John Green's recent Novel Helped Him Figure Out His Own Mental Illness
The book follows 16-year-customary Aza Holmes — who, like Green, has OCD and anxiety — as she tries to solve the mystery of a lost local billionaire. Green said he wanted to write a detective legend in which the detective’s obsessiveness is “distinctly unhelpful” in trying to solve the case.
“A lot of times, detectives are portrayed as obsessive, and that’s to a certain extent linked to their observational genius,” Green said. “But that’s totally opposite to my experience having OCD, which is that when I’m really sick I can’t notice anything external of the world of myself.”
Green also spoke approximately the importance of finding ways to represent mental illness, so that those who live with it (and those close to someone who does) can better understand what they’re going through. He said he wrote the book “in the wake of an extended period of unwellness” and that doing so helped him originate sense of what he’s been dealing with since he was a teen.
“One of the terrifying things approximately psychic pain is that it’s so summary,” he said. “You can’t talk approximately it the way you talk approximately a table. That makes it uncouth the more isolating, for me at least, and also scary.”