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5 Self-Help Books for Depression

Depression is a very real and significant mental health disorder that can and should be treated. As a therapist, I work with clients every day, providing emotional support to help them get at the root of their depression and overcome it so they can lead healthier, happier lives. While therapy is a wonderfully effective resource, I understand that many people may be unable to have access to the necessary treatment, or be willing to take that step to seek help if they do. The choice to seek professional help is just that, a choice, and a highly personal one at that.

If you’re not quite ready to speak to a professional regarding depression, you don’t need to suffer in silence. Believe it or not, reading can actually be a powerful tool for empowering yourself with helpful knowledge, normalizing your experience, and  therefore alleviating mental stress or pain. In fact, bibliotherapy, or the idea of books as treatment for mental disorders, has been implemented by doctors in several programs.  

On that note, allow me to share five books to help combat depression (and other struggles):

1. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David Burns

Feeling Good is written by David D. Burns, M.D., a psychiatrist with decades of clinical experience. The book has sold more than 4 million copies and holds the title of the “most prescribed self-help book” for people struggling with depression.

2. The Mindful Way through Depression – Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn

The Mindful Way through Depression is a testament to mindfulness as a legitimate and effective treatment approach to mental disorders. Medication is an option, but learning to be in the moment is a powerful and often overlooked method of coping with life difficulties and reducing mental tension.

3. The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time by Alex Korb, PhD

Korb’s scientific approach to self-help empowers readers by arming them with concrete knowledge of the brain and how it works. He explains that depressed people are not broken—their brains are simply wired differently, and with the tools to reprogram our thinking we can make real change toward happiness, without medication.

4. I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression by Terrence Real

With dozens of case studies on men and depression, this book delves into the difference between male and female depression. Traditionally, men have been emotionally stifled by societal expectations of gender roles. Real’s book opens the floor for a deeper discussion on male mental health.

5. A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives by Kelly Brogan, MD and Kristin Loberg

Brogan and Loberg argue a feminist approach and that women are over-prescribed , and recommends holistic efforts and a 30-day approach to healing issues like depression, panic, grief and more.

Are you struggling with Depression or unremitting sadness?

Dr. Logan Jones is a therapist based in New York City. His services include therapy for stress, anxiety, depression, grief, and feelings of sadness. . Dr. Jones’ mission is to guide others, helping them to build healthier perceptions of themselves and heal emotional wounds.  He combines cognitive-behavioral therapy and insight-oriented psychodynamic therapy and also writes prolifically to make healing more accessible for all. His practice is located near Flatiron, Chelsea, NoMad, Union Square and the West Village. Contact him today for a complimentary phone consultation.

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