Review: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

I started reading Maybe You Should Talk to Someone to be a part of a read-along and participate in it’s discussions. Here’s a thing I’ve realized about read-along’s – while they’re really good for you to read through a book quickly and have in-depth conversations about them, sometimes it may pull you out of your depth and turns out that this one was a bit too ambitious for me. As I read the book it occurred to me that that’s okay and I’m quite glad to have finished the book at my own pace. It’s also the first time that I was reading two books simultaneously and now I have come to know myself better and also understood why I am a mono-reader – it’s because I enjoy savoring the story of an entire book before I move on to the next.

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Despite what the title may suggest, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is NOT a self-help book. It isn’t a book where the author imposes their idea of something on you AND it definitely is NOT a book asking you to go see a therapist! It’s rather a memoir of the author and therapist – Lori Gottlieb. It’s a narrative about her sessions with her therapist along with the journey of some of her patient’s – an obnoxious TV show writer, an alcoholic, a dying newly wed and a 70 year old depressed artist.

This week is mental health awareness week and the title of the book subtly addresses the stigma around mental health, subtly suggesting that if you feel like you need help, there’s nothing wrong in asking for it. Who you ask that help from is entirely up to you.

There were many enlightening moments in the book for me. The emotions that one faces in life are quite similar to those faced by many other’s as well. We’re different people but all human, different OS on similar hardware. At times, the questions and feelings expressed by each patient and Lori had me subconsciously acknowledging that emotion too or it had me asking the same questions to myself. Some times it would also feel as if the author was calling me out on some of my toxic behaviors too.

In my opinion, the book is not to convince anyone to go see a therapist; rather it’s to help us question and understand our own entire humanity through the author’s journey. As the patient’s progressed in their journey’s I too became more affirmed that whenever I do need help, I will always have an option, and more importantly the choice, to to ask for it – which to me seems like the secondary intent of this memoir. I could be wrong about all of this but what I really want to say is that after quite a prolonged period, I’ve found a profound read and I am giving it nothing less than 5 bookmarks!

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