What books and movies would you recommend when it comes to understanding more about mental health?

  • [Conversation starter] What books and movies would you recommend when it comes to understanding more about mental health?

  • The first book that came to my mind was The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. *******DISCLAIMER: This book does NOT talk about recovery, and might be distressing for some readers.******** The Yellow Wallpaper is a short narrative about a lady who tries to make sense of her deteriorating mental health during the 19th Century. It is also known for in part as a feminist novel. Although this book is not about recovery, it was the first book that made me empathize with how someone with a mental health condition might feel when support & help is not given. As someone who never had any contact with mental health as a topic before, this book opened my eyes and made me so angry! It shed light on how society judged others so easily and how society can so comfortably enforce methods to cope with their own inability to understand the person - it is uncaring and unjust.

  • Tech Admin

    I recently read "An Unquiet Mind" by Kay Redfield Jamison. She is a Professor of Psychiatry and also has bipolar disorder (manic depression). She examines manic depression as both a doctor and patient, very interesting and eye-opening account.

  • Community Admin

    @amaliaariffin Thanks for this book recommendation! Have not heard of it till now. Will check it out!

  • Community Admin

    @alfred76 Love, love, LOVE Johann Hari. He totally underscores the importance of people and purpose, connection and community to mental health. He gives me hope for us all, because we all have the opportunity to be there for one another. This is so empowering. It means each of us can be part of the each other's healing towards wholeness, or walk together through the dark of despair, or simply sit together and be consoled that this too shall pass.

  • Lost Connections by Johann Hari comes to mind. I read it recently and it gave me some depth into the biggest question I had about depression – is depression "simply" due to an imbalance of "chemicals" in our brain? Can we just pop pills to feel better? Johann shares his personal journey of how his ever increasing doses of anti-depressants never seemed to work and how he sought experts to understand the real causes and possible solutions for depression. You will read about what he thinks are the nine causes of depression and seven ways to counter it. It really all makes a lot of sense, even to the point where it may seem Johann is stating the obvious. Here's an example: Trauma in childhood can lead to depression. That doesn't come as a surprise, does it? But Johann backs that up with rather in-depth research with experts, such as Dr Vincent Felitti, a doctor who was tasked to look into obesity, only to realise that it was not that these patients could not lose weight, but chose to keep it as a defense mechanism so as to render themselves unattractive - which is a response to their history of being sexually abused. There are also great stories told such as how a neighbourhood responded to a 63 year old woman's notice that she was killing herself in a week because she could not keep up with her rent. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone interested to understand more about depression. You can find out more about the book at its website here: https://thelostconnections.com

  • @thetapestryproject-sg reasons to stay alive by Matt Haig is my absolute favorite book about mental health as of today! It is a really immersive account on what life with depression and anxiety feels like. It is also the book that helped me made sense of what I was going through and propelled me to seek professional help back then - probably why that book holds such deep meanings to me. I'm now really interested to start on "Lost Adjustment" - a recount of a grieving mother on her daughter's suicide. Hope to start reading it soon!

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