Best Books, Education, Fiction, Literature, Nonfiction

The Best Books About Mental Health And Mental Illness

January 17, 2017
Best Mental Health and Mental Illness Books

‘What are the best books about Mental Health and Mental Illness?” We looked at 242 of the top mental health and illness books, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question.

We found a wide array of both nonfiction and (mostly) fiction books about mental health and illness in the 22 lists we used in creating this article. All together there were 242 different titles that showed up, 46 of which appeared multiple times. Those top 46 are ranked by the number of times they appear below with images, summaries and links to learn more/purchse. The remaining books that appeare a single time are listed alphabetically at the bottom of the page along with the sources we used.

Happy Scrolling!

 



Top 46 Mental Health Books

(Fiction & Nonfiction)



46 .) A Historical Reader: The New York Times and Madness, 1851-1922 by William Jiang

a-historical-reader-the-new-york-times-and-madness-1851-1922-by-william-jiang
Lists It Appears On:

  • Mind Body Network
  • Mental Health Books

The entire raison d’être for this mental health historical reader of the “paper of record”, The New York Times, is to give the reader a window on the past and to include the reader on a journey of a time long ago. What people come away with when, they see the original articles written by and about Sigmund Freud or his famous “psychanalysis” as well as the many other issues we see in these pages, transports us to another time and place.

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45 .) A New Earth: Create a Better Life by Eckhart Tolle

a-new-earth-awakening-to-your-lifes-purpose-by-eckhart-tolle
Lists It Appears On:

  • Psych Central
  • High Existence

With his bestselling spiritual guide The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle inspired millions of readers to discover the freedom and joy of a life lived “in the now.” In A New Earth, Tolle expands on these powerful ideas to show how transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is not only essential to personal happiness, but also the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world. Tolle describes how our attachment to the ego creates the dysfunction that leads to anger, jealousy, and unhappiness, and shows readers how to awaken to a new state of consciousness and follow the path to a truly fulfilling existence.

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44 .) A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

a-tale-for-the-time-being-by-ruth-ozeki
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Buzzfeed

In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future.

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43 .) Electroboy by Andy Behrman

electroboy-a-memoir-of-mania-by-andy-behrman
Lists It Appears On:

  • Masters In Health Care
  • Psych Central

Electroboy is an emotionally frenzied memoir that reveals with kaleidoscopic intensity the terrifying world of manic depression. For years Andy Behrman hid his raging mania behind a larger-than-life personality. He sought a high wherever he could find one and changed jobs the way some people change outfits: filmmaker, PR agent, art dealer, stripper-whatever made him feel like a cartoon character, invincible and bright. Misdiagnosed by psychiatrists and psychotherapists for years, his condition exacted a terrible price: out-of-control euphoric highs and tornadolike rages of depression that put his life in jeopardy.

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42 .) Fountain House: Portraits of Lives Reclaimed from Mental Illness by Mark Glickman and Mary Flannery

fountain-house-portraits-of-lives-reclaimed-from-mental-illness-by-mary-flannery-mark-glickman
Lists It Appears On:

  • Mind Body Network
  • Mental Health Books

In Fountain House: Portraits of Lives Reclaimed, twelve Fountain House members and staffers share their personal stories of struggling with the pain and confusion of their illness. Each of these stories highlights the personal challenges faced by people with severe mental illness as well as the successful models they’ve discovered for living with their illness.

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41 .) Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life by Melody Moezzi

haldol-and-hyacinths-a-bipolar-life-by-melody-moezzi
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Nami

Both an irreverent memoir and a rousing call to action, Haldol and Hyacinths is the moving story of a woman who refused to become a victim. Moezzi reports from the frontlines of an invisible world, as seen through a unique and fascinating cultural lens. A powerful, funny, and moving narrative, Haldol and Hyacinths is a tribute to the healing power of hope and humor.

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40 .) Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

hyperbole-and-a-half-unfortunate-situations-flawed-coping-mechanisms-mayhem-and-other-things-that-happened-by-allie-brosh
Lists It Appears On:

  • Buzzfeed
  • Book Riot

This full-color, beautifully illustrated edition features more than fifty percent new content, with ten never-before-seen essays and one wholly revised and expanded piece as well as classics from the website like, “The God of Cake,” “Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving,” and her astonishing, “Adventures in Depression,” and “Depression Part Two,” which have been hailed as some of the most insightful meditations on the disease ever written.

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39 .) Just Checking: Scenes From the Life of an Obsessive-Compulsive by Emily Colas

just-checking-scenes-from-the-life-of-an-obsessive-compulsive-by-emily-colas
Lists It Appears On:

  • Masters In Health Care
  • Buzzfeed

“This raw, darkly comic series of astonishing vignettes is Emily Colas’ achingly honest chronicle of her twisted journey through the obsessive-compulsive disorder that came to dominate her world. In the beginning it was germs and food. By the time she faced the fact that she was really “”losing it,”” Colas had become a slave to her own “”hobbies”” — from the daily hair cutting to incessant inspections of her children’s clothing for bloodstains.
A shocking, hilarious, enormously appealing account of a young woman struggling to gain control of her life, this is Emily Colas’ exposé of a soul tormented, but balanced by a buoyance of spirit and a piercing sense of humor that may be her saving grace.”

