5 Best Books for Dealing with Anxiety and Depression

Depression blows. And possibly the only thing worse than the well-intentioned good friends and household who urge you to just “get over it” or recommend you to “keep your head up” is the fact that there are approximately 3,102 lousy books out there assuring to wave a little wand and spray fairy dust in your ass, and whatever will instantly be better.In my experience, the best books on dealing with anxiety and depression are the finest due to the fact that they are sincere about the circumstance.
I get hundreds of e-mails every month from people who struggle primarily with anxiety and anxiety. The only thing Im certified to send them is this brand-new care bear emoji I got on my phone.
So instead, I will send them here, to these books.
Ive checked out a lot of books about anxiety and anxiety throughout the years and these are some of the very best ones Ive stumbled upon. Theyre way more qualified than I am to help you through whatever suckage youre experiencing. And in this manner, when nothing works and the world is still a steaming stack of dogshit, you can blame them and not me.
The 3 Types of Mental Health Books
Books about psychological health been available in 3 flavors:

Greater Understanding/Research– These are books that explain what the current research recommends thats taking place in your life/brain and what the most efficient treatments may be. Building your understanding and knowledge about your problem can often be enough so that you can take care of it from there.

Exercises/Actions– Im personally not a substantial fan of books that desire you to take out a sheet of paper every other page and write a bunch of crap down. However I know some people are. And I understand that a few of these workouts can be extremely efficient. And if the workouts are well-done (generally built by a therapist/psychiatrist with lots of experience) you can get good arise from these books.

And possibly the only thing even worse than the well-intentioned good friends and family who urge you to simply “get over it” or recommend you to “keep your head up” is the fact that there are roughly 3,102 crappy books out there guaranteeing to wave a little wand and sprinkle fairy dust in your ass, and whatever will immediately be better.In my experience, the best books on dealing with stress and anxiety and depression are the best because they are honest about the circumstance. Ive read a lot of books about stress and anxiety and depression over the years and these are some of the best ones Ive come across. Solomon calls his book “An Atlas of Depression” and once youve covered about half of the 688 pages, you start to realize why: this is everything you would ever desire to know about anxiety– the personal experience of it, the medical experience of it, the medicinal treatments, the history of it, the cultural interpretations of it, and of course, Solomons own struggles with it. In my opinion, the best pop psychology books bring some humor and humanity to the topic, and this is one of the few books that pulls that off actually well.
If youre checking out a book with the hopes that youll be “fixed” merely by reading it, then no, none of these books will help you.

Focuses on: DepressionType( s): Feeling Less Alone and Greater Understanding/Research
Solomon calls his book “An Atlas of Depression” and once youve covered about half of the 688 pages, you begin to recognize why: this is whatever you would ever need to know about depression– the individual experience of it, the medical experience of it, the medicinal treatments, the history of it, the cultural interpretations of it, and naturally, Solomons own battles with it. The book is a lot to take in. What brings the book, however, is the combination of how well-written it is, in addition to the shocking intensity of Solomons own story.
Ive been checking out about anxiety and mental health for many years. This is the only book Ive ever read that makes me understand why an individual may pick to end their own life.
Reading Noonday Demon changed a number of my mindsets and presumptions that Ive had about not just anxiety, however antidepressants, therapy, and psychological health. Had I read it while depressed myself, it would have definitely given me more expect my own situation, as well as helped me navigate getting myself out of it.
2. First, We Make the Beast Beautiful by Sarah Wilson

All 3 flavors can be more/less beneficial provided the situation/personality/tastes of the reader. Thats why Ive specified the type for each book listed below.
One last declaration before we get to the books. Why stress and anxiety and anxiety together? Well, due to the fact that they typically occur together. They take place so frequently together that people will mistake one for the other. A close good friend of mine just recently spent the lions share of a year continuously experiencing anxiety and tension, and upon a couple months of therapy, found that she had really been deeply depressed. I felt depressed for a short duration at the start of this year and looking back, it turns out I was extremely distressed about something in my life and the sensations of lethargy/meaninglessness were simply my ways of leaving that anxiety.
Stress and anxiety and depression are like 2 peas in a pod. Theyre a bundle deal. Much of what youll get from these books is an understanding in between the two and acknowledging when one or the other takes over.
The Very Best Books on Depression and Anxiety
1. The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon

Concentrate on: BothType( s): Greater Understanding/Research and Exercises/Action.
I like this book. It was quite prominent on me when I read it years and years back and I was upset recently to learn that I had actually inadvertently ripped off one of the workouts in it in my Self-Knowledge PDF (it has since been repaired and credited appropriately).
ACT is a reasonably new form of therapy that argues that the key to dealing with dependency, anxiety, or anxiety is to not always to get rid of bad feelings, but rather to develop mental tools and routines to simply weather them more effectively. To me, ACT is one of a number of more recent advancements in psychology that integrates some of the benefits of mindfulness, with a zest of eastern viewpoint tossed in.
The Happiness Trap is also among the most enjoyable and approachable psych reads out there. The writing is clear and fun, and the workouts are engaging. In my opinion, the finest pop psychology books bring some humor and mankind to the subject, and this is among the couple of books that pulls that off truly well.
5. Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff.

