10 Books About Mental Health (Novels and Memoirs)

So many people, including myself, suffer from mental health issues of some kind. For me, I have bad anxiety especially around busy social events. Reading about other people's experiences around mental health and the struggles can be really enlightening, I especially like the humerous stories as I believe most things should be turned into humour to help cope with the struggles. Laughter is the best medicine, isn't it?

Chronicles struggles with mental health issues


The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath 

This semi-autobiographical novel follows the protagonist, Esther Greenwood, as she descends into mental illness and struggles with depression. Plath's vivid and introspective writing offers a raw and honest portrayal of the challenges faced by those grappling with mental health issues.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky 

This coming-of-age novel explores the experiences of Charlie, a socially awkward teenager dealing with depression and anxiety. Through a series of letters, Charlie navigates high school, friendship, and his own mental health journey.

It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini 

Based on the author's own experiences, this novel follows Craig Gilner, a high-achieving teenager who checks himself into a psychiatric hospital after contemplating suicide. The story delves into Craig's journey towards recovery and finding hope amidst his struggles.


Girl, Interrupted is about the struggles inside a mental facility

Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen 

This memoir recounts Kaysen's time spent in a psychiatric hospital in the 1960s after being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Through her introspective and thought-provoking narrative, Kaysen sheds light on the complexities of mental illness and the challenges faced by those within the psychiatric system.

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick 

This heartwarming novel follows Pat Peoples as he navigates life after being released from a psychiatric hospital. Pat is determined to rebuild his life and reconnect with his estranged wife while dealing with his own mental health struggles and forming unexpected relationships along the way.

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Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig 

In this memoir, Haig shares his personal experience with depression and anxiety, offering insights into his darkest moments as well as the strategies that helped him overcome them. The book provides hope and encouragement for those facing similar challenges, emphasizing the importance of seeking help and finding reasons to keep going.


Noonday Demon talks about various aspects of depression

The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon 

This comprehensive exploration of depression combines personal anecdotes, scientific research, and cultural analysis. Solomon delves into the various aspects of depression, including its causes, treatments, and societal impact, providing a compassionate and informative perspective on this widespread mental health issue.

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson

In this more humorous memoir, Lawson shares her experiences living with mental illness, including depression and anxiety disorders. Through her witty and candid storytelling, she sheds light on the challenges faced by those with mental health issues while emphasizing the importance of finding joy and embracing life's absurdities.

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison 

Jamison, a renowned psychiatrist, chronicles her own struggles with bipolar disorder in this memoir. She offers a unique perspective on mental illness from both a personal and professional standpoint, providing valuable insights into the complexities of mood disorders.

The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness by Elyn R. Saks

In this memoir, Saks recounts her lifelong battle with schizophrenia while also highlighting her successful career as a law professor and mental health advocate. Her story challenges stereotypes surrounding mental illness and offers hope for those living with severe psychiatric conditions.

Do you have any recommendations? Let me know in the comments or give me a Tweet!
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