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38 .) Lincoln’s Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness by Joshua Wolf Shenk

lincolns-melancholy-how-depression-challenged-a-president-and-fueled-his-greatness-by-joshua-wolf-shenk
Lists It Appears On:

  • Mind Body Network
  • Mental Health Books

Giving shape to the deep depression that pervaded Lincoln’s adult life, Joshua Wolf Shenk’s Lincoln’s Melancholy reveals how this illness influenced both the president’s character and his leadership. Lincoln forged a hard path toward mental health from the time he was a young man. Shenk draws from historical record, interviews with Lincoln scholars, and contemporary research on depression to understand the nature of his unhappiness.

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37 .) Lucky by Alice Sebold

lucky-by-alice-sebold
Lists It Appears On:

  • All Womens Talk
  • Masters In Health Care

In a memoir hailed for its searing candor and wit, Alice Sebold reveals how her life was utterly transformed when, as an eighteen-year-old college freshman, she was brutally raped and beaten in a park near campus. What propels this chronicle of her recovery is Sebold’s indomitable spirit-as she struggles for understanding (“After telling the hard facts to anyone, from lover to friend, I have changed in their eyes”); as her dazed family and friends sometimes bungle their efforts to provide comfort and support; and as, ultimately, she triumphs, managing through grit and coincidence to help secure her attacker’s arrest and conviction. In a narrative by turns disturbing, thrilling, and inspiring, Alice Sebold illuminates the experience of trauma victims even as she imparts wisdom profoundly hard-won: “You save yourself or you remain unsaved.”

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36 .) Madness: A Bipolar Life by Marya Hornbacher

madness-a-bipolar-life-by-marya-hornbacher
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • All Womens Talk

“When Marya Hornbacher published her first book, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia, she did not yet have the piece of shattering knowledge that would finally make sense of the chaos of her life. At age twenty-four, Hornbacher was diagnosed with Type I rapid-cycle bipolar, the most severe form of bipolar disorder.

In Madness, in her trademark wry and utterly self-revealing voice, Hornbacher tells her new story. Through scenes of astonishing visceral and emotional power, she takes us inside her own desperate attempts to counteract violently careening mood swings by self-starvation, substance abuse, numbing sex, and self-mutilation. How Hornbacher fights her way up from a madness that all but destroys her, and what it is like to live in a difficult and sometimes beautiful life and marriage — where bipolar always beckons — is at the center of this brave and heart-stopping memoir.”

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35 .) Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

norwegian-wood-by-haruki-murakami
Lists It Appears On:

  • Buzzfeed
  • Book Riot

Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.

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34 .) Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel

prozac-nation-by-elizabeth-wurtzel
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Masters In Health Care

Elizabeth Wurtzel writes with her finger in the faint pulse of an overdiagnosed generation whose ruling icons are Kurt Cobain, Xanax, and pierced tongues. In this famous memoir of her bouts with depression and skirmishes with drugs, Prozac Nation is a witty and sharp account of the psychopharmacology of an era for readers of Girl, Interrupted and Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.

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33 .) Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within by Gayathri Ramprasad

shadows-in-the-sun-healing-from-depression-and-finding-the-light-within-by-gayathri-ramprasad
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Nami

This memoir traces Gayathri’s courageous battle with the depression that consumed her from adolescence through marriage and a move to the United States. It was only after the birth of her first child, when her husband discovered her in the backyard “clawing the earth furiously with my bare hands, intent on digging a grave so that I could bury myself alive,” that she finally found help. After a stay in a psych ward she eventually found “the light within,” an emotional and spiritual awakening from the darkness of her tortured mind.

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32 .) She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb

shes-come-undone-by-wally-lamb
Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Book Riot

“In this extraordinary coming-of-age odyssey, Wally Lamb invites us to hitch a wild ride on a journey of love, pain, and renewal with the most heartbreakingly comical heroine to come along in years.

Meet Dolores Price. She’s 13, wise-mouthed but wounded, having bid her childhood goodbye. Stranded in front of her bedroom TV, she spends the next few years nourishing herself with the Mallomars, potato chips, and Pepsi her anxious mother supplies. When she finally orbits into young womanhood at 257 pounds, Dolores is no stronger and life is no kinder. But this time she’s determined to rise to the occasion and give herself one more chance before she really goes under.”

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31 .) Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry by Jeffrey A. Lieberman and Ogi Ogas

shrinks-the-untold-story-of-psychiatry-by-jeffrey-a-lieberman
Lists It Appears On:

  • Mind Body Network
  • Mental Health Books

“Psychiatry has come a long way since the days of chaining “”lunatics”” in cold cells. But, as Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, reveals in his eye-opening book, the path to legitimacy for “”the black sheep of medicine”” has been anything but smooth.

Dr. Lieberman traces the field from its birth as a mystic pseudo-science to its late blooming maturity–beginning after World War II–as a science-driven profession that saves lives. With fascinating case studies and portraits of the field’s luminaries–from Sigmund Freud to Eric Kandel–SHRINKS is a gripping read, and an urgent call-to-arms to dispel the stigma of mental illnesses by treating them as diseases rather than unfortunate states of mind.”

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30 .) Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy by Sonya Sones

stop-pretending-what-happened-when-my-big-sister-went-crazy-by-sonya-sones
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • The Guardian

Based on award-winning author Sonya Sones’s own true story, this novel explores the chilling landscape of mental illness, revealing glimmers of beauty and of hope along the way. Told in a succession of short and powerful poems, it takes us deep into the cyclone of the narrator’s emotions: despair, anger, guilt, resentment, and ultimately, acceptance.

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29 .) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

the-curious-incident-of-the-dog-in-the-night-time-by-mark-haddon
Lists It Appears On:

  • Sofeminine
  • The Better India

“Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.

This improbable story of Christopher’s quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years.”

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28 .) The Man Who Couldn’t Stop by David Adam

the-man-who-couldnt-stop-by-david-adam
Lists It Appears On:

  • Huffington Post
  • Book Riot

David Adam―an editor at Nature and an accomplished science writer―has suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder for twenty years, and The Man Who Couldn’t Stop is his unflinchingly honest attempt to understand the condition and his experiences. In this riveting and intimate blend of science, history, and memoir, Adam explores the weird thoughts that exist within every mind and explains how they drive millions of us toward obsession and compulsion. Told with fierce clarity, humor, and urgent lyricism, The Man Who Couldn’t Stop is a haunting story of a personal nightmare that shines a light into the darkest corners of our minds.

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27 .) The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks

the-man-who-mistook-his-wife-for-a-hat-by-oliver-sacks
Lists It Appears On:

  • Five Books
  • Huffington Post

Oliver Sacks’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat tells the stories of individuals afflicted with fantastic perceptual and intellectual aberrations: patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; who are stricken with violent tics and grimaces or who shout involuntary obscenities; whose limbs have become alien; who have been dismissed as retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.

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26 .) The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

the-marriage-plot-by-jeffrey-eugenides
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Bustle

It’s the early 1980s. In American colleges, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. As Madeleine studies the age-old motivations of the human heart, real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes—the charismatic and intense Leonard Bankhead, and her old friend the mystically inclined Mitchell Grammaticus. As all three of them face life in the real world they will have to reevaluate everything they have learned.

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25 .) The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon

the-noonday-demon-an-atlas-of-depression-by-andrew-solomon
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Huffington Post

The Noonday Demon examines depression in personal, cultural, and scientific terms. Drawing on his own struggles with the illness and interviews with fellow sufferers, doctors and scientists, policy makers and politicians, drug designers, and philosophers, Andrew Solomon reveals the subtle complexities and sheer agony of the disease as well as the reasons for hope. He confronts the challenge of defining the illness and describes the vast range of available medications and treatments, and the impact the malady has on various demographic populations—around the world and throughout history. He also explores the thorny patch of moral and ethical questions posed by biological explanations for mental illness. With uncommon humanity, candor, wit and erudition, award-winning author Solomon takes readers on a journey of incomparable range and resonance into the most pervasive of family secrets. His contribution to our understanding not only of mental illness but also of the human condition is truly stunning.

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24 .) The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness by Lori Schiller

the-quiet-room-a-journey-out-of-the-torment-of-madness-by-lori-schiller-amanda-bennett
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Masters In Health Care

At seventeen Lori Schiller was the perfect child — the only daughter of an affluent, close-knit family. Six years later she made her first suicide attempt, then wandered the streets of New York City dressed in ragged clothes, tormenting voices crying out in her mind. Lori Schiller had entered the horrifying world of full-blown schizophrenia. She began an ordeal of hospitalizations, halfway houses, relapses, more suicide attempts, and constant, withering despair. But against all odds, she survived. Now in this personal account, she tells how she did it, taking us not only into her own shattered world, but drawing on the words of the doctors who treated her and family members who suffered with her.

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23 .) The Round House by Louise Erdrich

the-round-house-by-louise-erdrich
Lists It Appears On:

  • Buzzfeed
  • Book Riot

“One of the most revered novelists of our time—a brilliant chronicler of Native-American life—Louise Erdrich returns to the territory of her bestselling, Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves with The Round House, transporting readers to the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. It is an exquisitely told story of a boy on the cusp of manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family.

Riveting and suspenseful, arguably the most accessible novel to date from the creator of Love Medicine, The Beet Queen, and The Bingo Palace, Erdrich’s The Round House is a page-turning masterpiece of literary fiction—at once a powerful coming-of-age story, a mystery, and a tender, moving novel of family, history, and culture.”

