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The following is a list of informative, engaging books that will help you understand mental health conditions. By shining a light on mental health issues, these books will increase understanding which can help to reduce the associated stigma. 

Books with an asterisk (*) were read, or will be read, by our Book Club.

A Beautiful Mind, by Sylvia Nasar
A book about Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Nash, who suffered from schizophrenia. A movie by the same name was released in 2001.

* A Common Struggle, by Patrick J. Kennedy & Stephen Fried

Examination of Kennedy's journey toward recovery from bipolar disorder and addiction. Authors outline a bold plan for the future of mental health policy.

* An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness, by Kay Redfield Jamison

Memoir about bipolar illness written by a psychologist who has not only researched bipolar illness but has the disorder herself.

* Beautiful Boy, by David Sheff

A memoir highlighting a father's journey through his son’s addiction to drugs and tentative steps toward recovery.

Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, by Marsha Linehan

Dr. Linehan is the developer of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) which is widely used in the treatment of borderline personality disorder.

Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness, by William Styron
Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Styron gives an account of his personal battle with depression.

Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania, by Andy Behrman 
Autobiographical account of Behrman's experience with bipolar illness.

*Everything Here is Beautiful, by Mira T. Lee. Both breathtaking and heartbreaking, this is a novel about the bonds of sisterhood, of familial duty, of love, all tested by the drain and strain of debilitating mental illness.


Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity, by Andrew Solomon

Highly praised book about children who are different in ways that include, among others, autism, deafness, dwarfism, transgender identities and mental illness.

* Gorilla and the Bird: A Memoir of Madness and a Mother's Love, by Zack McDermott

A raw and unforgettable account of a young man's unraveling and the relationship that saves him.

Helping Someone with Mental Illness: A Compassionate Guide for Family, Friends, and Caregivers, by Rosalynn Carter and Susan Ma Golant
This book, by former first lady Rosalynn Carter, provides information on the major mental illnesses and the treatment of mental illness, as well as advice for coping and ways to fight stigma.

* His Bright Light: The Story of Nick Traina, by Danielle Steel

Steel describes her son Nick's battle with manic depression and her fight to help him survive. 

* I Am Not Sick, I Don't Need Help!, by Xavier Amador

Dr. Amador, whose brother developed schizophrenia, presents research on anosognosia (lack of insight) and advice for helping someone accept treatment.

I Know This Much Is True, by Wally Lamb
Novel about two brothers, one with and one without psychotic illness.

* Just Checking, by Emily Colas
A book written by a sufferer of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Living with Depression: Why Biology and Biography Matter along the Path to Hope and Healing,

by Deborah Serani

Serani outlines the various forms of depression, describes the different treatments, and outlines methods for living with depression and getting the help you or a loved one needs.

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

Drawing on his own experience with anxiety, Stossel presents a history of efforts by scientists, philosophers, and writers to understand anxiety.

Natural Disaster: I Cover Them. I am One., by Ginger Zee

ABC News chief meteorologist Ginger Zee is opening up about her struggles with depression in a new memoir that she hopes will help demystify depression.

No One Cares About Crazy People: The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America, by Ron Powers

Powers offers a narrative of the social history of mental illness in America paired with the personal story of his two sons' battles with schizophrenia.

* Resilience: Two Sisters and a Story of Mental Illness, by Glenn Close's sister, Jessie Close

Diagnosed with severe bipolar disorder, Close writes about finally discovering the treatment she needs and, with the encouragement of her sister and others, the emotional fortitude to bring herself back from the edge.

Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder, by Paul T. Mason and Randi Kreger
Practical guide for individuals with loved ones suffering from borderline personality disorder.

* Struck by Living: From Depression to Hope, by Julie K. Hersh

A hopeful story about Hersh's struggle with depression through psychiatric wards and suicide attempts.

Surviving Schizophrenia: A Manual for Families, Patients, and Providers, by Fuller E. Torry
A book on schizophrenia developed for caregivers.

The Anxiety Expert: A Psychiatrists Story of Panic, by Marjorie Raskin
Story of a psychiatrist who herself suffered from anxiety and panic attacks

* The Center Cannot Hold - My Journey Through Madness, by Elyn Saks

Memoir by professor, lawyer, and psychiatrist who has suffered from schizophrenia for most of her life, and still has ongoing major episodes of the illness. 

The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, by Andrew Solomon
Account of Solomon's personal experience with depression.

The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness, by Lori Schiller and Amanda Bennett
A description of Lori Schiller's struggle with and recovery from schizophrenia.

Touched with Fire, by Kay Redfield Jamison 
Account of various famous literary figures who experienced bipolar illness.

Undercurrents: A Life Beneath the Surface, by Martha Manning
Memoir of a clinical psychologist's course of depression and resulting treatment involving electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

Understanding Depression: What We Know and What You Can Do About Itby J. Raymond DePaulo, Jr. and Leslie Alan Horvitz

Practical guide for individuals with depression and their families.

What Becomes of the Brokenhearted: A Memoir, by E. Lynn Harris 
This book chronicles the author's attempted suicide and subsequent recovery from clinical depression while telling of his search for love as an African American gay man from the South.

What to Do When Someone You Love Is Depressed: A Practical, Compassionate, and Helpful Guide, by Susan K. Golant and Mitch Golant

Providing guidance to the friends and family of a depressed person on how to keep one's own spirits up and at the same time do what is best to help a loved one get through a difficult time.

* What Made Maddy Run, by Kate Fagan

This is the story of Maddy Holleran’s life, and her struggle with depression, which also reveals the mounting pressures young people, and college athletes in particular, face to be perfect, especially in an age of relentless connectivity and social media saturation."

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