Trouble in My Head by Mathilde Monaque

troubeheadThis memoir, about a teenage girl and her battle with depression, won’t appeal to everyone. Some readers may find it too heavy, too real, and maybe even too scary. But for anyone interested in adolescent psychology and the long journey from desperation to hope, the author’s story will captivate.

Mathilde Monaque, a young French woman born in 1989, was hospitalized at the age of 14 for severe depression and a possible eating disorder. She had no idea why she felt so bad; she felt totally unconnected to the other teenage patients around her; she saw herself as a burden on her family; she denied herself food and nutrition; she considered herself altogether unworthy of happiness.

The plot and action of the memoir take place almost entirely inside Monaque’s “troubled head.” We learn of her pain, her affections, her insecurities, and most of all, finally, her love. The lessons she learns, after much fighting and suffering, are ones that all of us should embrace: our place in this world is unquestionable and others will benefit from our unique presence, even if we are far from perfect.