Thursday, March 9, 2017

Supporting Mental Health Awareness Through Books

Are you suffering from depression? Bipolar disorder? Schizophrenia? OCD? Or do you know of someone who does? Someone you care about and would like to support?

The best way to support someone with a mental illness is to help remove the stigma and to educate yourself and your community. I have read several books throughout my years of book blogging that I feel help to bring awareness in a positive way.

On this page, you will find a list of such books, both fiction and non-fiction. I hope that you will take the time to read at least one of them. I have also included a section with books that deal with dementia. If you know of books you feel should be on this list, please feel free to state the title in a comment.

I will keep adding books to this page as I read books that deal with mental illness, therefore making this is reference page. Just click on the Mental Health Awareness button on my sidebar to access it in the future.

Agoraphobia and OCD

This book was refreshing, sobering, funny, at times heartbreaking, but always hopeful. It was also an eye-opener, letting the reader catch a glimpse of what it's like for a teen girl to live with agoraphobia and OCD.

Body Punishment: OCD, Addiction, and Finding the Courage to Heal by Maggie Lamond Simone

Eating Disorders

The Sky Between You and Me is a captivating and enlightening read. It can help teens, adults and parents become more aware of what it's like for a young person to live with an eating disorder.

What I Lost by Alexandra Ballard


The young teen son of a couple suffers from depression which goes undetected until it is almost too late. A good lesson for parents to pay attention to the signs before it is too late.

This is an excellent parenting book and resource. It is informative, enlightening and comforting for parents who want to help their children suffering from depression.

Dr. Caroline Leaf, a communication pathologist in the field of cognitive neuroscience, summarizes in this book a large part of her research in recent years to link scientific principles to Holy Scripture.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who calls themselves a Christian (or appreciates the Bible) and wants to explore the potential of their minds to change their lives for the better.

This book will get you to think and ponder on how you deal with self talk and barriers that keep you stuck. It will help you develop self-awareness which is key to change. I think it is an excellent guide for anyone suffering from depression, anxiety, self-doubt and inflicted self-guilt. 


Love Anthony by Lisa Genova

This story truly made me more empathetic toward families who have children with autism. It made me understand the difficulties and challenges that come with raising children who are different and may not speak, give eye contact or want to be touched.

Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

Alice Howland, a 50 year-old linguistic psychology professor from Harvard gets diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. There is no doubt that this book has made me see Alzheimer’s with new eyes. Most of us tend to associate this mental (and eventually physical) illness with the elderly population and not with persons in the prime of their life.

This memoir is a touching account, heartbreaking at moments, delightful, sad, funny and faith-strengthening in the power of love. I think every person with ageing parents should read this book.

Although written by a  a behavioural neurologist this book is easy to read. Dr. Chow uses anecdotes, and, in particular, illustrations and metaphors throughout her book, especially when explaining the treatments and latest research. The whole tone of the book is hopeful, compassionate and encouraging.

I highly recommend this book to all parents to help foster a generation of youths who are compassionate and educated about a disease that is striking more and more seniors and consequently will touch the lives of more and more children.

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  1. Thank you for highlighting this topic. As someone with depression and anxiety in the family, and who has struggled with anxiety myself, I wish more people had more knowledge and understanding of mental illness -- particularly that it doesn't mean that one is weak, or can "just get over it" without help. Good books on the subject, both fiction and nonfiction, are a great place to start building that knowledge and understanding.

    1. Thanks, Lark! Yes, I agree with you, which is why I'm grateful there are books that help us to understand mental illness better and to at least gives us the knowledge that will make us feel more compassionate and less judgemental.

  2. Laura, what a great idea for your site. As a family with dementia sufferers, a grandson with Asperger's and ADHD, a daughter who is bipolar, and me working against depression, this focus on mental health will be a favorite spot on your site when word gets out. I'll do my part in sharing it today. Thank you so much!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Sherrey and for sharing. I think many have a family member or friend that suffers from some form of mental illness. Understanding mental illness can help us become better friends and a source of comfort.

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  5. Wonderful illustrated information. I thank you about that. No doubt it will be very useful for my future projects. Would like to see some other posts on the same subject!


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