5 Books that will help you better understand mental illness and disorders

It's 2021, and people have started to prefer movies and shows over books.

Why? A contributing factor might be shorter attention spans. However, book lovers being book lovers, are still knee-deep in love with pages and bibliomic. Whenever they find something complicated, they turn to books.

Myself included! So why not turn to books when dealing with a mental health illness or disorder? Mental health serves as a foundation for communication, emotional well-being, healthy relationships, self-esteem, resilience, predominantly our daily functioning. Therefore, it becomes essential to understand how mental illnesses and disorders bring an anomaly to life.

Let's look at five books for the five most common mental health disorders, namely depression, anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, and Eating disorders.

The foremost recommendation is “Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression - and the Unexpected Solutions” by Johann Hari.

Johann Hari is an award-winning journalist who suffered from depression since a child and started his anti-depressants at a young age.

Through his journey and research, he recognized that depression is more than a chemical imbalance in the brain. This book is the result of that expedition. Beautifully written, it leads to radically different solutions than the ones presented before.

Next, the book that will help you better understand anxiety is called "The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living: A Guide to ACT" by Russ Harris.

It has insights from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). The book deals with thoughts and painful emotions effectively, along with ways to create a meaningful life, breaking self-defeating habits.

Overall, it enlightens the readers about the struggles of an individual who suffers from anxiety and depression.

Moving on, The Healthy Compulsive:

Healing Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder and Taking the Wheel of the Driven Personality by Gary Troxclair, as the name suggests, tackles OCD. The book presents aspiring stories of change and a deeper understanding of the disorder.

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk is one of the most eminent books in PTSD literature. The specialty of this book lies in its alternatives to drugs and talk therapy as a way to recuperate.

Last but not least on the list is Healing your hungry heart by Joanna Poppink. It not only deals with the author's struggles as a bulimic but includes client stories who have recovered from other eating disorders such as binge eating and anorexia.

In brief, the above-mentioned books are a gateway to better understand the individual who suffers from a mental illness, be it you or someone close to you. A mental health illness takes a lot from you and your loved ones, but don’t forget, it’s not the end of the story. We, as humans, are adaptable.

If we can’t change something, we adapt to it. That’s our superpower! When things get hard, remember this and the road would be a little smoother.


Pragya Khari

Meet Pragya! She is the wordsmith here. She is a people person who likes to know about different lives, explore new disciplines and fields. Moreover, she is a psychology graduate, looking forward to making a career in the said field whilst enveloped in reading, writing, and researching. She hopes to leave an impact and provide value through her work.

78 views0 comments