Depression is a concept that exists socially but is yet ignored by a lot of people. It isn’t considered a big deal which simply can be dangerous for the people suffering from it. People don’t like to talk about it and that’s the root cause of depression in our society.
More than 83% of people are suffering from it and they don’t even know it. It is all about awareness and since people aren’t willing to talk about it, there is barely any awareness amongst people. Moreover, even when people talk about it, all they have to offer as a piece of advice is “cheer up!” which isn’t very helpful.
I’ve been through it so I know how it eats the host up and you might not even notice it. It causes a lot of mental illnesses and all you can do about it is stay vigilant about it. There won’t be much helpful advice if you are suffering from depression, unless someone who actually cares for you, wishes to turn things around.
Other than that, there are certain books that might be helpful in such a situation if you want to read up on it to help yourself or a fellow mate. This is always a great topic to study because a lot of people might be helped by a single person’s curiosity and knowledge.
There are even fictional books about depression but I won’t recommend reading them if you’re going through it yourself because even though some of those books are helpful, most of them aren’t.
12 Great Books About Depression
Non-Fiction Books on Depression:
1. The Depression Cure
This book is written by Dr. Stephen Ilardi and as evident from the cover of this book, it will basically focus on providing a reader with 6 ways to get rid of depression without the help of any kind of drugs.
This is quite important to go through as the author highlights a fact in the book that our bodies and minds can’t keep their pace in life with poor eating and sleeping habits. Our lifestyle affects our brain too which is what he talks about and he discusses everything from the very basics. He provides certain great techniques to fight depression and I think this book will be helpful in that.
2. Change Your Brain, Change Your Life
This book is written by Dr. Daniel Amen and t provides scientific evidence to support his theories. He talks about how you can completely change your lifestyle by changing your thought patterns. He talks about a number of conditions like impulsiveness, anxiety, depression, obsession, and anger.
He talks about how they originate due to the functioning of different structures of our brain. He teaches us how to train our brain again to work against clinically proven problems like depression and lead a healthier life. To get deeper into the specific topic of depression, he provides tips to kill off automatic negative thoughts.
3. First, We Make the Beast Beautiful
This book is written by Sarah Wilson. It is a great book but it isn’t appreciated equally amongst all viewers. The authors writing style is different which might appeal to some readers but may seem uninteresting to others.
It might be because of the way she depicts her thoughts, but I found this book to be pretty helpful. She accommodates stuff in a way that might seem relatable to a major part of the audience which drives the people who like it. It doesn’t focus specifically on depression and rather looks more into anxiety but it is still a good read.
4. Darkness Visible
This book is written by William Styron. The author mentions a lot of his own experiences in this insightful and innovative book and this is what makes this book great. It talks about a very serious issue in a tone that doesn’t make the reader uncomfortable.
Through the medium of this book, William tries to give his readers a message to wait for the light at the end of a bad time as it is always there. He tries to make an analogy that darkness is visible to any human eye due to the presence of light around the corner. It tries to provide great insights to feel how a person suffering from depression feels and how painful it may be.
5. The Black Veil
This book is written by Rick Moody. The author went through depression and alcoholism himself and had to be entered into a psychiatric hospital. The road to this hospital was filled with alcohol and drug abuse and quite a lot of emotional baggage. By the medium of this book, he talks about his own journey through the mean streets of alcoholism and depression.
He discusses how he decided to get professional help himself after figuring out his problem. Moody starts his memoirs from the eighteenth century and discusses the story of his relative who was murderous and twisted in his own ways and led Moody to frame his outlook on life. He tries to make the reader experience what a patient might feel and how society has pressured him into feeling ashamed of himself for this illness.
6. Shoot the Damn Dog
This book is written by Sally Brampton. It is said to have a great impact on most of its readers and has great insight into the field of depression. Its cover marks it as “a memoir of depression” which is somewhat true as the author tries to trace the paths of depression through the age.
Her credibility isn’t that questionable as she was the person who launched the Elle magazine in the year 1985. She basis her books on the beliefs of Winston Churchill by using his reference to depression being “the black dog”. She used euphemism quite a number of times in this book and it has been a great experience for me to go through this book myself.
