This nonfiction book is an incredibly powerful account of her diagnosis and subsequent mastectomy, with excerpts from her personal diaries. (shelved 1 time as mental-ilness-mental-health-memoirs) avg rating 4.04 — 11,907 ratings — published 2008 Want to Read saving… The lessons I have learned are not limited to race, gender, or sexual orientation. “At seventeen Lori Schiller was the perfect child-the only daughter of an affluent, close-knit family. This beautifully written memoir is destined to become a classic in its genre.” (Amazon), “An intimate, moving book written with the immediacy and directness of one who still struggles with the effects of mental and chronic illness, The Collected Schizophrenias cuts right to the core. Her unique and at times unsettling voice graphically illustrates her mental state. Part memoir, part informational, chronically ill contributors from all backgrounds have literally poured their blood, sweat and tears into sharing their experiences and best advice. This list of the 50 best mental health and addiction memoirs encompasses a wide scope of diagnoses, functionality, and experiences as diverse as the spectrum of mental illness. What is it like to know that the gender assigned to you at birth was wrong? In sharp and shocking language, Lights On, Rats Out brings us closely into these years. Find the top 100 most popular items in Amazon Books Best Sellers. If the year 2020 gave us anything, it’s time — time at home, time away from regular life and time to cuddle up with a good book. By the time she faced the fact that she was really ‘losing it,’ Colas had become a slave to her own ‘hobbies’ — from the daily hair cutting to incessant inspections of her children’s clothing for bloodstains. Finally, she can no longer deny that she will die if she doesn’t get help, overcome her shame, and conquer her addiction to using food as a weapon against herself.” (Amazon), “Elizabeth Wurtzel writes with her finger on the faint pulse of an overdiagnosed generation whose ruling icons are Kurt Cobain, Xanax, and pierced tongues. Memoirs give you the chance to jump into another life and live someone else's story, at least for a little while. In a swift and breathtaking narrative, Susannah tells the astonishing true story of her descent into madness, her family’s inspiring faith in her, and the lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn’t happen.” (Amazon). So much more than a self-portrait, they lay bare the stories we didn't even know we needed to hear. For most of that time, she didn’t know why. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. Her crisis of American Indian identity bleeds into other areas of self-doubt; mental illness, sexual trauma, ethnic identity, and independence become intertwined. Manic does not simply explain bipolar disorder—it takes us in its grasp and does not let go.” (Amazon). The funny, harrowing and bestselling account of an ordinary boy’s survival under the most extraordinary circumstances.” (Amazon), “A first-of-its-kind, cross-cultural lens to mental illness through the inspiring story of Gayathri’s thirty-year battle with depression. Meri Danquah describes the challenges of racism and depression. With Manic, Cheney gives voice to the unarticulated madness she endured. “Shortly before her thirtieth birthday, Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. “As one third of the legendary rap group Run D.M.C., Darryl ‘DMC’ McDaniels—aka Legendary MC, The Devastating Mic Controller, and the King of Rock—had it all: talent, money, fame, prestige. We say: Tara Westover's compelling coming-of-age memoir was a popular fixture on "Book of the Year" lists back in 2018, from The Guardian to The New York Times, The Economist and Vogue.Documenting her escape from a strict Mormon household in Idaho, Educated is an inspiring ode to the power of education and self-determination. He confronts the challenge of defining the illness and describes the vast range of available medications and treatments, and the impact the malady has on various demographic populations—around the world and throughout history. And when it comes to health and wellness, it’s incredibly important to actually hear from those living with conditions, caring for loved ones, or pushing for further research or legislative change. This should have the culmination of all her years of hard work – first as a child model in Australia, then as a cast member of one of the hottest shows on American television. Back home in California, McClelland cannot stop reliving vivid scenes of violence. As soon as I heard about Grubbs’ book, I added it to my reading list. As the year draws to a close, a number of authors and publishers are welcoming 2021 with a slew of new novels and memoirs for avid book lovers around the world. In the words of the distinguished psychologist Carol Gilligan, ‘It brings a stunningly perceptive voice into the forefront of the conversation about depression, one that is both reassuring and revelatory. Here Jamison examines bipolar illness from the dual perspectives of the healer and the healed, revealing both its terrors and the cruel allure that at times prompted her to resist taking medication. Not since Saint Augustine cried, ‘Give me chastity, Lord-but not yet!’ has a conversion story rung with such dark hilarity. 