Gone are the days when people believed mental health disorders were too shameful to discuss. In recent times, many people have opened up about their own experiences of mental health challenges, writing about painful states of mind and the ways they found relief. By seeking help for their conditions, and in some cases radically changing their view of life, these people have been able to resume their lives and even find a deeper sense of purpose, while reducing the chances that they would experience the same patterns of suffering in the future.
However, there are still many people who hesitate to open up about their mental health struggles and feel too ashamed to seek help for their conditions. This isolation can be worsened by a lack of role models – other people who have successfully overcome their challenges. If you are struggling with stigma around mental health issues, here are some books you should be reading right now:
The Art of Surrender by Eiman Al Zaabi
Eiman Al Zaabi is a spiritual teacher, author, and facilitator who had her own fair share of experiences with depression, panic attacks, and anxiety. Her efforts to recover led her on a path of spiritual awakening, which she describes in The Art of Surrender. The book goes far beyond topics of mental health to help readers understand how happiness and well-being are connected to the journey of the soul. Eiman Al Zaabi is writing a second book, Daily Comfort for Uncertain Times, expected to be published in 2019.
Lost Connections by Johann Hari
In Lost Connections, best-selling author and award-winning journalist Johann Hari argues that the major mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression are an immediate result of societal expectations, lifestyles, and cultural norms. The book is based on the author’s personal experiences in addition to interviews he conducted with social scientists working in the mental health field.
Defying the Verdict by Charita Cole Brown
This is one of the best books on the subject of bipolar disorder because it is written by a person who experienced a full-blown psychotic episode while she was in her last semester of college. Following the episode, Brown’s doctors were doubtful that she would ever be able to manage her life with bipolar disorder, but Brown defied the odds and now lives a life that lacks nothing whatsoever.
Mental health challenges are quite common and no reason for shame. As more people become willing to discuss the subject, the sense of stigma and isolation will decrease, and more people will find hope for lasting recovery.