Mental HealthWellness

Best Books for Getting Through Depression and Anxiety

Suffering through depression or anxiety can seem like going through the lowest of the lows. Both mental disorders can strip you of your motivation to get through the day and reduce you to a shell of your former self. 

Depression and anxiety are often interconnected; while depression can make you anxious, your anxiety can make you depressed. They both cast a menacing shadow over your life and follow you through life like ghosts, draining you of your life energy. 

The internal struggle caused by depression may very well lead to physical fatigue. It can make the idea of getting out of bed and going about your daily routine seem tedious and burdensome.

There are still many people who don’t see depression or anxiety as crippling disorders. They would brush away it away, saying to the affected that they need to “get over it” or “it’s all in your head,” without even realizing the real implications of living in such a mental state. 

Depression is more than just feeling upset on a bad day, and anxiety is more than just overthinking on a particularly stressful day. Instead, they are disorders that negatively affect how one thinks and feels.

But how would you know if you or a loved one is going through bouts of depression or anxiety? If you don’t find the time or the means to visit a therapist to know for sure whether you are going through any of these mental disorders, then taking a depression quiz can help you assess your state of mind by answering a few questions. 

A doctor can recognize whether it is an actual condition, but an online analysis will show whether you are simply going through a phase or could potentially be suffering from a disorder.

Bibliotherapy is fast gaining traction as a therapy modality where the wisdom contained within books is used to drag someone out of depression or anxiety. By following through with the author’s thinking process, our minds can benefit by readjusting wayward or warped beliefs.

Fiction is especially considered as a great way to build feelings of empathy and to find comfort in other people’s stories, thereby, offering you a way to leave your own troubles behind. Self-help books, and books are specifically written to help people overcome mental disorders, are also a great way to immerse yourself in self-education and self-coaching.

While they cannot replace proper treatment, books can be a supportive tool alongside it. 

reading book

Following are our recommended books to read when trying to overcome depression or anxiety.  

The Happiness Trap: How to stop struggling and start living

By Russ Harris, Steven C. Hayes

In this book, The Happiness Trap, Russ Harris and Steven Hayes explain that the ways we search for happiness only make us more miserable, anxious, and depressed. This book includes a guide to ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), a newer cognitive behavioral therapy approach that involves clarifying your values and developing mindfulness to escape the “happiness trap” and find life more meaningful. By shedding light on techniques for handling negative feelings, this book will help its readers find their way to a satisfying life.

Reasons To Stay Alive

By Matt Haig

Reasons to Stay Alive is Matt Haig’s memoir of struggling through depression and trying to overcome the crippling illness. This book is beautiful in the sense that it is raw. It aims to inspire its readers by following the author’s history with the disease. It depicts how the author overcame his depression through reading, writing, and the love from the people around him. 

It shows that appreciating life for the times it has been good to you is the way to crawl out from the crushing depths of depression. This book will teach its readers how to be hopeful and celebrate the joys of life. Once you see the good parts of this world, you will keep finding reasons to live.

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

By Dr. David D. Burns

Written by a psychiatrist and researcher, this book expands on how you can fight depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem without medicinal treatment. This book is a must-read for all those who want to overcome depression without using drugs. It includes scientifically proven techniques to help you develop positive feelings and shed negative ones. If you resonate with this book, you will be able to manage your mood shifts better when dealing with difficult situations. This book is one of the bests for figuring out how to “feel good” when depression won’t let you.

The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook

By Edmund J. Bourne

This book is a must-read for everyone who suffers from anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or panic attacks. It presents the most effective techniques for treating anxiety and reducing stress. As a practical workbook, this book outlines the guidelines and skills to wrest back control when you feel yourself spiraling because of worrying thoughts. Supported by thorough scientific research and proven techniques, this workbook will effectively help its readers fight through stressful situations and treat their anxiety-related disorders on their own.

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Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

By Jenny Lawson

With her humorous memoir about living through depression, Jenny Lawson aims to help her readers see the bright and funny side of things when a dark cloud looms over their heads. Even with humorous anecdotes, this book is still poignant because of the subject matter. 

It depicts the author’s own experiences with depression and mental illness and shows the readers that they are not alone in their struggles. Furiously Happy may be about depression, but its underlying theme is finding joy and humor in life. Reading this book will help you gain a positive outlook on life and to celebrate the small joys.  

The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing yourself from Chronic Unhappiness

By Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn

A culmination of the efforts of four health experts, this book provides its readers with the best ways to break through chronic unhappiness. It outlines clinically proven cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to change one’s mindset when fighting against depression. This book imparts a great deal of useful information to help you develop healthier mental habits in face of difficult moments.


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Living with depression or anxiety can be overbearing, dispiriting, and a challenging ordeal. There are many ways to improve your mental well-being, and bibliotherapy is one of them. Books can provide readers with solace and make them feel less alone. Many self-help books contain insights that may help you fight through tough times. However, if reading books does not help improve your mental and emotional health, consider other activities that may support you while you are under clinical treatment. Also, always remember to ask for help. Having someone beside you when you are going through a low phase can sometimes make all the difference in the world.

Read More:
Creating De-Stressing Reading List- Genres Having Calming Effect
Meditation for Beginners: 10 Great Books to Get You Started
Do I Have Anxiety: Signs of Stress and Anxiety
Hypnotherapy for Anxiety and Stress: How Hypnosis Can Help You Feel Stronger?
5 Effective And Simple Ways To Destress At Home

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