Due to the prevalence and need for mental health services, and a general lack of them in many communities, zines on mental health serve a special need. Zines can help frame mental health in both a frank and gentle way, while also providing tips and encouragement for self-care. Many mental health zines are based around an individual's personal experience, so they provide a first-hand account of the associated trauma and healing processes. These zines can also acknowledge intersectional issues—issues that speak to the fact that queer individuals, People of Color, and folks who are differently-abled deal with additional institutional forms of oppression, and thus stress. For anyone interested in learning more, here is a selection of zines in the Library’s collection that cover this topic.
Impulse Control Disorder
In Impulse Control Disorder, Juliet Eldred shares about their experiences with trichotillomania, the compulsion to pull out one’s own body hair. Through a series of drawings and lists, they share what this behavior is, what triggers them into this behavior, and strategies that they employ to help tamp down on their urges. It's a fascinating insight into a condition that can be otherwise invisible or hard to see.
Wax & Feathers: The Icarus Project Zine. April 2011
From the inside cover: “The Icarus Project is a network of people living with/or affected by experiences that are commonly diagnosed and labeled as psychiatric conditions. This zine is a collaborative effort by Icarus Project members. In expressing our feelings, insights, and ideas about madness and the world around us, we hope to inform and inspire others.”
Where Are You Going?
Moving is so stressful and moving to a place where you don’t know anyone is so much worse. “Where are you going?” is a part diary, part workbook, part reflection on the author’s experience moving across the country from California to Memphis, leaving behind their support structure and community. Their reflections and insights are great, anyone who’s moving to a new town would do well to read this.
Sorry For Being A Bummer: Denial-Based Mental Healthcare
Written by local author Kristin Ousley, this comic zine highlights depression and some of the feelings associated with it.
Falling Apart: A Zine On Death, Grief, Mourning & Loss
A compilation of personal poems, stories, and postcards on death, grief, mourning, and loss. Includes international and intergenerational perspectives.
If You’d Like To Hear It I Can Sing It For You: A Zine On Aging: Vol. 001
This zine hosts various authors giving their stories, poems, or collages on aging. Some of the individuals work in retirement homes, some remember fond memories with their grandparents and some talk about their personal aging journey.
Get It Together. v. 1
Sometimes you need a pick me up. Find one with this perzine filled with art and inspirational quotes.