Feeling Less Alone– These books are written mainly to influence hope. “Feeling Less Alone” books tend to be the most emotionally powerful (and best-written) of the three flavors.

Focuses on: AnxietyType( s): Feeling Less Alone and Greater Understanding/Research
I liked this book but I do not think everybody will. This is mostly due to Wilsons writing style and, I suppose, the way her brain works. Like a chronically nervous person, First, We Make the Beast Beautiful is frenetic and at times, overly-energetic, leaping from story to story, back 10 years to ahead five years to youth to pictured old age, from personal catastrophe to scientific research to that thing my meditation instructor told me that, by the method, completely didnt work, however hey, its amusing now, looking back.
Due to the fact that my brain (and composing) often runs in the same method, I enjoyed it. Ive seen evaluations online from nervous people who have actually commented that the book in fact made them more distressed, just by reading it. Undoubtedly, thats not the objective.
All of that aside, I think this book is the finest presentation of what it is to really live with extreme stress and anxiety and still discover a method to function and grow in ones life. Wilson has suffered from bipolar condition, eating disorders, manic episodes, and intermittent anxiety. Ive constantly argued that the key to stress and anxiety is not getting rid of it however merely directing it in more productive ways.
( Note: This book is not out yet in some nations.).
3. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David Burns.

Concentrate on: BothType( s): Exercises/Action.
Godwins Law famously specifies that the longer any web conversation continues, the possibility of someone being compared to Hitler approaches 100%. Well, in my experience, the longer an internet discussion about anxiety, stress and anxiety, or any other psychological health issue goes on, the possibility that Feeling Good gets advised to them likewise approaches 100%. I see this book mentioned all over.
Thats because if you were going to write an extensive, “This is what 3 months with a CBT therapist would be like,” book, loaded with enough workouts to fill a little note pad, you d have Feeling Good. Burns has actually done a great job of basically writing the closest replacement to a real therapist, and as a result, basically at any time I stumble upon somebody who needs a therapist but cant get one for some factor, this book is the insta-recommendation.
4. The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living by Russ Harris.

Concentrate on: BothType( s): Greater Understanding/Research and Exercises/Action.
In The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F * ck ( yes, I had to find a way to plug my own shit here), I made the point that real self-esteem cant be a measure of how somebody feels about their successes, it must be a step of how we feel about our failures.
This isnt an awfully original concept. Individuals have been shitting on self-confidence for a couple decades now. But Neff is the first psychologist to conceptualize an alternative metric for self-esteem: self-compassion.
Individuals with self-compassion can weather failures, can forgive themselves for messing up, can accept their defects and insecurities and try regardless of them.
Neglect the cheesiness of the title here. Self-compassion is the response to each time youve ever heard someone say, “hello, do not be so difficult on yourself,” without any description of how to not be so difficult on yourself. Neff has actually not just proposed this as a more reliable measurement of psychological health than self-confidence but shes also researched into how we arrive. How do we cultivate self-compassion? How do we forgive ourselves for fucking up, for not living up to what we desire from ourselves, for having failures and down minutes and days where absolutely nothing appears to go?
Like many pop psychology books, her anecdotes and examples are sometimes cliche-ridden, but the central idea is essential enough that this book is still worth a read if you are the remarkably self-critical type.
Can reading about depression and anxiety really assist you?
While I think this list of books will assist you much better understand anxiety and anxiety, you might still be questioning: will they really assist me with my anxiety and anxiety?
Well, I d answer that with “it depends.” (Sorry, however you needed to have actually seen that coming.).
I like books. I read them every day. If youre reading a book with the hopes that youll be “fixed” simply by reading it, then no, none of these books will help you.
Theres a fine line between checking out a book to gain a brand-new perspective on an issue and checking out a book to simply avoid the problem by intellectualizing it.
You could check out every book ever released on cash and personal finance, but if you do not apply that understanding and save and invest your cash, youll still be broke. Youll understand why youre broke truly well, but youll still be broke.
When it comes to more tangible outcomes like cash or losing weight or whatever, this seems so apparent. However when it pertains to our psychological and mental health, we typically believe we can simply think the problems away.
Getting your mental and psychological shit together is a lived experience. You have to face and withstand the pain, not justify it away. This might be made with a family or a therapist member or an excellent buddy. Sometimes, you may be able to do it alone. No matter what, it has to be done, not merely believed about and analyzed.
Yes, these books are valuable– as a starting point. They will provide you point of view on what your anxiety and anxiety actually are and where they originate from. They will show you that youre not alone, that others have gone through what youre going through, which, yes, you can come out the opposite a happier, more powerful individual.
Theyll make the work a bit simpler. You still have to do the work.
Trying to find more books to read?
Well, I create a list of over 200 of the best books to check out, arranged by topic. You ought to examine it out, in addition to my all-time suggested reading list.