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Mental Illness Reading List

The following books may be helpful in learning more about the various types of mental illnesses and different people’s experiences with them. These books may also be of particular interest if you or someone you know suffers from mental illness.

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 also released in 2001

An Unquiet Mind, by Kay Redfield Jamison
Memoir about bipolar illness written by a psychologist who has not only researched bipolar illness but has the disorder herself

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

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, gives information on the major mental illnesses. It also gives information on the treatment of mental illness, advice for coping, and ways to fight stigma.

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

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

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 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)

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.

This article was written by Jennifer Hoehn, Graduate Student, MPH Program, OSU College of Public Health.

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Go to the Mental Health health topic.