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22 .) The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

the-virgin-suicides-by-jeffrey-eugenides
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • The Brainworm

First published in 1993, The Virgin Suicides announced the arrival of a major new American novelist. In a quiet suburb of Detroit, the five Lisbon sisters–beautiful, eccentric, and obsessively watched by the neighborhood boys–commit suicide one by one over the course of a single year. As the boys observe them from afar, transfixed, they piece together the mystery of the family’s fatal melancholy, in this hypnotic and unforgettable novel of adolescent love, disquiet, and death. Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time. Adapted into a critically acclaimed film by Sofia Coppola, The Virgin Suicides is a modern classic, a lyrical and timeless tale of sex and suicide that transforms and mythologizes suburban middle-American life.

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21 .) The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

the-woman-in-white-by-wilkie-collins
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Book Riot

“The Woman in White famously opens with Walter Hartright’s eerie encounter on a moonlit London road. Engaged as a drawing master to the beautiful Laura Fairlie, Walter is drawn into the sinister intrigues of Sir Percival Glyde and his “”charming”” friend Count Fosco, who has a taste for white mice, vanilla bonbons and poison.

Pursuing questions of identity and insanity along the paths and corridors of English country houses and the madhouse, The Woman in White is the first and most influential of the Victorian genre that combined Gothic horror with psychological realism.”

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20 .) Veronika Decides To Die by Paulo Coelho

veronika-decides-to-die-on-the-seventh-day-2-by-paulo-coelho
Lists It Appears On:

  • The Better India
  • The Brainworm

Twenty-four-year-old Veronika seems to have everything—youth and beauty, boyfriends and a loving family, a fulfilling job. But something is missing in her life. So, one cold November morning, she takes a handful of sleeping pills expecting never to wake up. But she does—at a mental hospital where she is told that she has only days to live.

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19 .) All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

all-the-bright-places-by-jennifer-niven
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Sofeminine
  • Buzzfeed

“Theodore Finch is fascinated by death. Every day he thinks of ways he might kill himself, but every day he also searches for—and manages to find—something to keep him here, and alive, and awake.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her small Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school—six stories above the ground— it’s unclear who saves whom. Soon it’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink. . “

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18 .) An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison

an-unquiet-mind-a-memoir-of-moods-and-madness-by-kay-redfield-jamison
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Masters In Health Care
  • Five Books

Here Jamison examines bipolar illness from the dual perspectives of the healer and the healed, revealing both its terrors and the cruel allure that at times prompted her to resist taking medication. An Unquiet Mind is a memoir of enormous candor, vividness, and wisdom—a deeply powerful book that has both transformed and saved lives.

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17 .) Darkness Visible by William Styron

darkness-visible-a-memoir-of-madness-by-william-styron
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Masters In Health Care
  • Psych Central

A work of great personal courage and a literary tour de force, this bestseller is Styron’s true account of his descent into a crippling and almost suicidal depression. Styron is perhaps the first writer to convey the full terror of depression’s psychic landscape, as well as the illuminating path to recovery.

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16 .) It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

its-kind-of-a-funny-story-by-ned-vizzini
Lists It Appears On:

  • Pulse
  • Book Riot
  • Young Minds

“Like many ambitious New York City teenagers, Craig Gilner sees entry into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School as the ticket to his future. Determined to succeed at life-which means getting into the right high school to get into the right college to get the right job-Craig studies night and day to ace the entrance exam, and does. That’s when things start to get crazy.

At his new school, Craig realizes that he isn’t brilliant compared to the other kids; he’s just average, and maybe not even that. He soon sees his once-perfect future crumbling away. The stress becomes unbearable and Craig stops eating and sleeping-until, one night, he nearly kills himself.

Craig’s suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, isolated from the crushing pressures of school and friends, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.”

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15 .) Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

mrs-dalloway-by-virginia-woolf
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Huffington Post
  • Bustle

Tracing a day in the life of society hostess Clarissa Dalloway, Virginia Woolf triumphantly discovers her distinctive style as a novelist. First published in 1925, MRS DALLOWAY is her first complete rendering of what Woolf described as the ‘luminous envelope’ of consciousness: a dazzling display of the mind’s inside as it plays over the brilliant surface and darker depths of reality.

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14 .) My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind by Scott Stossel

my-age-of-anxiety-by-scott-stossel
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Huffington Post
  • Nami

Drawing on his own longstanding battle with anxiety, Scott Stossel presents a moving and revelatory account of a condition that affects some 40 million Americans. Stossel offers an intimate and authoritative history of efforts by scientists, philosophers, and writers to understand anxiety. We discover the well-known who have struggled with the condition, as well as the afflicted generations of Stossel’s own family. Revealing anxiety’s myriad manifestations and the anguish it causes, he also surveys the countless psychotherapies, medications, and often outlandish treatments that have been developed to relieve it.

