The Edge of Brilliance
Genre: YA Contemporary Realistic Fiction
Spotlight on Mental Disorders
Did you know that 21% of teens have a diagnosable mental or addictive disorder?* That’s more than one out of every five people. One in five. So, in any typical high school classroom, about six kids are struggling.
Because treatments were inadequate, there was a time when the mentally ill were just hidden or locked away.
But, that time has passed.
Now, with treatment and support, most sufferers can lead full and amazing lives. That’s a message that needs to get out there. It’s a message that more and more Hollywood stars are willing to share as they reveal their own struggles. According to People Magazine** these famous stars all have mental health challenges and yet look at the incredible talent and success represented here. No one on this list has been stopped by their mental illness.
Amanda Bynes—bipolar disorder
Miley Cyrus—bipolar disorder
Britney Spears—depression and bipolar
I also wanted to add my voice to the chorus that brings the reality of mental illness out into the open. I wanted to show how an ‘ordinary’ girl leading an ‘ordinary’ life could, nevertheless, find her greatness.
First and foremost, The Edge of Brilliance is a story—the story of a girl finding the hero within herself. But, additionally, it is a look into the mind of a person with bipolar disorder and a peek behind the curtain of talk therapy and residential programs available to people today. Because, while the book is fiction, it is based on my daughter’s real-life struggles and scenes in the book are informed by real-life places and events.
It’s time to talk about mental illness. It’s time to see those who struggle with the disease as the multi-faceted, complex, amazing people that they are. And finally, I hope it’s time to acknowledge the wonder of the teens who deal with their disorder, find the hero within themselves and step up to the edge of their brilliance! They deserve our unmitigated admiration.
Award-winning author, Susan Traugh, has been writing for over thirty years. Her Daily Living Skills workbooks are used in classrooms all over the world and her stories have appeared in periodicals nationwide along with several stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul. With husband, Steven, Susan won Learning Magazine's Teachers Choice Award for Mother Goose Brain Boost.
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