50 Fabulous Food Memoirs. What happened? She was a prescription drug addict. Start 2021 with a brand new reading tracker, inspired by the Bullet Journal. Now she was labeled violent, psychotic, a flight risk. I think there is a message here for anyone who has ever suffered from a lack of self-esteem, felt the pain of loneliness, or sought love in all the wrong places. Writer Keah Brown’s tweets about what it’s like to live with cerebral palsy, using the hashtag #DisabledAndCute, explore the reality of having a disability in America. But when she attempted suicide and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, there were no flowers. Though memoirs imply a "me, me, me," theme (take out the "moir" and "me" is all you have), they're really some of the most self-sacrificing, accessible, and valuable books to keep on your shelves. Memoirs about mental illness are more or less a subgenre all on their own, and any author willing to put him- or herself out there in the interest of education deserves commendation. Ad Choices, 16 Must-Read Memoirs About Health Written by Women. There are the manic episodes, during which he felt burdened with saving the world, juxtaposed against the real-world responsibilities of running a pediatric practice. The moving story of an African American family facing the challenge of bipolar disorder, This Fragile Life provides insight into mental disorders as well as family dynamics. On the inside, she was literally dying. Memoirs of mental health and addiction can also fill in the gaps of knowledge that those on the outside need to relate to those struggling with mental illness and addiction. Continue reading below. Unbearable Lightness is a story that inspires hope and nourishes the spirit.” (Amazon), “Unholy Ghost is a unique collection of essays about depression that, in the spirit of William Styron’s Darkness Visible, finds vivid expression for an elusive illness suffered by more than one in five Americans today. Why enter into a love affair with hunger, drugs, sex and death? Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. SELF may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. Ironically, Charlamagne’s fear of failure—of falling into the life of stagnation or crime that caught up so many of his friends and family in his hometown of Moncks Corner—has been the fuel that has propelled him to success. “When thirty-year-old, award-winning 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. Mariah Carey, pictured in 2019. But in 1997, when intoxication could no longer keep the pain at bay, he plunged into severe depression and became suicidal. She was also a “doctor shopper” who manipulated Upper East Side psychiatrists for pills, pills, and more pills; a lonely bulimic who spent hundreds of dollars a week on binge foods; a promiscuous party girl who danced barefoot on banquets; a weepy and hallucination-prone insomniac who would take anything—anything—to sleep. And her memoir, Redefining Realness, is a truly captivating read that helps explain what it’s like to grow up with the wrong gender assigned to you—and what it’s like to push back. Told using expressive artwork that invokes both laughter and tears, this moving and highly entertaining single volume depicts not only the artist’s burgeoning sexuality, but many other personal aspects of her life that will resonate with readers.” (Amazon), “The Noonday Demon examines depression in personal, cultural, and scientific terms. She drinks herself into the same numbness that nearly devoured her charismatic but troubled mother, reaching the brink of suicide. Saks discusses frankly the paranoia, the inability to tell imaginary fears from real ones, the voices in her head telling her to kill herself (and to harm others), as well as the incredibly difficult obstacles she overcame to become a highly respected professional. Angelina Jolie’s essay about her BRCA1 genetic mutation and her decision to undergo a preventative double mastectomy raised many questions about the “right” choices for women with this gene mutation. Mental health memoirs offer an eye-opening look at the lives of the mentally ill and those around them. Sharing the ins and outs of life with chronic illness, this book makes a valuable resource for anyone newly diagnosed looking for tips on how to deal with the rollercoaster of emotions and practical issues. Paperback, $12 Kindle, $8 BUY NOW. © 2021 Condé Nast. Admittedly, there are a lot of lists there about the best recovery memoirs, which is why ours is a little different. It’s a complicated memoir about crippling alcoholism, and how substance abuse took over Bydlowska’s life. He also explores how individual sufferers—including himself—have managed and controlled symptoms. disturbed? Her memoir details the long, complicated path to her diagnosis—and what happened next. On the outside she was thin and blond, glamorous and successful. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional. As a child, Sandy had been told Bob was ‘crazy,’ that he had spent time in mental hospitals while growing up in Berkeley in the 60s and 70s. The perspectives of his three children, his spouse, and his own distorted reality combine to offer readers a glimpse of a world that will either feel hauntingly familiar or mind-boggling. “But my hope for this book doesn’t stop there. When her mood-stabilizing medications aren’t threatening her life, they’re shoving her from depression to mania and back in the space of an hour. A crucial book for all those who might sometimes feel at war with themselves or their bodies. “This raw, darkly comic series of astonishing vignettes is Emily Colas’ achingly honest chronicle of her twisted journey through the obsessive-compulsive disorder that came to dominate her world. Her famous memoir of her bouts with depression and skirmishes with drugs, Prozac Nation is a witty and sharp account of the psychopharmacology of an era for readers of Girl, Interrupted and Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.” (Amazon). This New York Times bestseller details the author's struggle with bipolar disorder. From the Condé Nast building to seedy nightclubs, from doctors’ offices and mental hospitals, Marnell “treads a knife edge between glamorizing her own despair and rendering it with savage honesty.