75 Must-Read Books Concerning Mental Illness

75 Must-Read Books Concerning Mental Illness

That's right, Thirteen Reasons Why was a book before it was a TV series.


Mental illness is more talked about now then ever before, however we often still dance around the subject in order not to delve too deep into it. While there are often portrayals of characters with mental health issues in movies and TV shows and many celebrities discuss it in the media, this does not typically put the viewer in the shoes of someone with a mental illness. Books are typically the best way to feel fully immersed in the life of someone else, so in order to fully understand a mental illness if you don't have one--or to feel understood if you do--reading a book about them is the best option.

1. Awakening Kali by T. S. Ghosh

2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

3. Beloved by Toni Morrison

4. Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves

5. By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Ann Peters

6. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

7. Crazy by Han Nolan

8. Darkness Visible by William Styron

9. Dragonfish by Vu Tran

10. Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

11. The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by David J. Morris

12. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

13. Find You In The Dark by A. Meredith Walters

14. Flowers From the Storm by Laura Kinsale

15. Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

16. Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

17. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

18. Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life

19. The Hours by Michael Cunningham

20. Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett

21. Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

22. It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

23. The Last Time We Said Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

24. Lead Me Not by A. Meredith Walters

25. Let the Tornado Come by Rita Zoey Chin

26. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

27. Look Straight Ahead by Elaine M. Will

28. Looking for Alaska by John Green

29. Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl by Stacy Pershall

30. Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

31. The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley

32. Manic: A Memoir by Terri Cheney

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

34. The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork

35. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

36. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

37. The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder

38. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

39. The Nest by Kenneth Oppel

40. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

41. A Note of Madness by Tabitha Suzuma

42. Out of Her Mind: Women Writing on Mental Illness edited by Rebecca Shannonhouse

43. Paperweight by Meg Haston

44. Polarity by Max Bemis

45. Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel

46. Psychiatric Tales: Eleven Graphic Stories about Mental Illness by Daryl Cunningham

47. The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness by Lori Schiller

48. Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

49. The Round House by Louise Erdrich

50. The Salt Eaters by Toni Cade Bambara

51. She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb

52. The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

53. Skinny by Donna Cooner

54. Sparks Off You by Anita Felicelli

55. Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy by Sonya Sones

56. Stranger by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith

57. The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee

58. Swallow Me Whole by Nate Powell

59. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

60. Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide by Darryl McDaniels

61. Therapy by Kathryn Perez

62. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

63. The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten

64. An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison

65. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

66. Your Voice is All I Hear by Leah Scheier

67. Waster: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia by Marya Hornbacher

68. When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez

69. When We Collided by Emery Lord

70. White Oleander by Janet Finch

71. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

72. Willow by Julia Hoban

73. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

74. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

75. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

This Survey Shows How Quarantine And Drinking Relate, And I Can't Say I'm Surprised

"5 o'clock somewhere" is more of a guideline now than ever.

As it stands, and my friends and I are finally 21. We're extremely excited to be able to go out to bars and "get lit" as the kids say, but due to the pandemic, all of our plans have been put on hold. We'd rather wait and go when it's safe than risk spreading the infection and hurting our loved ones. So, we've all been quarantining apart, getting on the occasional wine zoom call. This made me wonder if anyone else our age were doing the same thing.

Then, I discovered this survey: We Surveyed Millennials And Gen Z About Their Quarantine Drinking Habits — Cheers. Here are 3 things that I discovered through the survey results.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Easy Summer Mocktail Recipes You Can Make With Items You Probably Already Have On-Hand

Keep these drinks in mind next time you're visiting your local farmer's market — you might want to grab some extra mint and limes.

With Summer 2020 in full swing comes the addition of many fresh fruits and vegetables to brighten up your dinner plate, but also your glass! Farmers markets are my personal favorite place to look for produce that is in season to make fun mocktails with.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Ways To Celebrate The 4th of July — Without Fireworks Or Social Gatherings

We created a list of things to do since social distancing may create a dent in our typical, planned traditions.

With the Fourth of July on Saturday, the usual tradition of popping fireworks, grilling out, and being surrounded by family has been modified due to the pandemic. Whether you're a loner or surrounded by family, there will most likely be some changes to your celebrations.

For weeks on social media, people across the country have been complaining that they have been subjected to fireworks going off at all times of the night into the early morning. This has sparked concern and questions about why this is happening and how are people even obtaining the fireworks.

Keep Reading... Show less

Carb And Cheese Lovers, Unite — These Are The Best Mac And Cheese Recipes On The Internet

Whether you need to get through the current pandemic or want to spice up your Fourth of July celebrations, these mac and cheese recipes will do just that.


My favorite food is mac and cheese, and it always has been. All it requires is noodles and cheese — it's so simple to make. Although it's my favorite, it can also get kind of mundane because it's such a simple recipe. This, of course, has led to many people all over the world experimenting with the American staple.

With our lives currently being turned upside down due to the pandemic, a lot of people are seeking comfort. These are scary times, and in order to make it day-to-day, we need to have our favorite foods as a standby. These recipes can also be used during your celebration of the Fourth of July.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

17 Things To Make You Feel GOOD This Week

Because some purchases are just necessary.

Y'all, we're struggling. You don't even have to tell me, I know. What a mess we're all in, right? This year is not going how we planned and the world has turned into one giant struggle bus. I guess you could be super philosophical about everything happening for a reason, but sometimes life is just hard.

There are plenty of ways to bring yourself out of whatever rut you're in. You could go for a run, have a snack, or read a book. Or, if you're really looking for an adrenaline rush, go shopping. This is obviously not going to solve the world's problems with one swift click of the "checkout" button, but hey, it may just give you the little boost you need today.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Wore A Butt Mask Every Day For A Month, And It's Officially Essential In My Daily Self-Love Routine Now

Thirty days later, my booty's as smooth as a baby's.

- Blissfully unaware that butt-care beyond squats was even something I should be considering in my self-care routine, I tried one of Bawdy Beauty's butt masks for the first time a month ago.

- I've never really given my butt a second though till I took a look at improvements that could be made with the mask — if one of the hydrating, firming, detoxifying, or brightening masks in the kit I received could either smooth out cellulite or tone my skin a bit more, I wasn't going to complain.

- Each Bawdy Beauty sheet mask comes in an individually-packaged sheet, soaked with a serum I massaged into my skin after removing said sheet. The clay butt mask comes in a convenient stick format I simply draw on to my skin and leave to set for about 10 minutes before hopping into the shower.

- I set a goal of committing myself to butt-care every day for one month. Between the regular use of sheet masks, clay masks, and their CBD Butt Balm in between, I didn't have many expectations.

- I thought the whole concept may just be a gimmick, but my butt has never looked so toned in my life, and the cellulite I had is almost completely gone. I wear one every single day when I get the chance.

I'm incredibly skeptical when it comes to marketing ploys and gimmicks in the beauty world. I'll be the first cynic to try out the latest serum on the market every influencer is raving about just to negate every grandiose claim it makes.

Keep Reading... Show less

Friends, you don't have to be quarantined to use a personal massager, you know? Because, sure, quarantine made for a lot of extra quality time with yourself, but no matter what phase of the reopening process you're in, it's normal and actually healthy to take care of your sexual needs on your own.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Books I Didn't Realize Are About Gay Women

If you read primarily LGBTQ fiction, then this list might help to expand your TBR list.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Frequent readers of LGBTQ fiction might feel like they're reading the same book over and over again, with few exceptions.

Most of these books were on my TBR list for months and I didn't realize they were about gay women until I was reading them, hopefully, this list of books can interest you in expanding your reading material and seeking out different stories.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments