On World Book Day 2012, we asked our followers on Facebook and Twitter what books they'd recommend to help people understand what it's like living with a mental health problem.
And now we've updated them with even more suggestions for World Book Day 2013!
Books can provide a way to understand what it's like to live with a mental health problem and help to break down the stigma and stereotypes around something that affects us all.
List of books about mental illness
These are some of the suggestions from our Facebook community (read the full list of suggestions on Facebook):
An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamieson- awesome book that describes her experience of having bipolar disorder brilliantly but also shows how much she has achieved in life! Darkness Visible by William Styron is about depression- so accurate it gave me nightmares! If we're talking songs, "Perfect Blue Buildings" by Counting Crows... not sure what its supposed to be about but to me it talks about detachment from surroundings, early morning wakening and thoughts of self harm. Another one would be the Manic Stret Preachers' "Black Dog on My Shoulder"
All maya angelou, be it poetry or literary great works. . . 'i know why the caged bird sings' a good place to start. Luvs and well-bein to my fellow fighters x x
One flew over the cuckoos nest by Ken Kesey is having a massive impact on me at the moment!
An these were some of the books recommeded by our followers on Twitter:
Shoot the Damn Dog by Sally Brampton
@TimetoChange 'Shoot the Damn Dog by Sally Brampton' really helped my family & friends understand what I was going through.— Chloe (@NebulousBones) March 1, 2012
@TimetoChange Shoot the Damn Dog by Sally Brampton, Girl interrupted, Prozac nation.— Sarah Myers (@miss89sarah) March 1, 2012
Sally Brampton interviewed at our Meet the Media event on Monday 16th April.
The Dementors in Harry Potter as a representation of depression
@TimetoChange I read that JKRowling said the Dementors were a representation of depression. Simplistic but resonant and universal.— Hat (@obscureglory) March 1, 2012
@TimetoChange I think the effect of the Dementors in Harry Potter do a very good job of describing how depression feels.— Victoria (@Victoria_C_W) March 1, 2012
Girl Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
@TimetoChange Girl Interrupted was difficult to get into, I found, but well worth it.— Elenya Lewis (@ElenyaLewis) March 1, 2012
@TimetoChange 'Girl Interrupted' & 'But On The Inside I'm Screaming' both fabulous accurately descriptive true stories of mental ill health— Girl Interrupted (@girl_interrupt_) March 1, 2012
@TimetoChange pinned down, cut, sybill, out of darkness, girl interrupted— i-am-a-free-spirit:) (@Jadeisalive2day) March 1, 2012
False memory by Dean Koontz
Time to Change blogger Fiona Art recommends a book for World Mental Health:
False Memory by Dean Koontz is a book that makes me question how I would cope.
It’s not one of those happily ever after stories, it’s about coping through the worst imaginable and unimaginable situations in life.
It is the kind of story where, when I am reading it, I find myself associating with the main characters Martie “...optimistic nature, formidable coping skills...” and her friend Susan, and actually seeing strengths in myself...
I had a black dog by Matthew Johnstone
@TimetoChange I had a black dog by Matthew Johnstone is the best book I have ever come across to aid understanding of living with depression— Karen Hall (@karenelainehall) March 1, 2012
Other suggested books:
@TimetoChange Sectioned A Life Interrupted John O'Donoghue. Moving & inspiring pg 253 I found amazing text I now use 2 explain how I feel— Natalie Warren (@purpleglitteruk) March 1, 2012
@TimetoChange The Noonday Demon is splendidly-written.— Lucy Boyes (@klave) March 1, 2012
@TimetoChange The 10pm Question (Kate De Goldi) handles MH problems wonderfully. Also Marcus Trescothick's autobiography, Coming Back to Me.— Sophie Green (@Phwoffy) March 1, 2012
@timetochange Also 'On The Shortness of Life' by Seneca.— Jennifer Saul (@SaulArtPhoto) March 7, 2013
@timetochange An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison. For reference, Malignant Sadness by Lewis Wolpert, scientist and depressive— Sally Brampton (@SallyBrampton) March 7, 2013
For more books about mental illness check out:
How can I get involved in the campaign?
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook or sign up for email updates to stay informed about the campaign
- Share our blogs with your friends to get people talking about mental illness
- Make a pledge
- Become a champion
- Register to become a media volunteer
- Hold an event
About World Book Day
World Book Day was designated by unESco as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and is marked in over 100 countries around the globe. Find out more >>