5 Self-Help Books for Depression

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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 don’t have access to the necessary treatment, and even for some who do, they may not be willing to take that step to seek help. 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 be a powerful tool in combating depression: The right self-help books for depression can not only help you learn coping techniques, but they can also help normalize your experience, therefore alleviating mental stress or pain. In fact, bibliotherapy, or the practice of using books as treatment for mental disorders, has been implemented by doctors in several programs.  

On that note, allow me to share 5 of my top self-helps books on combating depression (along with other struggles):

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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.

 

spring cleaning grounding
The Mindful Way Through Depression is a testament to mindfulness as an effective treatment approach.

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.

If you’re not quite ready to speak to a professional regarding depression, you don’t need to suffer in silence. click to tweet  Click to tweeT

 

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

By Alex Korb, Ph.D.

Korb’s scientific approach to self-help empowers readers by arming them with concrete knowledge of how their brains work. 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, with or without medication.

spring cleaning stretch
Learning to be in the moment is a powerful and often overlooked method of coping with life difficulties and reducing mental tension.

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

By Terrance Real

With dozens of case studies on men and depression, this self-help 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.

The right books can not only help you learn coping techniques, but they can also help normalize your experience, therefore alleviating mental stress or pain.
self help books for depression

5.  A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives.

By Kelly Brogan, M.D., and Kristin Loberg

Brogan and Loberg take a feminist approach, arguing that women are often over-prescribed anti-depressants. They recommend holistic efforts and a 30-day approach to healing issues such as depression, panic, grief, and more.

Are you struggling with depression or unremitting sadness? Take our therapist matching quiz to find someone who can help.

Your Turn: Did we miss a book? Let us know in the comments below if you have any recommendations to share. 

 

Here’s to Love, Clarity + Staying Strong Together,

Dr. Logan Jones

Dr. Logan Jones is a Psychologist and Founder of Clarity Therapy. Sign up for his free 30 Days of Gratitude email series and follow him on Instagram at @drloganjones.

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