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"It's kind of a funny story"

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Diana Martinez

on 21 April 2014

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Transcript of "It's kind of a funny story"

"It's kind of a funny story"
And Adolescent Depression
Craig Gilner, was a regular boy, who had really high expectation of himself. His friends were going to an executive high school to which he had to get in. He started smoking a lot of marijuana after his acceptance, he also started having really bad depression. He could not sleep at night, nor could he keep his food down. Craig knew that something was wrong and he asked his parents for help. He was taken to a psychiatrist and prescribed Zoloft. After a couple of months he thought he was all better and did not take the medication again. Two months later, his depression was back and worse than ever. He admitted himself into the hospital, and during his stay he realized he did not want to be like the people in there. He realized he had to start making himself happy and not worry about anyone else, especially not his parents.In my essay I will discuss Craig Gilner’s Journey, from being an average teenage boy, to being a teenager in a psychiatric hospital. I will also talk about the way stress affects teenagers and kids, and how easily it is for it to go undetected, like in Craig’s case
Finding a Topic
This was one of the hardest parts of the whole project. I am way too indecisive. Out of the page long list of movie and book titles I had, I started off with the following;
Speak by Laurie Anderson.
Then went with House M.D.
I found almost zero reviews or criticism on that show so I changed to:
Star Trek. There was way too much about this one. Which Star Trek was I talking about the original series? the Next Generation? the remake movies? then which spock? Leonard Nemoy or Zachary Quinto?
I remembered one of my favorite authors throughout high school, Ned Vizzini. Then my favorite book by him, " It's Kind of a Funny Story"
Research Question
Concentrating on the depression the author and the main character have in common, I would like to find out more about adolescent depression. How can this book help teenagers struggling with mental illness? How accurate is Craig's depression compared to actual teenage depression?
Search Terms
Ned Vizzini
“It’s kind of a funny story”
“It’s kind of a funny story” Criticism
“It’s kind of a funny story” Ned Vizzini Criticism
“It’s kind of a funny story” Ned Vizzini
Teenage Depression
Teenage Depression, why does it happen?
Ned Vizzini Depression
Search Results
Ned Vizzini- I found a lot about the author, but most of it had to do with other stories he had written.
"It's kind of a funny story" criticism- Yielded nothing. I used multiple databases but I could not find anything that included criticism.
"It's kind of a funny story" Ned Vizinni- Gave me a couple of results. Mostly book reviews though.
Teenage depression- Since this is what the book is mainly about, I decided to make my essay have a strong connection to this subject. This gave me a plethora of results.
Teenage depression, why does it happen?- Found great articles, a lot more narrow than the previous search term.
Evaluating Sources
Since I did not have a big variety of search results, I had to skim/read almost all of them. Finding articles that seemed useful, which was not many.
Always narrowing it down to articles, or peer- reviewed journals. which shortened the list a lot more.
In the end, after finding a handful of sources I could work with, I re-read them all, and highlighted or copied onto a different document, the quotes I thought would be useful for my essay. I left these articles up, just in case I needed something else that I did not highlight or set apart.

Choosing my Sources
I had to read a lot into adolescent depression. Familiarize myself with everything that had to deal with the author and his depression that way I could understand Craig Gilner a lot more.
Ned Vizzini modeled the main character, Craig Gilner, as an example for all teens suffering with depression. Craig struggled with depression for a while: he told his parents about it, called a suicide hotline, and admitted himself into a psychiatric unit. Although others may argue that Craig was not really suicidal, since he took every measure possible to not commit suicide, I would argue that he was. Craig admitted himself into the psychiatric unit because he was a smart, brave adolescent who realized he had a problem and wanted to get better. This being said, stress and change are some of the leading causes of adolescent depression such as that experienced by Craig and Ned Vizzini.
By: Diana Martinez
Annotated Bibliography
Mejia, Melissa. "What drives a teenager to depression? an insider's sociological look into its causes Melissa Mejia." Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge 9.2 (2011): 19+. Academic OneFile. Web. 20 Apr. 2014. In this article Mejia discusses adolescent depression. She tells us how her depression altered her teenage years. We also learn many different reasons why teenagers get depressed. During adolescence we are going through so many changes, not only physically, but also emotionally. We start caring about what people think, and what they expect of us. Some kids deal with this better than others. She also speaks about “emotion work”, which is putting on a smile when inside you are really upset, and how that is done very well by adolescents with depression. Teenagers, normally can hide their depression very well, even from their parents. She also feels that teenagers should not immediately be put on prescription medication but should try artistic ways of dealing with it.
Annotated Bibliography
Blasingame, James. "Interview with Ned Vizzini." Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 50.7 (2007): 607+. Academic OneFile. Web. 20 Apr. 2014. This is an interview of Ned Vizzini, the writer of It’s kind of a funny story. Here he talks about how closely related Craig Gilner, the main character, is to his own personal life. He mentions, the book was based on a time he had to go to a mental hospital. “It’s kind of a funny story is based eighty- five percent on his real life. Most of the characters too, were real, with the exception of Noelle. He wrote this book in his twenties, but has been writing professionally since he was 15. Like the Craig Gilner, Vizzini did not attempt suicide. He just thought seriously about doing it, which led him to call the suicide hotline. He also mentions the reason why he put Craig in an adult psychiatric unit instead of the adolescent unit, he says that he himself was in the adult unit, and it helped Craig see the differences between him and the adult patients.
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