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Books and reading about depression and anxiety?

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Old 01-02-2014, 06:35 PM   #1
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Default Books and reading about depression and anxiety?

Is there any books or other readings anyone has found helpful or put anything in perspective? Looking for some uplifting reading.
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:08 AM   #2
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Hi Sara, there are millions of books out there. I've read quite a few but its been a while. One of my favourites is Feel the Fear and do it anyway. Its mostly about anxiety and fear but depression is often tied in because the anxiety tends to be so disabling.

But its a great book and easy to read.

There's a book about mindful eating which you may find worthwhile. I haven't read it but i spent quite a while looking into mindfulness and i think its a skill set that every human would benefit from learning about. I learnt about mindfulness mainly in the context of buddhism but you can learn it in the context of therapy and mental health as well, although this version has some useful bits missing. So it depends on your background and a lot of other factors what might appeal to you most.

But i can't overstate the benefit of learning how to practice and knowing about mindfulness. Its not just meditation. Its a whole outlook on life. wholesome and healing. One of my favourite meditation teachers you may find online is Martine Batchelor. A french woman who was once a korean buddhist nun, now married to an ex tibetan english monk. Both are world leaders in secular buddhism.

Sorry to sound so religious but i am not a religious person. I took up it and meditation for my mental health and its in that spirit that i share it. I follow a scientific line in all things as best i can.

Sometimes novels and biographies are uplifting. I like biographies because they show you that even great people struggle at times. I was really interested to learn that Charles Darwin had great struggles as a young man about how he would earn his livelihood. And it was a wonderful and interesting biography. Richer books of that kind can be extremely stimulating and uplifting in a way that may be even deeper than most self help books but i find all of them useful.

OH there's a book called the mindfulness way through depression or the mindful way through depression but i've found it a bit dry which is probably because i am familiar with all the cognitive behaviour therapy stuff and the other stuff comes at the end but you may find Full Catastrophe Living or other books by Jon Kabat-Zinn helpful to get an entree into mindfulness in a non-religoius context.

I suggest ultimately you need to learn from a teacher. A book will leave you floundering but its good to get a taste and interest from books first.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:46 AM   #3
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I co-sign learning about mindfulness. I haven't been depressed in ages, but spent years in a fog. Now that I look back, my biggest problem was that I wasn't living in reality. I had this idea of what reality was supposed to be and since it wasn't that, everything felt wrong. If you think of a dog playing, it pretty much just takes in everything in that moment and doesn't think about the past or the future, or mourn over the fact that other dogs might have larger or better frisbees to play with. We create our own **** by wishing that things were different and attaching morality into things that are neutral ("of course I ran out of milk this morning, because I'm so useless that I didn't buy any yesterday")

I really liked Nathaniel Branden's books on self-esteem, but those didn't really lift me out of depression, so I don't know if I can recommend them for that purpose. There are a lot of books I want to read, but haven't got round to it just yet. Buddha's Brain is one of them and also some books by David Richo.

Depression is one of those horrible things that I wouldn't wish for anyone, it's so horrible and debilitating, but it's definitely possible to lift the veil and live a life that's fulfilling. It's not easy, but it's possible.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:39 PM   #4
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LOL, I think I may have a problem; I read 'books' in the title and immediately was interested. Is there such a thing as 'too much reading'?!

Non-fiction:
Chicken Soup for the Soul (and variations on the theme) - Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
The Tao of Pooh - Benjamin Hoff
The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle

Personal favorites for feel-good novels:
The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein
Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet - (or really anything written by) James Harriot

Self-development books:
Happiness Hypothesis - Jonathan Haidt
Power of Now - Ekhart Tolle
Eastern Body Western Mind - Judith Anodea
Decisive - Dan&Chip Heath
What Happy People Know - Dan Baker

Or just any books that are your guilty pleasure (I am ashamed to say that sometimes I'm just in the mood to read Nicholas Sparks *sigh* which is rather embarrassing ) I could keep going for a while, but this might help to start.


The only other reading I'll suggest is actually your own writing. I've found it profoundly helpful to start using a tool that I learned about in an audio book (called 'Ignite Life' by Richard Robbins, it's actually a business coaching thing =D).

Write a paragraph for each big facet of your life (eg. financial, spiritual, mental/emotional, physical, professional, family and intimate relationship). In these paragraphs (make them brief but succinct!) describe what you want your life to look like; write in present tense as if it is already true. Then, keep the paper beside your bed or toothbrush, and READ EACH PARAGRAPH ALOUD EVERY MORNING. This helps give you a positive thinking boost every day, in addition to helping to clarify what you want your life to be.

eg. Physical: I am strong, pain-free and full of energy. I feel attractive and beautiful. My weight is stable and I appreciate treats in moderation, while choosing healthy foods that fuel my body. I enjoy some physical activity every day, and find pleasure in moving my body and keeping fit. I take time to relax, and make sure I have at least 8 hours of sleep every night. I am strong and healthy.

I know it sounds hokey, but it really does help!

Have fun!

Last edited by Defining : 01-13-2014 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 01-14-2014, 04:41 PM   #5
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Power of Now is amazing. Really read it and reflect as you do.
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