Which Mental Health Books Have You Read?

I’ve read a lot of books in the clinical/abnormal psych genre the past few years. A LOT.


Some of these are memoirs.

Some are textbook-style books.

Some are therapy books or workbooks.

Some are even works of fiction starring main characters with mental illness.


To take a look at books I’ve read, I started to created a list! Check it out!

Bipolar Disorder:

  1. An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison (memoir)
  2. Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament by Kay Redfield Jamison
  3. Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire: A Study of Genius, Mania, and Character by Kay Redfield Jamison (biography)
  4. Madness: A Bipolar Life by Marya Hornbacher (memoir)
  5. Manic: A Memoir by Terri Cheney (memoir)
  6. A Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic-depressive Illness by Patty Duke & Gloria Hochman (memoir)
  7. Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me by Ellen Forney (memoir)
  8. Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice from My Bipolar Life by Ellen Forney
  9. Gorilla and the Bird: A Memoir of Madness and a Mother’s Love by Zach McDermott (memoir)
  10. My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward: A Memoir by Mark Lukach (memoir)
  11. Birth of a New Brain: Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder by Dyane Harwood (memoir)
  12. This Fragile Life: A Mother’s Story of a Bipolar Son by Charlotte Pierce-Baker (memoir)
  13. The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Bipolar Disorder: Using DBT to Regain Control of Your Emotions and Your Life by Sheri Van Dijk
  14. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Bipolar Disorder by Monica Basco & A. John Rush
  15. Healthy Living with Bipolar Disorder by International Bipolar Foundation
  16. Bipolar, Not so Much: Understanding your Mood Swings and Depression by Chris Aiken, MD & James Phelps, MD
  17. Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick (Fiction)
  18. Rx by Rachel Lindsay (Comic book style memoir)
  19. The Bipolar Handbook: Real-Life Questions with Up-to-Date Answers by Wes Burgess, MD, PhD
  20. Another Kind of Madness: A Journey through the Stigma and Hope of Mental Illness by Stephen P. Hinshaw, PhD (memoir with focus on growing up with father with mental illness)
  21. Understanding Bipolar Disorder: The Essential Family Guide (Tools to Thrive Together) by Aimee Daramus, PsyD
  22. Bipolar 101: A Practical Guide to Identifying Triggers, Managing Medications, Coping with Symptoms & More by Ruth White & John Preston
  23. Currently reading/On My Reading List:
    1. Mental: Lithium, Love & Losing My Mind by Jaime Lowe
    2. Prozac Monologues: A Voice from the Edge by Willa Goodfellow


  1. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson (memoir)
  2. First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Journey Through Anxiety by Sarah Wilson (memoir)


  1. The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought by David Adam (memoir)
  2. Turtles all the Way Down by John Green (YA Fiction)


  1. The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon
  2. Boy Meets Depression: Or Life Sucks and then you Live by Kevin Breel (memoir)
  3. The Hilarious World of Depression by John Moe (also mentions suicidality, anxiety, and OCD tendencies)
  4. Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things that Happened by Allie Brosh (graphic memoir)
  5. Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh (graphic memoir)


  1. Know My Name by Chanel Miller (memoir)
  2. Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky (YA Fiction)
  3. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD
  4. Why Women are Blamed for Everything: Exploring Victim Blaming of Women Subjected to Violence and Trauma by Dr Jessica Taylor
  5. What Happened to You? Conversation on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D. & Oprah Winfrey 

Eating Disorders:

  1. Body Positive Power: Because Life is Already Happening and You Don’t Need Flat Abs to Live It by Megan Crabbe (memoir)
  2. Blossoms and Bones: Drawing a Life Back Together by Kim Krans (graphic memoir)


  1. Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig (memoir)
  2. Night Falls Fast by Kay Redfield Jamison
  3. Suicidal: Why we Kill Ourselves by Jesse Bering
  4. Why People Die by Suicide by Thomas Joiner
  5. Myths About Suicide by Thomas Joiner
  6. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (semi-autobiographical novel)
  7. Currently reading/On My Reading List:
    1. I’m Fine: A Student’s Perspective on Suicide and Mental Health on College Campuses by Emily Kumpf
    2. The Suicidal Thoughts Workbook: CBT Skills to Reduce Emotional Pain, Increase Hope, and Prevent Suicide by Kathryn Hope Gordon, Ph.D.
    3. When it is Darkest: Why People Die by Suicide and What We Can Do to Prevent It by Rory O’Connor

Substance Use:

  1. Beautiful Boy by David Sheff
  2. The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp (YA Fiction)

Borderline Personality Disorder:

  1. Coping with BPD: DBT and CBT Skills to Soothe the Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder by Blaise Aguirre MD & Gillian Galen, PsyD
  2. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
  3. Building a Life Worth Living by Marsha M. Linehan (memoir)
  4. The Way She Feels: My Life on the Borderline in Pictures + Pieces by Courtney Cook (graphic memoir)

Schizophrenia & Schizoaffective Disorder:

  1. The Center Cannot Hold : My Journey Through Madness by Elyn R. Saks (memoir)
  2. Bitter Medicine: A Graphic Memoir of Mental Illness by Clem Martini & Olivier Martini (graphic memoir)
  3. The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by Esme Wang (memoir)


  1. How to be Happy or at Least Less Sad: A Creative Workbook by Lee Crutchley
  2. Letters to a Young Therapist by Mary Pipher
  3. The Gift of Therapy: An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists & Their Patients by Irvin D. Yalom, MD
  4. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb (memoir from therapist)
  5. Group by Christie Tate (memoir from group therapy patient perspective)

Self-help Books:

  1. The *More or Less* Definitive Guide to Self-Care by Anna Borges

Textbooks I’ve looked into:

  1. Stahl’s Essential Psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Applications by Stephen M. Stahl (I’ve read certain parts… I really like Chapter 6 on Mood Disorders with how it creates visual illustrations of various types of bipolar disorder.) I see the Prescriber’s Guide version of this in pretty much every psychiatry office.
  2. Manic-Depressive Illness: Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression by Kay Redfield Jamison & Frederick Goodwin (Textbook with 2 volumes)

Career-related Resources:

  1. Insider’s Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology by Michael Sayette & John Norcross

School Psychology:

  1. Today in School Psychology: This is Why a Day without Direct Contact with Students is Wasted by Charles Barrett PhD
  2. It’s Always About the Children by Charles Barrett PhD
  3. The Thriving School Psychologist: 4 Steps to Better Time Management, Lower Stress, and More Impact in Your School Community – Beyond Testing by Rebecca Branstetter, Ph.D.

How many of these have you read? Are there any suggestions you have for what should be on my list to read next?

Check out my Bookshop page for more lists here!

5 thoughts on “Which Mental Health Books Have You Read?

    1. I feel like if I wrote a book, it would be more like a series of essays than a regular book. I have no idea how people manage to write entire books! That seems so overwhelming. I wouldn’t even know where to begin! Lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Anja, I’d love to know your thoughts about my book, Prozac Monologues: A Voice From the Edge. It’s a comedic memoir about misdiagnosis with self-help for people on the bipolar spectrum. Kind of like Aiken and Phelp, Bipolar, Not So Much from the patient’s perspective. Aiken wrote one of my endorsements. More at WillaGoodfellow.com. I’d be happy to send you a pdf or hard copy.


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