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13 .) The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

the-catcher-in-the-rye-by-j-d-salinger
Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Huffington Post
  • Sofeminine

The hero-narrator of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children’s voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden’s voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.

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12 .) The Hours by Michael Cunningham

the-hours-by-michael-cunningham
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Huffington Post
  • Bustle

In The Hours, Michael Cunningham, widely praised as one of the most gifted writers of his generation, draws inventively on the life and work of Virginia Woolf to tell the story of a group of contemporary characters struggling with the conflicting claims of love and inheritance, hope and despair. The narrative of Woolf’s last days before her suicide early in World War II counterpoints the fictional stories of Samuel, a famous poet whose life has been shadowed by his talented and troubled mother, and his lifelong friend Clarissa, who strives to forge a balanced and rewarding life in spite of the demands of friends, lovers, and family.

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11 .) The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

the-perks-of-being-a-wallflower-by-stephen-chbosky
Lists It Appears On:

  • Sofeminine
  • The Better India
  • The Guardian

The critically acclaimed debut novel from Stephen Chbosky,Perks follows observant “wallflower” Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

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10 .) The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

the-yellow-wall-paper-by-charlotte-perkins-gilman
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Sofeminine
  • Book Riot

First published in 1892, The Yellow WallPaper is written as the secret journal of a woman who, failing to relish the joys of marriage and motherhood, is sentenced to a country rest cure. Though she longs to write, her husband and doctor forbid it, prescribing instead complete passivity. Narrated with superb psychological and dramatic precision, this short but powerful masterpiece has the heroine create a reality of her own within the hypnotic pattern of the faded yellow wallpaper of her bedroom—a pattern that comes to symbolize her own imprisonment.

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9 .) Unholy Ghost by Nell Casey

unholy-ghost-writers-on-depression-by-nell-casey
Lists It Appears On:

  • Health Central
  • Masters In Health Care
  • Buzzfeed

Unholy Ghost is a unique collection of essays about depression that, in the spirit of William Styron’s Darkness Visible, finds vivid expression for an elusive illness suffered by more than one in five Americans today. Unlike any other memoir of depression, however, Unholy Ghost includes many voices and depicts the most complete portrait of the illness. Lauren Slater eloquently describes her own perilous experience as a pregnant woman on antidepressant medication. Susanna Kaysen, writing for the first time about depression since Girl, Interrupted, criticizes herself and others for making too much of the illness. Larry McMurtry recounts the despair that descended after his quadruple bypass surgery. Meri Danquah describes the challenges of racism and depression. Ann Beattie sees melancholy as a consequence of her writing life. And Donald Hall lovingly remembers the “moody seesaw” of his relationship with his wife, Jane Kenyon.

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8 .) Willow Weep for Me by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah

willow-weep-for-me-a-black-womans-journey-through-depression-by-meri-nana-ama-danquah
Lists It Appears On:

  • Buzzfeed
  • Book Riot
  • Book Riot

This moving memoir of an African-American woman’s lifelong fight to identify and overcome depression offers an inspirational story of healing and emergence. Wrapped within Danquah’s engaging account of this universal affliction is rare and insightful testimony about what it means to be black, female, and battling depression in a society that often idealizes black women as strong, nurturing caregivers. A startlingly honest, elegantly rendered depiction of depression, Willow Weep for Me calls out to all women who suffer in silence with a life-affirming message of recovery. Meri Danquah rises from the pages, a true survivor, departing a world of darkness and reclaiming her life.

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7 .) Looking for Alaska by John Green

looking-for-alaska-by-john-green
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Penguin Teen
  • The Better India
  • The Guardian

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

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6 .) The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

the-silver-linings-playbook-by-matthew-quick
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Huffington Post
  • Sofeminine
  • The Better India

Meet Pat Peoples. Pat has a theory: his life is a movie produced by God. And his God-given mission is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure him a happy ending―the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent several years in a mental health facility.) The problem is, Pat’s now home, and everything feels off. No one will talk to him about Nikki; his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing; he’s being pursued by the deeply odd Tiffany; his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy. Plus, he’s being haunted by Kenny G!

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5 .) Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

thirteen-reasons-why-by-jay-asher
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Penguin Teen
  • Sofeminine
  • The Guardian

“Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.”

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4 .) Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia by Marya Hornbacher

wasted-a-memoir-of-anorexia-and-bulimia-by-marya-hornbacher
Lists It Appears On:

  • Masters In Health Care
  • Book Riot
  • All Womens Talk
  • Buzzfeed

A classic of psychology and eating disorders, now reissued with an important, and perhaps controversial, new afterword by the author, Wasted is New York Times bestselling author Marya Hornbacher’s highly acclaimed memoir that chronicles her battle with anorexia and bulimia.

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3 .) Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

wintergirls-by-laurie-halse-anderson
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Penguin Teen
  • The Guardian
  • Book Riot

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in fragile bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the thinnest. But then Cassie suffers the ultimate loss-her life-and Lia is left behind, haunted by her friend’s memory and racked with guilt for not being able to help save her. In her most powerfully moving novel since Speak, award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s struggle, her painful path to recovery, and her desperate attempts to hold on to the most important thing of all: hope.

