‘Funny Story’ delivers dead serious message

By: Sydney See

“It’s Kind of a Funny Story” by Ned Vizzini shows and describes how it feels to suffer from depression.

Stressed by school, friends and relationships, 16-year-old Craig Gilner can barely handle the weight of life. Craig is determined to succeed, and after being accepted into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School, this reality seemed to become more clear; however, he finds himself anxious that he isn’t doing well enough or is able to handle the workflow. Behind in his studies and not seeing friends, he struggles and is finding life hard to balance and control.

After contemplating suicide, Craig checks himself into a mental hospital because of advice from a suicide hotline. While there, makes three friends: a girl who scarred her face with scissors, a transsexual sex addict and a self-declared president named Armelio. While he’s there he learns more about himself and confronts his anxiety.

Reading this may sound very depressing, but this book is full of hope and comedy along a rollercoaster of emotion. This story is so great because readers will relate to the main character in many ways.

Like in The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald, Vizzini represents himself as a main character of the novel. Given Ned’s experience in a mental hospital and his depression, it gives the character Craig more depth and a true understanding on what it means to be depressed.

Vizzini himself spent five days in adult psychiatric in Park Slope Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn. He started writing It’s Kind of a Funny Story  just seven days later and finished within a month. Another fact to know about the author is that he committed suicide in the year of 2013. Now, this makes the novel almost more realistic in a sense. Vizzini showed and understood how it feels to suffer from anxiety and depression. This fact also makes reading the story more heavy, knowing his fate. It’s sad reading this book that has inspired so much hope and guidance for readers and knowing that he had lost the fight.

This is an excellent novel that exposes worlds of emotions. It is an absolutely beautiful story that offers advice to those who may suffer from depression, and it can possibly educate those who don’t understand how it works. And to the readers, if you struggle with depression, I highly recommend this novel. I hope you know that you’re not alone. If you ever need help, there are endless possibilities. So please, if you have time on your hands, please read Ned Vizzini’s novel, It’s Kind of a Funny Story.

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