4 min read

Five Essential Reads To Understand Mental Health

Mental health and well-being have been adversely affected by direct exposure to the Coronavirus, and from recent social and economic upheavals that have occurred at an individual and population level. In a post-pandemic world, it is imperative to take care of your mental health, as much as your physical health. 

Let’s start by understanding what mental health means. Mental health includes three critical aspects – emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, interact and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to other people and make healthy or unhealthy choices. Mental health plays a crucial role at every stage of life – from childhood through teenage, adulthood and old age.

Sounds important? Here are five book recommendations that will enrich your knowledge about your mental well-being by better presenting its nuances.

Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig:

In this glorious memoir, Matt Haig, an English novelist, and journalist talks about his triumphant battle against depression and the lessons he learned from the same. Every 1 in 5 people suffers from depression in the USA. Matt tells us how, minute by minute and day by day, he overcame the disease by reading, writing, and the care of his loved ones. With the help of his parents and his wife, Haig began to appreciate life once again. Everyone is touched by mental illness; if we do not have it ourselves, we see our loved ones suffer from it at some point. Matt’s frankness about his experiences inspires those who feel daunted by depression and enlightens those who are mystified by it. Above all, his humor and encouragement never let us lose sight of hope.

Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson, Gemma Correll:

Communicating about our mental health is the first step of the healing process. With extra information and assistance from clinical psychologist Dr. Olivia Hewitt, author Juno Dawson has written this open, factual, and hilarious book. Juno and Olivia talk simply and supportively about a range of difficulties confronting young people's mental health - whether transient or long-term - and how to handle them, using real-life tales from young people worldwide.

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

This book is a memoir of our author, Kay Jamison, who has been a manic depressive. The reader follows her journey from the onset of the illness to her determined journey through the realm of available treatments. She resists the watered-down label, ‘bipolar,’ because she thinks it hides the essential nature of the disease. She made it through a Ph.D. in Psychology and became a known authority in her field before getting the treatment she needed. Seeing how she was able to achieve such professional success while privately dealing with such hellish and frightening moments of insanity is impressive. She entails her experiences and the reasons behind them with utmost clarity.

Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb:

It's a memoir in which Lori Gottlieb, an American writer, and psychotherapist, recounts a testing period in her career and personal life. Because of the book's dual nature, Gottlieb can depict her reality as both a therapist and a client. Gottlieb draws us into her world as a doctor and a patient with astonishing wisdom and wit. She analyses the realities and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we walk the tightrope between love and desire, meaning and death, guilt and redemption, dread and courage, hope and transformation.

The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by Esmé Weijun Wang:

In a personal, touching work written with the intensity of someone still dealing with the impact of mental health, Esmé Weijun Wang pens a series of moving essays on the topic of schizophrenia. A chronic mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally, experts say its exact cause is currently not known. Wang, a Taiwanese-American novelist, writes for people who suffer from the illness and those who want to learn more about it. She begins by discussing the medical community's disagreements over labels and processes for diagnosing people with mental illness before investigating the manifestations of schizophrenia in her life. 

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