12 Best Books About Mental Illness Update 05/2022

Books About Mental Illness

If you’re going through a rough patch, reading may be a great source of comfort. Having characters we can identify with in a book might help us better understand ourselves and others.

It might be difficult to focus on reading when you have a mental condition, but these nine novels are well worth your time and effort. We get fresh perspectives on life and ourselves when we read outstanding novels. There are people out there who have gone through the same things you have and come out on the other side.

A Beautiful Mind – Sylvia Nasar

A Beautiful Mind – Sylvia Nasar

With his bright career cut short due to schizophrenia, this novel tells the inspiring tale of a mathematical genius awarded the Nobel Prize while suffering from severe delusions for the better part of three decades until he finally recovered.

It’s a lengthy read, but it’s worth it. Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly were the stars of the Academy Award-winning film adaptation starring them.

Back, After The Break – Osher Günsberg

Despite his seeming dedication to the cause, SANE supporter Osher discloses the depth of his own fight with mental illness throughout his radio and television career in this harrowing book.

Anxiety, sadness, and psychosis have all been a part of Osher’s life, as well as drug misuse, body dysmorphia, and OCD. He has learned how to cope with his illness and lead a normal life. Just for the amusing footnotes, this is a must-read!

Everything Here Is Beautiful – Mira T. Lee

During the course of this story, one sister begins to hear voices as the other strives to find a way to support and protect her in the face of her sister’s mental illness.

In an honest, realistic, touching, and captivating way, it examines the ties that bind families and the often-devastating repercussions of mental illness on those who are affected by them.

An Angel At My Table: The Complete Autobiography – Janet Frame

She spent eight long years in New Zealand mental institutions after being diagnosed at an early age with schizophrenia. The only thing keeping her from a lobotomy was the fact that a hospital official learned she had won a literary award while she was receiving a rudimentary kind of electroconvulsive treatment (ECT).

A panel of doctors ruled that she never had schizophrenia after she was freed from the hospital. Since then, she has written novels, poems, and this three-part memoir on the idea of’madness’.

Defying The Verdict: My Bipolar Life – Charita Cole Brown

Defying The Verdict My Bipolar Life – Charita Cole Brown

Charita Brown had a psychotic episode reminiscent of her grandmother’s collapse and hospitalization in her last semester of college.

She was diagnosed with bipolar illness after this incident. Charita tells her story in her book, which is filled with love, hope, and triumph after she was diagnosed with cancer.

The Surprising Power Of A Good Dumpling – Wai Chim

Her mother is battling psychosis at the time we first meet Anna Chiu, so she is juggling a lot of family duties and taking care of the younger members of her family. As Anna’s relationship with the new delivery guy grows at work and life becomes more difficult at home, everyone learns new things about themselves and one another.

Despite the fact that things aren’t always ideal, the narrative of Wai Chim, a young caretaker growing up, examines the concept that recovery from mental illness may be about understanding, optimism, and love.

Imagine Me Gone – Adam Haslett

There may be a genetic predisposition to depression in kids who have depressive parents, and Adam Haslett’s second book explores what it feels like to fight this “beast” from childhood on.

In his dark and heartfelt prose, he conveys a universal message of hope and love. To put it another way, “how narrowly we all escape having never been” is the theme of this book.

Darius The Great Is Not Okay – Adib Khorram

This is a great book for all ages, even though it was written for teenagers. First-time visitor Darius Keller visits Iran, where he meets his grandparents and first genuine friend Sohrab, whom he considers a family member.

We learn about depression via Adib Khorram’s portrayal of regular situations in his family and friends’ lives. There are instances when it’s both funny and tragic at the same time.

First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Journey Through Anxiety – Sarah Wilson

A former reality TV star turned journalist, Sarah Wilson has battled insomnia, bulimia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, manic episodes, and bipolar disorder throughout her life.

Besides Sarah’s own experience and coping mechanisms, this book digs into the scientific studies, facts and numbers underlying anxiety disorders. She encourages people to intentionally explore their fear and embrace it in order to learn more about life’s beauty.

Because We are Bad by Lily Bailey

Because We are Bad by Lily Bailey

As soon as I opened the book, I was enthralled. As Lily’s OCD progresses from childhood to adulthood, she shares her thoughts with us.

At times, I found her depiction of mental illness difficult to read, but it helped me get a better understanding of OCD. When she spoke, I felt as if she were speaking directly to my soul. An absolute must-read for everyone who has a family member or friend who is affected by this condition.

What Made Maddy Run by Kate Fagan

What a powerful nonfiction account of the events leading up to Madison’s death by suicide. Madison’s death occurred in Philadelphia, and I remember it well.

At the time, I was 8 months pregnant. When Madison’s parents died, it was a national tragedy that parents worldwide could identify with.

In preparation for a book discussion at a local suicide prevention clinic, I read this book. This book taught me a lot about suicide, and it did it with all the compassion and consideration it deserved.

Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker

Add Hidden Valley Road to your TBR list immediately! So grateful for the early copy of this book provided by Libro.fm and Double Day. “Wow,” all I can say.

For the last 50 years, Don and Mimi Galvin’s family has been a driving force in schizophrenia research. Six of their ten sons and two girls, all of whom have schizophrenia, are the couple’s biological offspring.

To understand the psychiatric disease we must first understand the sufferings of this family, who were forced to endure lobotomies and institutionalization. Though we’ve come so far, we still don’t have a complete picture of how this illness works.

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