…with the skill of a pulp novelist” (The New York Times Book Review) what it is like to live in the wild, chaotic, often sinister world of a young female addict who can’t say no.” (Amazon). Both an irreverent memoir and a rousing call to action, Haldol and Hyacinths is the moving story of a woman who refused to become a victim. I’m excited to read about what she’s learned in her position, and what suggestions she has to offer for inpatient mental treatment going forward. Memoir often is just a certain sliver of a person’s life, not the story of one’s entire life. This pick is another one on my list of books to read. And lucky for us, some of our most beloved celebrities gave us another gift in 2020, and that is the gift of a juicy, page-turning memoir for us to devour during quarantine. This book is an incredibly moving and powerful read. is a hilarious, raw, and unforgettable account of how a terrified young woman, literally trapped by her own imagination, evolved into a (relatively) high-functioning professional smartass.” (Amazon), “Winner of The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, Grace Talusan’s memoir The Body Papers bravely explores her experiences with sexual abuse, depression, cancer, and life as a Filipino immigrant, supplemented with government documents, medical records, and family photos.” (Amazon). You don't have to love her music to love her book, which recounts the intimate details of her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (who would ultimately die from HIV/AIDS), and her time as a musician in the gritty New York scene of the late '60s and '70s. “In her bestselling classic, An Unquiet Mind, Kay Redfield Jamison changed the way we think about moods and madness. In this riveting memoir, DMC speaks openly about his emotional and psychological struggles and the impact on his life, and addresses the many reasons that led him—and thousands of others—to consider suicide. Written with an acute understanding of the ways in which her condition has evolved as well as affected those around her, This Close to Happy is an utterly candid coming-to-terms with an illness that many share but few talk about, one that remains shrouded in stigma. Their narratives add to the tapestry of the human experience and without them, our history is incomplete.” (Amazon), “A work of great personal courage and a literary tour de force, this bestseller is Styron’s true account of his descent into a crippling and almost suicidal depression. SELF does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Keep an eye on your inbox. Manic: A Memoir by Terri Cheney. “For as long as author Porochista Khakpour can remember, she has been sick. Trying to escape her self-hatred and her food obsession by never slowing down, Stephanie becomes trapped in a downward spiral. Anyone can overcome a broken heart.”–E. A hair-raising stint in ‘The Mental Marriott,’ with an oddball tribe of gurus and saviors, awakens her to the possibility of joy and leads her to an unlikely faith. By sharing our stories, we open up discussion around the topic and break through stigma and shame. By age nine, she was secretly bulimic, throwing up at home after school while watching The Brady Bunch reruns on television and munching Fritos. Paula Kamen triggered a headache by putting in a contact lens when she was 24, and the pain hasn’t left her since. During the same period, suicide became the number three leading cause of death among black people—a health crisis that continues to this day. Her memoir, about chronic pain and search for a cure, is a must-read. For years, he went through the motions. And with memoir, there’s a lot more leeway as to how you might tell the story. Cahalan was eventually diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease, and her memoir is absolutely captivating. It’s my hope that sharing my experience will give hope to others who are learning to deal with their “difference.” I want them to know they don’t have to live their lives in a permanent “don’t ask, don’t tell” existence. Best known for the groundbreaking Bad Feminist, Gay lays it all on the table in this memoir of food, body image, sexual agency, and the ways society looks at people of size and what that means. Kaysen’s memoir encompasses horror and razor-edged perception while providing vivid portraits of her fellow patients and their keepers. Educated by Tara Westover (2018). Reporter Katherine Ellison and her son were both diagnosed with ADHD. In what is sure to strike a chord with the millions of women who suffer from depression after childbirth, Brooke Shields shares how she, too, battled a condition that is widely misunderstood, despite the fact that it affects many new mothers. Lit: A Memoir (P.S.) Written with Karr’s relentless honesty, unflinching self-scrutiny, and irreverent, lacerating humor, it is a truly electrifying story of how to grow up — as only Mary Karr can tell it. From her days as a thirteen-year-old Jesus freak through her eventual diagnosis of bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, this spirited memoir chronicles Pershall’s journey through hell and her struggle with the mental health care system.” (Amazon), “David Adam―an editor at Nature and an accomplished science writer―has suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder for twenty years, and The Man Who Couldn’t Stop is his unflinchingly honest attempt to understand the condition and his experiences. “More than thirty years after the publication of his acclaimed memoir The Eden Express, Mark Vonnegut continues his story in this searingly funny, iconoclastic account of coping with mental illness, finding his calling, and learning that willpower isn’t nearly enough. While book lovers await Michelle Obama's memoir 'Becoming' arriving later this fall, they can catch up on the best memoirs of 2018 so far. She spent most of the next two years in the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele—Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles—as for its progressive methods of treating those who could afford its sanctuary. She grew up poor and hungry in the inner city. Kiera’s story sheds light on the private struggle to transform suffering into compassion for herself and others, and is essential reading for all seeking to understand what it truly means to recover and reclaim the desire to live.” (Amazon). Divided by settings, Khakpour guides the reader through her illness by way of the locations that changed her course—New York, LA, Santa Fe, and a college town in Germany—as she meditates on the physiological and psychological impacts of uncertainty, and the eventual challenge of accepting the diagnosis she had searched for over the course of her adult life. 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