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2 .) Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

girl-interrupted-by-susanna-kaysen
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • All Womens Talk
  • Masters In Health Care
  • Sofeminine
  • The Better India

Kaysen’s memoir encompasses horror and razor-edged perception while providing vivid portraits of her fellow patients and their keepers. It is a brilliant evocation of a “parallel universe” set within the kaleidoscopically shifting landscape of the late sixties. Girl, Interrupted is a clear-sighted, unflinching document that gives lasting and specific dimension to our definitions of sane and insane, mental illness and recovery.

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1 .) The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

the-bell-jar-by-sylvia-plath
Lists It Appears On:

  • Book Riot
  • Huffington Post
  • Bustle
  • Sofeminine
  • Buzzfeed
  • The Brainworm

Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.

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The 196 Additional Mental Illness Books (Fiction & Nonfiction)



 

14 Days of Foreplay Monica Lieser Good Therapy
59 Seconds: Think A Little, Change A Lot Richard Wiseman High Existence
72 Hour Hold Bebe Moore Campbell Book Riot
8 Keys To End Bullying Strategies: For Parents & Schools Signe Whitson Nami
A Child Called It Dave Pelzer Psych Central
A Drinking Life Pete Hamill Masters In Health Care
A Gesture Life Chang-rae Lee Buzzfeed
A Little Life Hanya Yanagihara Book Riot
A Mother’s Climb Out Of Darkness: A Story About Overcoming Postpartum Psychosis Jennifer H. Moyer Nami
A Note of Madness Tabitha Suzuma Book Riot
A World Without You Beth Revis Penguin Teen
After a While You Just Get Used To It Gwendolyn Knapp Buzzfeed
After Birth Elisa Albert Buzzfeed
All Better Now Emily Wing Smith Penguin Teen
All the Things We Never Knew: Chasing the Chaos of Mental Illness Sheila Hamilton Book Riot
Americanah Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Book Riot
Anatomy of an Epidemic Robert Whitaker Pulse
Animal Madness: How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots, and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves Laurel Braitman Good Therapy
Any Oliver Sacks Book Oliver Sacks Pulse
Awakening Kali T. S. Ghosh Book Riot
BEFORE I DIE JENNY DOWNHAM Young Minds
Being and Loving Althea Horner Psych Central
Beloved Toni Morrison Book Riot
Better Days, A Mental Health Recovery Workbook Craig Lewis Friendship Circle
Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting Terrie Williams Nami
Bleeding Violet Dia Reeves Book Riot
Blue Genes Christopher Lukas Masters In Health Care
Bonds that Make Us Free C. Terry Warner Psych Central
Boundaries Henry Cloud and John Townsend Psych Central
Brain Rules – 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School John Medina High Existence
Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain Daniel J. Siegel Good Therapy
By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead Julie Ann Peters Book Riot
Chasing Hope: Navigating the World of the Special Needs Child Christine Walker Friendship Circle
Chosen by a Horse Susan Richards Psych Central
Codependent No More Melody Beattie Psych Central
Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them Tina Gilbertson, MA, LPC Good Therapy
Crank Ellen Hopkins The Guardian
Crazy Han Nolan y Book Riot
Crazy Linda Vigen Phillips The Guardian
Dark Nights of the Soul: Thomas Moore Health Central
Defying Mental Illness 2014 Edition: Finding Recovery with Community Resources and FamilySupport Paul Komarek and Andrea Schroer Friendship Circle
Dibs in Search of Self Virginia Axline Five Books
Disturbing the Peace Richard Yates Bustle
Don’t Panic R. Reid Wilson Buzzfeed
Dragonfish Vu Tran Book Riot
Drinking A Love Story Masters In Health Care
Driven to Distraction Edward Hallowell and John Ratey. Joyce Marter Psych Central
Em And The Big Hoom Jerry Pinto The Better India
Emotional Intelligence Daniel Goleman Psych Central
Every Last Word Tamara Ireland Stone Book Riot
Everything I Never Told You Celeste Ng Book Riot
Everything, Everything Nicola Yoon Book Riot
Facing the Fire John Lee Psych Central
Fangirl Rainbow Rowell Book Riot
FAT KID RULES THE WORLD K.L. GOING Young Minds
Find You in the Dark A. Meredith Walters Book Riot
Flowers From the Storm Laura Kinsale Book Riot
Forgive me, Leonard Peacock Matthew Quick The Guardian
Franny and Zooey J. D. Salinger Book Riot
Furiously Happy Jenny Lawson Book Riot
Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder Rachel Reiland Book Riot
Hamlet William Shakespeare Book Riot
Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfilment Tal Ben-Shahar High Existence
Hardcore Zen: Brad Warner Health Central
Hausfrau Jill Alexander Essbaum Buzzfeed
Highly Illogical Behavior John Corey Whaley Penguin Teen
Hold Still Nina LaCour Penguin Teen
How Proust Can Change Your Life Alain De Botton High Existence
Hurry Down Sunshine Micheal Greenberg Masters In Health Care
I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help Xavier Amador Nami
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden Joanne Greenberg Bustle
I Was Here Gayle Forman Penguin Teen
I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN JANDY NELSON Young Minds
Imagine Me Gone Adam Haslett Book Riot
Impulse Ellen Hopkins Book Riot
Irritable Hearts: A PTSD Love Story Mac McClelland Buzzfeed
Keep Me Still Caisey Quinn Book Riot
Landmark Cases in Forensic Psychiatry Elizabeth Ford & Merrill Rotter Pulse
Lay My Burden Down: Suicide and the Mental Health Crisis Among African-Americans Alvin Poussaint and Amy Alexander Buzzfeed
Leadership and Self-Deception C. Terry Warner Psych Central
Let the Tornado Come Rita Zoey Chin Book Riot
Lit Mary Karr Buzzfeed
Look Straight Ahead Elaine M. Will Book Riot
Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl Stacy Pershall Book Riot
Lowboy John Wray Huffington Post
Made You Up Francesca Zappia Book Riot
Male Pelvic Fitness: Optimizing Sexual and Urinary Health Andrew Siegel Good Therapy
Man’s Search for Meaning Viktor Frankl. Psych Central
Manic: A Memoir Terri Cheney Book Riot
Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me Ellen Forney Book Riot
More Happy Than Not Adam Silvera Book Riot
