5 Books That Discuss the Reality of Mental Health Issues

Ginger Abbot

Sep 27, 2021
books about mental health

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Now more than ever, it’s essential to discuss the topic of mental health in educational settings. Creating awareness about everyday experiences regarding mental health removes the stigma. It helps encourage students to reach out in times of need.

Mental health is an essential part of overall wellness for people of all ages, races, genders, and sexualities. Our educational institutions can play a significant role in supporting our youth through their struggles.

Covering mental health issues is helpful in various settings — K-12 programs, higher education, and continuing education benefit from these discussions.

Mental illness in young Americans is growing — more than one in three high school students experienced feelings of hopelessness and sadness in 2019. As mental health issues become more common in the U.S., more authors write books with information on the topic. 

Whether it’s their personal trials and triumphs or how-to guides on dealing with mental illness, there’s a long list to choose from when it comes to books about mental health.

Books Covering Mental Health Issues

Here are five books that discuss mental health in a variety of ways. We’ll explore what topics these books cover and what audience would benefit most from reading them.

1. “If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For” — Jamie Tworkowski

Tworkowski initially wrote a story titled “To Write Love on Her Arms,” a story about his friend who struggled with mental health issues and addiction.

His work went viral, and he used this story to create a nonprofit organization with the same name. He went on to share his knowledge of mental illness and wrote “If You Feel Too Much.”

“If You Feel Too Much” provides stories of individuals who’ve made it through the toughest of situations and lived to see the other side. The book focuses on individuals who experience suicidal ideation, depression, and self-harm.

Tworkowski offers signs of hope, encouragement, and the value of finding the light at the end of the tunnel.

2. “The Art of Not Falling Apart” — Christina Patterson

This novel is rooted in the idea that life doesn’t always go how you plan it. Patterson, originally a journalist, tells a story of her losing a job that meant the world to her. She describes her immediate reaction as well as what her next steps were.

Patterson interviews people who had similar experiences of loss. She incorporates humor into her writing and tries to make light of situations, which can be a valuable tool in real life.

“The Art of Not Falling Apart” takes the reader on a journey of surviving the world we’re living in, providing tips and how-tos on making it through.

3. “The Untethered Soul: A Journey Beyond Yourself” — Michael A. Singer

Singer’s novel is ideal for those who enjoy learning about spirituality and how it impacts mental well-being.

Readers will enter their own consciousness and explore within themselves. The novel relies on intuition and how we, as humans, can harness the power to live beyond our own limitations.

The self-help guide opens up the reader to a new lifestyle, looking at thoughts and emotions as energy passing through the body.

4. “It Didn’t Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle” — Mark Wolynn

Trauma comes in many forms, but Mark Wolynn centers his novel around the impact family trauma has on an individual. Wolynn has worked with families and individuals for over 20 years — it’s clear that his perspective is a valuable one.

Readers can learn more about the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and break generational issues surrounding trauma.

Consider giving this one a read to learn more about the connection between family trauma and mental health issues.

5. “The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You” — Elaine N. Aron

Life can be overwhelming at times for anyone, but especially for those suffering from mental illness. Aron, a clinical psychologist, discusses the characteristics of a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). She dives into how HSPs can get through life successfully and get the best result out of challenging situations.

In addition to these chapters, Aron provides valuable tips for teachers, health care professionals, and employers that work with HSPs. Readers will benefit from this read regardless of whether they’re an HSP — it also teaches us how to treat HSPs in our lives.

Find Your Book About Mental Health

For those interested in broadening their knowledge of mental health, these books are must-reads. In fact, studies show that reading can actually improve your mental well-being in iteself.

Those struggling with mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, or any other disorders, will benefit from hearing these stories. Educators can use these novels to create class discussions or assign these for personal reading. Readers will be able to resonate with many of the real-life stories and anecdotes.

Many groups of people will find value in these resources.

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