 234,620 ratings
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96

by
3.62 avg rating — 12,793 ratings
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97

by
4.09 avg rating — 14,814 ratings
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98

by
3.84 avg rating — 11,277 ratings
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99

by
3.96 avg rating — 23,582 ratings
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100

by
3.98 avg rating — 160,040 ratings
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76 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Christy 6958 books
2586 friends
V.E. 202 books
4 friends
Nick James 92 books
105 friends
David 2553 books
3 friends
Donna 2375 books
680 friends
Tabitha 114 books
0 friends
John 41 books
13 friends
Jason 216 books
0 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Fascinating idea for a list.


message 2: by Alice (new)

Alice I believe that I too must be insane because I didn't recognize insanity in some of these that I've read.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Alice wrote: "I believe that I too must be insane because I didn't recognize insanity in some of these that I've read."

No, it actually takes some training! I think its interesting that we want to read about the mentally ill as they are more interesting.


message 4: by BookLovingLady (last edited Feb 11, 2015 04:59AM) (new)

BookLovingLady Who is mentally ill in Picnic at Hanging Rock (currently #102)? And in The Story of O (currently #156)? Or in The English Patient (currently #163)?

All three books were added by the same voter, but unfortunately, in the 'Why you added this book' section, there is no name mentioned of the mentally ill character (and as far as I can remember, there was none...)


message 5: by BookLovingLady (new)

BookLovingLady Alice wrote: "I believe that I too must be insane because I didn't recognize insanity in some of these that I've read."

Seems you're not the only one ... :-)


message 6: by Thea (last edited Sep 20, 2016 12:20AM) (new)

Thea so far only one book on the list has a main character who suffers from my mental illness.


message 7: by Sheryl (last edited Jan 19, 2017 10:42PM) (new)

Sheryl Hill For those who have struggled with trauma/mental illness or know someone who does, these books are a must-read:
—The Body Keeps the Score by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is a best-selling, compassionate book by one of the world's top experts in mental illness. The book describes the physiology of trauma, many case studies, and new non-pharmaceutical treatments. Note: the case studies involve some graphic descriptions of atrocities.

—Trauma and Recovery by Dr. Judith Herman is a classic on the history of the treatment of mental illness: how Freud was pressured into retracting his discovery that his female patients were victims of childhood incest (resulting in the cruel psychoanalytic practice of blaming the victim), the use of borderline diagnosis as a pejorative substitute for PTSD, trauma in the military, etc. Note: the Recovery section is out-of-date.

Good fiction can reduce the need for medications by distracting ill readers from their pain. Please vote on and/or add suggestions to this list of healing books: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1...


message 8: by BookLovingLady (last edited Jan 17, 2017 10:33PM) (new)

BookLovingLady It seems people who are obsessed by someone (Wuthering Heights, #23) are seen as mentally ill in this list. i wouldn't go that far myself. as mentally ill has a different meaning to me.


message 9: by Chrisl (new)

Chrisl After looking at this list, I viewed the regional library's catalog for "mental illness" and was surprised, discouraged to see a quite high percentage of books listed were in the young adult sections.


message 10: by Theresa (new)

Theresa I voted for Tara in Prisoners of War; she has OCD.


~☆~Autumn♥♥☔ Is masochism a mental illness? What about sadism? I guess its been 40 years since I took abnormal psychology and things have sure changed since then. There are all sorts of new mental illnesses.


message 12: by Theresa (new)

Theresa Thea wrote: "so far only one book on the list has a main character who suffers from my mental illness."

If you don't mind sharing, what one is yours?


~☆~Autumn♥♥☔ Chrisl wrote: "After looking at this list, I viewed the regional library's catalog for "mental illness" and was surprised, discouraged to see a quite high percentage of books listed were in the young adult sections."
Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

I recently read a book about sleep and it said that many mental illnesses start in teenagers as they need lots more sleep but our society doesn't allow for this. Starting school later would really help these students. The people this happens to NEVER RECOVER! I was very shocked to read this and I think the book was:Matthew WalkerWhy We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams but I may have the title wrong.


~☆~Autumn♥♥☔ Lyn wrote: "For those who have struggled with trauma/mental illness or know someone who does, these books are a must-read:
—The Body Keeps the Score by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is a best-selling, compassionate ..."


I am so glad to read that Old Fraud had to retract on the labels he put on his patients. Psychologists still like to blame the victim and so do psychiatrists.


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