Mosquitoland David Arnold Penguin Teen
Musical Chairs Jen Knox Masters In Health Care
My Heart and Other Black Holes Jasmine Warga Book Riot
No Fear: Growing Up in a Risk Averse Society Five Books
Nobody Is Ever Missing Catherine Lacey Buzzfeed
Not Alone: Reflections on Faith and Depression Monica A. Coleman Book Riot
OCD Love Story Corey Ann Haydu Buzzfeed
On Depression Nassir Ghaemi Pulse
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Ken Kesey The Brainworm
Ophelia Speaks: Adolescent Girls Write About Their Search for Self Sara Shandler Book Riot
Ordinary Peopl Judith Guest Bustle
Out of Her Mind: Women Writing on Mental Illness Rebecca Shannonhouse (ed.) Book Riot
Overcoming Anxiety and Depression on the Autism Spectrum: A Self-Help Guide Using CBT Lee A. Wilkinson, PhD Friendship Circle
Paperweight Meg Haston Book Riot
Personality Disorders In Modern Life Theodore Milton Pulse
Polarity Max Bemis Book Riot
Portraits of the Mind Carl Schoonover Five Books
Psychiatric Tales: Eleven Graphic Stories about Mental Illness Daryl Cunningham Book Riot
Psychobabble: Exploding The Myths of The Self-Help Generation Stephen Briers High Existence
Psychological Masquerade Robert Taylor Pulse
Quiet: The Power of Introverts In a World That Can’t Stop Talking Susan Cain High Existence
Reasons To Stay Alive Matt Haig Book Riot
Running with Scissors Augusten Burroughs Masters In Health Care
SAVING DAISY PHIL EARLE Young Minds
Schizo Nic Sheff Penguin Teen
SHOOT THE DAMN DOG All Womens Talk
Sickened Julie Gregory Masters In Health Care
Skin Game Caroline Kettlewell Masters In Health Care
Skinny Donna Cooner Book Riot
Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry Bebe Moore Campbell Nami
Sparks Off You Anita Felicelli Book Riot
SPEAK LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON Young Minds
Stalking Irish Madness Patrick Tracey Masters In Health Care
Standing In The Shadows: Understanding And Overcoming Depression In Black Men John Head Nami
STARGIRL JERRY SPINELLI Young Minds
Still Alice Lisa Genova The Brainworm
Stop Walking on Eggshells Paul Mason Buzzfeed
Stranger Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith Book Riot
Stupid Children Lenore Zion The Brainworm
Swallow Me Whole Nate Powell Book Riot
Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide Darryl “DMC” McDaniels Book Riot
Tender is the Night F. Scott Fitzgerald Bustle
The 5 Love Languages Gary Chapman Psych Central
The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook Edmund J. Bourne Psych Central
The Awakening Kate Chopin Book Riot
THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING ROBYN SCHNEIDER Young Minds
The Behavior Code Companion: Strategies, Tools, and Interventions for Supporting Students With Anxiety-Related or Oppositional Behaviors Jessica Minahan Friendship Circle
The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide David Miklowitz Book Riot
The Body Keeps the Score Bessel van der Kolk Good Therapy
The Buddha and the Borderline: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Buddhism, and Online Dating Kiera Van Gelder Book Riot
The Chocolate Debacle Karen Winters Schwartz Nami
The Color of Hope: People of Color Mental Health Narratives ed. Vanessa Hazzard Book Riot
The Color Purple Alice Walker Book Riot
The Consolations of Philosophy Alain De Botton High Existence
The Dark Side of the Light Chasers Debbie Ford Psych Central
THE DAY THE VOICES STOPPED All Womens Talk
The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post Book Riot
The Fog Of Paranoia: A Sister’s Journey Through Her Brother’s Schizophrenia Sarah Rae Nami
The Girl From Human Street Roger Cohen Nami
The Glass Castle Jeannette Walls Buzzfeed
The Gospel According To Josh: A 28-Year Gentile Bar Mitzvah Josh Rivedel Nami
The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science Jonathan Haidt High Existence
The Invisible Front: Love And Loss In An Era Of Endless War Yochi Dreazen Nami
The Last Time We Said Goodbye Cynthia Hand Book Riot
The Love That Keeps Us Sane: Living the little way of St. Therese of Lisieux Health Central
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie Jennifer Ashley Book Riot
The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth Book Riot
The Memory of Light Francisco X. Stork Book Riot
The Museum of Intangible Things Wendy Wunder Book Riot
The Nest Kenneth Oppel Book Riot
The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy Louis Cozolino Pulse
THE OUTSIDERS S.E. HINTON Young Minds
The Passion of Alice Stephanie Grant Bustle
The Power of Now Eckhart Tolle Psych Central
The Price Of Silence: A Mom’s Perspective On Mental Illness Liza Long Nami
The Road Less Traveled M. Scott Peck Psych Central
The Saint’s Guide to Happiness Robert Ellsberg Health Central
The Salt Eaters Toni Cade Bambara Book Riot
The Seven Beliefs: A Step-By-Step Guide To Help Latinas Recognize And Overcome Depression Belisa Lozano-Vranich and Jorge R. Petit Nami
The Surrendered Chang Book Riot
The Things They Carried Tim O’Brien Buzzfeed
The Trauma of Everyday Life Mark Epstein Good Therapy
The Truth about Alice Jennifer Mathieu The Guardian
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath Sylvia Plath Book Riot
The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B Teresa Toten Book Riot
The Untethered Soul Michael Singer Psych Central
The Upside of Your Dark Side Todd Kashdan, PhD, and Robert Biswas-Diener, PhD Good Therapy
Therapy Kathryn Perez Book Riot
These Gentle Wounds Helene Dunbar The Guardian
Touched with Fire: Manic Book Riot
Trauma and Recovery Judith Lewis Herman Buzzfeed
Tricks of The Mind Derren Brown High Existence
UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS All Womens Talk
Unhinged: A Memoir Of Enduring, Surviving And Overcoming Family Mental Illness Anna Berry Nami
Unhinged: The Trouble with Psychiatry Daniel Carlat Pulse
What Every Body is Saying Joe Navarro Pulse
When Rabbit Howls Truddi Chase Masters In Health Care
When Reason Breaks Cindy L. Rodriguez Book Riot
When We Collided Emery Lord Book Riot
Where’d You Go Bernadette Maria Semple Sofeminine
White Oleander Janet Fitch Book Riot
Wide Sargasso Sea Jean Rhys Book Riot
Willow Julia Hoban Book Riot
WONDER R.J. PALACIO Young Minds
Your Voice in My Head: A Memoir Emma Forrest Huffington Post
Your Voice is All I Hear Leah Scheier Book Riot


