Books on mental illness

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and a great time to explore the many writers who write on diverse topics related to mental health and mental illness. The following list of books about mental illness contains fiction, graphic novels, nonfiction, memoirs, biographies, and more, all books that broaden our understanding of mental illness from first hand and second hand experiences. Whether it’s May or the other eleven months, reading books about me

1 72 Hour Hold – Bebe Moore Campbell 


3 All the Bright Places – Jennifer Niven 

4 All the Things We Never Knew: Chasing the Chaos of Mental Illness – Sheila Hamilton 

5 Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

6 The Awakening – Kate Chopin

7 Awakening Kali – T. S. Ghosh


9 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath 

10 Beloved – Toni Morrison

11 The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide – David Miklowitz 

12 Bleeding Violet – Dia Reeves 

13 The Buddha and the Borderline: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Buddhism, and Online Dating – Kiera Van Gelder 

14 By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead – Julie Ann Peters 

15 The Color of Hope: People of Color Mental Health Narratives – ed. Vanessa Hazzard

16 The Color Purple – Alice Walker

17 Crazy – Han Nolan y

18 Darkness Visible – William Styron 

19 Dragonfish – Vu Tran

20 Every Last Word – Tamara Ireland Stone 

21 Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon

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

23 Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng 

24 Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell 

25 Find You in the Dark – A. Meredith Walters 

26 Flowers From the Storm – Laura Kinsale 

27 Franny and Zooey – J. D. Salinger 

28 Furiously Happy – Jenny Lawson 

29 Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder – Rachel Reiland 

30 Girl, Interrupted – Susanna Kaysen 

31 Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life – Melody Moezzi 

32 Hamlet – William Shakespeare 

33 The Hours – Michael Cunningham 

34 Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened – Allie Brosh 

35 Imagine Me Gone – Adam Haslett 

36 Impulse – Ellen Hopkins 

37 It’s Kind of a Funny Story – Ned Vizzini 

38 The Last Time We Said Goodbye – Cynthia Hand 

39 Keep Me Still – Caisey Quinn

40 Let the Tornado Come – Rita Zoey Chin 

41 A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara

42 Look Straight Ahead – Elaine M. Will 

43 Looking for Alaska – John Green 

44 Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl – Stacy Pershall 

45 Made You Up – Francesca Zappia 

46 Madness: A Bipolar Life – Marya Hornbacher 

47 The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie – Jennifer Ashley 

48 The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination – Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar 

49 The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought 

50 Manic: A Memoir – Terri Cheney 

51 Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me – Ellen Forney 

52 The Marriage Plot – Jeffrey Eugenides 

53 The Memory of Light – Francisco X. Stork 

54 Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf 

55 More Happy Than Not – Adam Silvera

56 The Museum of Intangible Things – Wendy Wunder 

57 My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind – Scott Stossel 

58 My Heart and Other Black Holes – Jasmine Warga 

59 The Nest – Kenneth Oppel

60 The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression – Andrew Solomon

61 Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami 

62 Not Alone: Reflections on Faith and Depression – Monica A. Coleman

63 A Note of Madness – Tabitha Suzuma 

64 Ophelia Speaks: Adolescent Girls Write About Their Search for Self – Sara Shandler 

65 Out of Her Mind: Women Writing on Mental Illness – Rebecca Shannonhouse (ed.) 

66 Paperweight – Meg Haston 

67 Polarity – Max Bemis 

68 Prozac Nation – Elizabeth Wurtzel 

69 Psychiatric Tales: Eleven Graphic Stories about Mental Illness – Daryl Cunningham

70 The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness – Lori Schiller

71 Reasons To Stay Alive – Matt Haig 

72 The Round House by Louise Erdrich 

73 The Salt Eaters – Toni Cade Bambara

74 Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within – Gayathri Ramprasad

75 She’s Come Undone – Wally Lamb 

76 The Silver Linings Playbook– Matthew Quick 

77 Skinny – Donna Cooner 

78 Sparks Off You – Anita Felicelli

79 Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy – Sonya Sones

80 Stranger – Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith

81 The Surrendered – Chang-rae Lee

82 Swallow Me Whole – Nate Powell 

83 A Tale for the Time Being – Ruth Ozeki

84 Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide – Darryl “DMC” McDaniels

85 Therapy – Kathryn Perez 

86 Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher 

87 Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament – Kay Redfield Jamison 

88 The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath – Sylvia Plath 

89 The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B – Teresa Toten 

90 An Unquiet Mind – Kay Redfield Jamison 

91 The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides 

92 Your Voice is All I Hear – Leah Scheier 

93 Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia – Marya Hornbacher 

94 When Reason Breaks – Cindy L. Rodriguez

95 When We Collided – Emery Lord 

96 White Oleander – Janet Fitch

97 Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys 

98 Willow – Julia Hoban 

99 Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman’s Journey through Depression – Meri Nana-Ama Danquah

100 Wintergirls – Laurie Halse Anderson 

101 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins 

102 The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman 

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