The author pours her heart out in this book and tries to make the reader aware of depression to a level that barely any other author can do. Her reporting and journalism are impeccable which are why she is able to present the story with great interest and is definitely able to grasp her reader into her clutches. She mostly talks about her own journey through it all which can be quite helpful to any reader.
6. Reasons to Stay Alive
This book is written by Matt Haig. It is quite like a lot of the books in this list that talk about the story of their authors through the journey of their lives where they had to go through depression and a lot of such issues. The author tries to point out the little things in life and teaches you to understand their importance.
It does exactly what the title advertises it to do. It tries to help the reader in finding a reason in life by looking for the little things that make it what it is. It teaches the reader how to recover through even the toughest things in life by looking for every bit of happiness possible to make you smile. The author tries to cover a lot of details about the depths of depression in a way that he even introduces humor to the mix.
7. Furiously Happy
This book is written by Jenny Lawson. It is a great read and possibly the best book on the list if you are suffering from depression yourself. This might not be ideal for a person who wishes to gain knowledge of this but would definitely be helpful for someone who is depressed and needs to cheer up.
The author tells her own story in a way that everything just seems hilarious and that too not in a pitiful or sad way. She discusses how to accept and address depression. Her way of expressing her own story provides some great ways for battling depression and its powerful teammates by the missile of happiness. If you struggle with depression, this book will definitely teach you how to be happy.
Fiction Books on Depression
8. Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets
This book is written by Evan Roskos and it is the first fictional book on our list. If you want a book with a dark comedy then here is your best companion. It is suitable for young adults and portrays a boy named James Whitman who hates himself to the core. James is a sixteen-year-old kid and he actually loves Walt Whitman because of his casual behavior.
This book revolves around an imaginary doctor named Dr. Bird who is a pigeon and helps James out by giving him advice through life after his sister disappears from his house. This book talks about how everything is pretty dark for James and how he has to go through a lot yet he is maintaining his sanity by a thread and trying to get through everything with his humor and tries to love himself for who he truly is. The author teaches us a lot about how to survive depression and win over anxiety when everything seems unforgivingly over.
9. Mrs. Dalloway
This book is written by Virginia Woolf. This book has a classical setting that depicts the time of England just after the First World War. This book doesn’t just carry one story but instead, it simultaneously tells two. It talks about a war veteran named Septimus Warren Smith who is looking for treatment for PTSD and Mrs. Dalloway who wishes to throw a party that fine evening.
It gracefully accommodates the stories of these two characters simultaneously without any conceptual entanglement which is the most interesting thing for me. The fact that he can weave the lives of these two people together is pretty marvelous without any visible loopholes, says a lot about the author. The way he portrays mental illnesses through different classes of the society in the time is impeccable.
All this is pretty impactful as the author herself had bipolar disorder so she isn’t new to the concept and can provide great insights into the field. Although it is tragic to say that she killed herself.
10. The Bell Jar
This book is written by Sylvia Plath and is quite interesting for many obvious reasons. It follows a semi-autobiographical approach and tells the story of Esther Greenwood. She is a young woman who becomes a New York City magazine intern originating from the Boston suburbs in the year 1953. When she gets this news she should be enjoying her time but that’s not the case here at all.
She is pretty frightened and confused with this city and these feelings escalate when she goes through an assault. She doesn’t know how to continue after she returns home from the affair and doesn’t know why this had to happen to her. She was a victim of depression and took a lot of help to get out of it. She apparently died a month after the book was released in the UK.
11. Play It as It Lays
This book is written by Joan Didion. It is one of his most famous books and is the best out of the Fiction books mentioned here. It revolves around a character named Maria Wyeth. She is a former actress who is living in Hollywood. She seems like a lonely woman who is cool and detached.
She also doesn’t seem to care about anyone except her daughter. Maria’s daughter has a mental condition and is going through treatment for it. Her name is Kate but the book concentrates more on Maria and her circumstances. It starts off with Maria in the institution herself where she says that there are absolutely no reasons for anything.
I hope I was able to help the reader know much more about depression with the help of these books. If the content was helpful, please leave a link or drop a comment on our post.