Mental Health is deeply complex and at times confusing, especially as it can present such a multitude of symptoms that have no “one-size-fits-all” cause or cure. However, what we do know about mental illness is that the more we talk and educate ourselves about it, the less stigma there will be. So, here’s some of our favourite books talking about all things mental health, from captivating novels to real-life stories and practical self-help guidebooks…
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon
This quirky murder mystery story is about Christopher, a young boy with autism, who decides to find out who killed the neighbour’s dog. With his obsessive detective work, the plot thickens, and secrets begin to unravel…
Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon
Known best for her Telegraph column and amazing work with the charity, Heads Together, Bryony Gordon’s Mad Girl brings light to what it’s really like to live with OCD; as in the condition that makes you think you've murdered someone and forgotten about it and not just a need to fold your socks in a certain way. Her. story is warm, dark, raw, hilarious and heart-wrenching all at the same time...
The Kevin Show: An Olympic Athlete's Battle with Mental Illness by Mary Pilon
The “Truman Show” is a form of bipolar disorder named after the movie, in which the main character realises he’s the star of a reality show. Well for Olympic sailor Kevin Hall, when the 'director' commands him to do something, he does it – even if that means driving his car into Boston Harbour. The book details Kevin’s eye-opening story, including excerpts from his journals, as well as witness interviews and medical reports.
First We Make The Beast Beautiful: A New Journey Through Anxiety by Sarah Wilson
From the best-selling author of I Quit Sugar, this is the book for anyone who has (or knows someone who has) anxiety. After suffering from bipolar, OCD and multiple suicide attempts, Sarah draws from her personal experiences and questions whether anxiety can be embraced and made into a thing of beauty, allowing you to thrive whilst living with the beast…
Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig
This hugely popular and award-winning book is Matt Haig’s story of learning to live again after his world caved in with depression. It’s insightful and inspiring, no matter what your history with mental health may be.
"I wrote this book because the oldest clichés remain the truest. Time heals. The bottom of the valley never provides the clearest view. The tunnel does have light at the end of it, even if we haven't been able to see it . . . Words, just sometimes, really can set you free." – Matt Haig
Happy By Fearne Cotton
Another story drawing from personal experience, tv presenter and radio star Fearne Cotton’s book Happy gives practical ways of making everyday life that little bit happier. Formatted in a workbook style, there’s the opportunity to find peace through writing and creative exercises, as well as giving you practical ideas and visualisations to help you unlock your inner happiness.
The Anxiety Solution by Chloe Brotheridge
Anxiety is a learned behaviour (meaning it’s not our default state), which means it can be un-learned. This self-help book is wonderful for anyone who suffers from anxiety and offers a multitude of helpful and informative tips for reducing anxiety.