Study Guide

All the Bright Places Mental Illness

By Jennifer Niven

Mental Illness

Finch has undiagnosed bipolar disorder, and while he seems to recognize his disease on some level—he's not surprised when the school counselor brings it up—he never acknowledges the possibility that treatment could help.

He sees getting diagnosed as a label, and he'd rather suffer (and ultimately die) than deal with the stigma attached to it. Still, it's worth noting that Finch does pursue treatment options under the radar. He goes to the hospital to have his stomach pumped after he takes a bunch of sleeping pills, and he even attends a suicide support group in a nearby town. He doesn't want to be ill, and he fights his suicidal tendencies as best he can.

Questions About Mental Illness

  1. What strategies does Finch use to hide his mental illness from people?
  2. How do Finch's manic episodes differ from his periods of depression? What are the symptoms associated with each?
  3. How does Finch cope with his mental illness? What strategies does he use to deal with symptoms?

Chew on This

Finch fell through the cracks at his school because he was treated like a delinquent instead of a sick teen.

Violet and her family blame Finch's family for failing to recognize his illness, but they don't realize he went to great lengths to keep it a secret.