Eight Must-Read Books About Mental Illness

Eight Must-Read Books About Mental IllnessKnowledge about mental illnesses and the people who struggle with them can go a long way in empowering you to come alongside friends and family members dealing with these conditions. As we begin a new year, we encourage you to commit to educating yourself on mental illness and how you can help those who live with mental health challenges. These eight books, including several by Dallas-area authors, are a great place to start.

Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission by Amy Simpson

For many who deal with mental illness, church can be uncomfortable, unwelcoming and even unkind. But local fellowships can also be places that welcome, love and support whose who live with mental health difficulties. Amy Simpson draws upon thorough research and her own family’s experiences to help churches invite those who are struggling into our congregations with open arms.

The Addicted Lawyer: Tales of the Bar, Booze, Blow, and Redemption by Brian Cuban

Dallas attorney, author and speaker Brian Cuban reflects on his recovery from depression and addiction with honestly and insight. He shares what he’s learned about himself on his journey and explores the reasons that substance abuse and mental health issues are prevalent among those in the legal profession, drawing from both his own observations and interviews with experts and others in recovery.

I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help! How to Help Someone with Mental Illness Accept Treatment by Xavier Amador

What if a friend or family member is suffering from a mental illness but doesn’t want to seek help? Dr. Xavier Amador was inspired to research this topic by his efforts to assist his brother, who had developed schizophrenia. He provides insight into why a loved one might be resistant to treatment and gives practical advice for coming alongside someone who doesn’t recognize they’re ill or doesn’t believe they need assistance. His LEAP (Listen, Empathize, Agree and Partner) method helps those who are struggling accept help.

Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness by Mathew S. Stanford

Misinformation and myths about mental health challenges often lead Christians to respond to those living with these conditions in fear. Matthew Sanford, a church leader, professor and the CEO of the Hope and Healing Center & Institute, seeks to educate Christians about common mental illnesses from biblical and scientific perspectives, enabling readers to be guided by grace and truth as they interact with those who are struggling.

My Pursuit of a Good Mood by Mike Attar

Mike Attar, founder of the Good Mood Foundation, a peer-to-peer ministry serving those struggling with mental health issues, shares his personal experiences with mood struggles, including his diagnosis of bipolar disorder. He seeks to provide readers with a better understanding of loved ones with similar challenges, while providing practical insights and pointing to hope in God.

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

Dr. Jamison, one of the leading authors on bipolar disorder, understands this illness not only from her career in academic medicine but also from her own experience. She gives readers a window into her struggles with the highs and lows of living with this disorder, offering a unique perspective as both the patient and the practitioner.

Sparks of Redemptive Grace: Seeking and Seeing God Amid a Loved One’s Mental Illness by Catherine P. Downing

Even in the depths of struggles with mental illness, God’s unfailing love shines through. Catherine P. Downing shares honestly about both the suffering that families impacted by mental illness endure and the Lord’s goodness in the midst of the darkness. This short book provides inspiration and information as it paints a picture of transparent hope in God, forged in fear and faith.

Struck by Living: From Depression to Hope by Julie Hersh

Mental health advocate Julie Hersh seeks to dispel myths about depression and open a dialogue on mental health. She shares her own struggles with this mental illness and her experiences with electroconvulsive therapy. Composed like a novel, this book offers insight and perspective into the challenges of depression and evidence that it’s a manageable condition.


At The Well Community those who live with serious mental illnesses find a place to belong, we well as support from caring, knowledgeable staff. Your gift will help The Well continue to serve those in the Dallas area who deal with the daily challenges of mental health difficulties throughout 2018.

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