5 Books That Will Help You Better Understand Mental Illness And Disorders

Depression

Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within, by Gayathri Ramprasad

 The memoir of Gayathri who grew up in Bangalore and her courageous battle with  her undiagnosed depression that consumed her from adolescence through marriage and a move to the United States. It was only after the birth of her first child, it was not until she checked into a psych ward because of suicidal thoughts that she finally found help. After a stay in a psych ward she eventually found “the light within,” an emotional and spiritual awakening from the darkness of her tortured mind.

OCD

The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought, by David Adam

An exploration of a personal nightmare that shines a light into  the condition that makes that mind such a hectic place. He explains what it’s like to be plagued by intrusive and obsessive thoughts, illuminates the compulsions and home rituals that comes with those thoughts.

Schizophrenia

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

though she has suffered from schizophrenia since the age of eight, and still has ongoing major episodes of the illness, Elyn R. Saks is an esteemed professor, lawyer, and psychiatrist and is the Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology, Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California Law School. In her memoire  The Center Cannot Hold, Elyn Saks discusses openly the paranoia, the inability to tell imaginary fears from real ones, and the voices in her head insisting she do terrible things, as well as the many obstacles she overcame to become the woman she is today.

Depression

 Lay My Burden Down: Suicide and the Mental Health Crisis Among African-Americans, by Alvin Poussaint and Amy Alexander

Dr. Alvin Poussaint along with journalist Amy Alexander takes a look  at ‘posttraumatic slavery syndrome’. Offering a clinical examination of the disparity  between black America and the predominantly white healthcare industry. They examine the historical, cultural, and social factors that make many blacks reluctant to seek health care, and cite ways that everyone from the layperson to the health care provider can help.

PTSD

Irritable Hearts: A PTSD Love Story, by Mac McClelland

 Award-wining human rights journalist Mac McClelland left Haiti after reporting on the devastating earthquake of 2010, she never imagined how the assignment would irrevocably affect her own life. Upon returning home to California, she was surprised and confused by the lasting effects of the trauma she’d witnessed.  An unforgettable memoir, Irritable Hearts, is her investigation of her own mind, unravel her experience with PTSD while falling in love.

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