10 Books About Mental Health That Prove You Are Not Alone


Are you struggling to find the light at the end of the tunnel?

From depression to bipolar disorder, here is a list of 10 books that will convince you that you're not all by yourself.

1. All The Bright Places – Jennifer Niven

all the bright places    via The Paper Trail Diary

Finch is a boy who wants to die and is constantly besotted with thoughts of how he might kill himself but something always stands in his way.  and Violet, a is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. 
Violet Markey wants to find every reason to live. Her sister has just died and she can't wait to graduate so she can leave the hurt and the memories behind. 
When they meet at school ans start to work on a class project, a friendhip starts to blossom. Finch realises he can set his worries adide and be himself around Violet and she begins to look forward to living each day to the fullest too until their world begin to separate, bit by bit.

2. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things – Jenny Lawson

furiously happy jenny lawson

In this ridiculously funny nonfiction piece, Jenny talks about her lifelong struggle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea.
She explores anxiety and depression in a way that shows that we're all pretty weird, some of us just do a better job at hiding it.
Furiously Happy is a book about living with mental illness, but it's also about about clinging to joy and refusing to stay down.

3. The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion

Between December 2003 and January 2004, Joan lost her husband and her only daughter. 
This is a book about trauma and grief that will speak to anyone who has lost a spouse or a child.

In less than a month, her life with a cherished partner and a daughter was over. This book, according to Didion is an "attempt to make sense of the weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness, about marriage and children and memory, about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself".

4. Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression – Nell Casey

unholy ghost writers on depression

Unholy Ghost is a collection of 22 essays about depression that puts into words, the workings and effects of one of the most ravaging mental illnesses.

Unholy Ghost encompasses so many diverse voices  about depression from different points of view. It talks about coping with medication while pregnant, returning to writing after a long hiatus sufficientuly punctuated by suffering, struggling with dejection after a surgery, the challenges of racism plus depression and more.

It also includes a part dedicated to pieces that depict how we struggle to hold on to depressed loved ones: a husband-wife viewpoint, a wife and a sister's angles.

Unholy Ghost is a honest and raw portrayal that will make anyone who reads it find solace and comfort in the fact that they're not alone. 

5. Drinking: A Love Story – Caroline Knapp

In Drinking, a gripping book about addiction, Caroline tells ahe story of how her dysfunctional pushes her into the arms of alcoholism to escape the realities of life and personal relationships, and how books saved her.

She talks about how she on to find motivation in A Drinking Life by Pete Hamilton and how she found the strength to fight to stay sober.

6. Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia – Marya Hornbacher

In Wasted, we meet a talented young woman who spirals into a relationship with hunger, drugs, sex, and endless hospital trips.

It is a moving story of a woman who does jer best to live with anorexia and bulimia until a particular encounter with her illness that threatens to shut her off forever. Marya's clear and emotional story will stay with you, long after you're done. 

7. Finding Audrey – Sophie Kinsella

finding audrey

Audrey is 14 and social anxiety interrupts her life, holding her back from being a normal teenager. Her doctor says she's making slow progress, then she meets Linus and her energy becomes very fast-paced.

She starts to connect with him, in a way that she has never done to anyone, telling him about her fears and more. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

8. Every Last Word – Tamara Ireland Stone 

Samantha looks just like the every other girl in her class but hidden neatly away is her OCD. Sam has a huge rivulet of dark thoughts and fears that she can't switch off.

Her friends, the most popular girls in school are toxic and it doesn't help Sam who overthinks and second-guesses everything from the perfect outfit to the perfect lunch. Then she meets a new friend Caroline, who she tries to keep a secret alongside her weekly visit until she meets a guitar-playing guy and finds a new reason to hold tight to her sanity.

9. An Untamed State – Roxanne Gay

an untamed state

In An Untamed State, we encounter Mireille, who struggles with Post-Stress Traumatic Disorder. 

Mireille has a rich father, a doting husband and an adorable son. Her life is perfect until she is kidnapped by "The Commander" for ransom which her father refuses to pay.  The book is about how she seeks to accept the aftermath of her suffering after she regains her freedom.

An Untamed State eplores the infinite gap between the rich and the poor, the gross ineptitude of a corrupt government and a one woman's journey to find herself again.

10. Made You Up – Francesca Zappia

Alex is a high school kid who can't tell differentiate what's real from what's not. She doesn't relent in her battle with schizophrenia and hopes to stay normal enough to go to university.

This seems to be working until Miles shows up and she starts to do all the things she'd never done before; making new friends, attending parties and living like a regular teenager until something happens.

Is Miles real? Has she just been imagining him all along?

Have you read any of these?

What books have made you feel less lonely?

Debbie Otua is a freelance writer focused on arts, lifestyle and mental health. She helps creative entrepreneurs and businesses thrive by spinning unique written content. When she's not writing, she relishes binging on books and playing the guitar. Find her at http://inkandsleek.wordpress.com or on Twitter at @thatgirldorian.

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