S01E01 – Turtles All The Way Down

Welcome to our debut review episode! We will be adding a blog post like this for all upcoming episodes, including an episode summary, about the book/author, relevant resources and recommended reading.

In the words of Aza Holmes: the problem isn’t losing your mind; it’s that it’s inescapable. In this episode, we discuss ever-tightening thought spirals, common therapy approaches for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and what recovery can look like.

Mental health issues covered: OCD/anxiety (including its impact on sense of self, day to day life, and families), depersonalisation, being in therapy, medication, hospitalisation/mental health crisis

Trigger warning: self-harm, intrusive thoughts, car crash, grief/death of parent

Listen to the podcast:

About the Book

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

About the Author

John Green is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars, and Turtles All the Way Down. He is also the coauthor, with David Levithan, of Will Grayson, Will Grayson. His books have been published in more than 55 languages and over 24 million copies are in print.

Besides writing, Green works on other projects, mainly through online videos with his brother Hank. Their channel spawned a following of people around their world calling themselves “Nerdfighters.” “Nerdfighteria” has followed the lead of John and Hank Green to give to charity, create and follow educational YouTube channels, and celebrate the VlogBrother motto “DFTBA,” or “Don’t Forget To Be Awesome.” Visit the author’s website: www.johngreenbooks.com

John Green has spoken about his own experience with OCD in interviews (here is one in The Guardian) and he has also made a YouTube video about it.

Recommended Readings

Relevant mental health resources:

More books like Turtles All The Way Down:

Voices from Lived Experience

On behalf of everyone who has OCD, but more so on those who only thought they understood it, thank you. Turtles All the Way Down will change how the world sees OCD and treats those with it. I know this took you six years to write. It was well worth the wait.

Stacey Grant, Seventeen magazine

COVID-19 and OCD

The COVID-19 pandemic takes a toll on most people. For those living with OCD, it may be particularly challenging. While we don’t know what Aza Holmes would have done, a few people have written about how they’re coping during this pandemic:

  • Matthew Cantor wrote in The Guardian about accepting uncertainty and distinguishing the irrational from the rational.
  • Bronwyn Miller writes on the SANE Australia blog about living with OCD during the COVID-19 pandemic and shares her coping strategies.

On the TBR Pile

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