22 Best Mental Health and Illness Book Sources



Source Article
All Womens Talk MEMOIRS ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS THAT YOU’VE GOT TO READ …
Book Riot 100 MUST-READ BOOKS ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS
Bustle 11 of the Most Realistic Portrayals of Mental Illness in Novels
Buzzfeed 24 Books That Are Straightforward About Mental Illness
Five Books Tanya Byron recommends the best books on Child Psychology and Mental Health
Friendship Circle 5 Books with Encouragement and Support for Mental Health Issues and Wellness
Good Therapy The Best Mental Health-Related Nonfiction Books of 2014 According to Therapists
Health Central Top 5 Life-Changing Mental Health Books: Merely Me’s List
High Existence 10 Best Positive Psychology Books You Need To Read For Authentic Change
Huffington Post 11 Books That Will Change Your Perspective on Mental Illness
Masters In Health Care The 20 Greatest Memoirs of Mental Illness
Mental Health Books Best Books about Mental Health: History
Mind Body Network Best Mental Health Books: History
Nami Books To Read
Penguin Teen 10 Books to Read During Mental Health Month
Psych Central Summer Reading: 20 Mental Health Books That Can Change Your Life
Pulse 10 Books Psychiatric Clinicians Will Love
Sofeminine 10 Brilliant Novels About Mental Health You Need To Read
The Better India 7 Moving Books On Mental Health That Will Touch A Chord
The Brainworm Top 5 fiction books in Mental Health
The Guardian Madeleine Kuderick’s top 10 books that explore mental health issues
Young Minds 10 YOUNG ADULT BOOKS THAT REFLECT MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES

 

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