Reading well for mental health

The Reading agency have put together a list of books to help and support with a range of different mental health conditions. From self-help books, to books about people who’s gone through it – this extensive list is perfect for anyone who’s looking going through a difficult time or would like to get a better understanding of mental health issues.

A manual for heartache
by Cathy Rentzenbrink
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When Cathy Rentzenbrink was still a teenager, her happy family was torn apart by an unthinkable tragedy. In ‘A Manual for Heartache’ she describes how she learnt to live with grief and loss and find joy in the world again. She explores how to cope with life at its most difficult and overwhelming and how we can emerge from suffering forever changed, but filled with hope.
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A mindfulness guide for the frazzled
by Ruby Wax
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500 years ago no-one died of stress: we have invented this concept and now we let it rule us. Rest has become a dirty word, and our idea of satisfaction is answering the last email. We’re sleepwalking through our own lives. Ruby Wax shows us how to wake up from this stupor with a scientific solution to modern problems: mindfulness. Outrageously witty, smart and accessible, Ruby Wax shows ordinary people how and why to change for good.
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An introduction to coping with anxiety
by Brenda Hogan and Lee Brosan
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Written by experienced practitioners, this title explains what anxiety is and how it makes you feel when it becomes unmanageable or lasts for long periods of time. It will help the reader to understand their symptoms and is ideal as an immediate coping strategy and as a preliminary to fuller therapy.

An introduction to coping with depression
by Lee Brosan and Brenda Hogan
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Depression affects thousands of people in the UK. Written by experienced practitioners, this book explains what depression is and how it makes you feel. It will help the reader to understand their symptoms and is ideal as an immediate coping strategy and as a preliminary to fuller therapy.

An introduction to coping with grief
by Sue Morris
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Grief is a natural reaction to loss, but in some cases it can be devastating, preventing the bereaved from moving on with their life and affecting their relationships and work. This self-help guide offers an examination and explanation of the grieving process and offers strategies to help someone adjust to life without a loved one

Body image problems & body dysmorphic disorder : the definitive treatment and recovery approach
by Lauren Callaghan, Dr. Annemarie O’Connor and Chloe Catchpole
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From the heart and soul of mental health sufferer Chloe Catchpole, and the expert minds of the talented, clinical psychologists, Lauren Callaghan and Dr Annemarie O’Connor, this book is divided into two helpful, cohesive parts. Detailed from the separate perspectives of a sufferer and the psychologists is an insight into mental health recovery that sufferers can really relate to.

Break free from OCD
by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Paul Salkovskis
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Are you plagued by obsessive thoughts, rituals or routines? Would you like to regain control over your behaviour and cast your fears aside? This practical guide, written by three leading cognitive behavioural therapy experts, enables you to make sense of your symptoms, and gives a simple plan to help you conquer OCD.

Defeating depression
by Roslyn Law
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This ground-breaking new self-help book is based on interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), a therapeutic approach being adopted by the government’s nationwide Improved Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme, alongside cognitive behavioural therapy.

Getting better bite by bite : a survival kit for sufferers of bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorders
by Ulrike Schmidt, Janet Treasure and June Alexander
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This self-help programme, which has been evaluated in a randomised controlled trial, provides detailed step-by-step advice for dealing with eating difficulties.

Grief works : stories of life, death and surviving
by Julia Samuel
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Death is the last taboo in our society, and grief is still profoundly misunderstood. So many of us feel awkward and uncertain around death, and shy away from talking honestly with family and friends. ‘Grief Works’ is a compassionate guide that will inform and engage anyone who is grieving, from the ‘expected’ death of a parent to the sudden unexpected death of a small child, and provide clear advice for those seeking to comfort the bereaved. With deeply moving case studies of real people’s stories of loss, and brilliantly accessible and practical advice, it will be passed down through generations as the definitive guide for anyone who has lost a loved one, and revolutionise the way we talk about life, loss and death.
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I had a black dog : his name was depression
by Matthew Johnstone
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It was Winston Churchill who popularised the phrase Black Dog to describe the bouts of depression he experienced for much of his life. Johnstone, a sufferer himself, has written this moving and uplifting insight into what it is like to have a Black Dog as a companion and how he learned to tame it and bring it to heel.

CBT : cognitive behavioural therapy : a practical guide
by Elaine Iljon Foreman and Clair Pollard
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Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a branch of therapy widely regarded as effective in curing or alleviating numerous disorders, from anorexia to post-traumatic stress disorder. This book focuses on how you can use CBT’s measured and results-driven approach to improve your life.
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Living life to the full : key life skills to change your life
by Dr. Chris Williams
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Wanting to feel happier, find time for you, overcome problems and keep calm in the face of difficulty? This book teaches you powerful wellbeing strategies based on the tried and trusted cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approach.

Living with a black dog
by Matthew and Ainsley Johnstone
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From the author of the bestselling ‘I Had a Black Dog’, this is a touching and beautifully illustrated book, written for those who care for those suffering from depression.

Manage your mood how to use behavioral activation te:chniques to overcome depression
by David Veale
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Depression is one of the most common mental health problems and affects 121 million people at any time. It is recognised by the World Health Organisation as one of the Top 10 most disabling health conditions. Behavioural Activation, a therapy developed from CBT, is an effective new technique in managing depression and ideally suited to self-help. By analysing, challenging and changing behaviours such as avoidance, ruminating and excessive worrying, the sufferer can gradually reinforce their positive experiences and decrease the behaviour which reinforces their depression. Includes worksheets and practical problem-solving techniques. Step-by-step approach to analysing and changing behaviours. Includes an explanation of depression and associated behaviours and case studies. Written by leading clinicians in the field.

Mind over mood : change how you feel by changing the way you think
by Dennis Greenberger, PhD and Christine A. Padesky, PhD
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Written by two clinical psychologists, this manual shows you how to improve your life using cognitive therapy. Step-by-step worksheets teach you specific skills that have helped thousands of people conquer depression, panic attacks, anxiety, anger, guilt, and relationship problems. Discover simple yet powerful steps you can take to overcome emotional distress–and feel happier, calmer, and more confident. This life-changing book has already helped more than 1,000,000 readers use cognitive-behavioral therapy–one of today’s most effective forms of psychotherapy–to conquer depression, anxiety, panic attacks, anger, guilt, shame, low self-esteem, eating disorders, substance abuse, and relationship problems. Revised and expanded to reflect significant scientific developments of the past 20 years, the second edition contains numerous new features: expanded content on anxiety; chapters on setting personal goals and maintaining progress; happiness rating scales; gratitude journals; innovative exercises focused on mindfulness, acceptance, and forgiveness; 25 new worksheets; and much more.

Mindfulness : a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world
by Mark Williams and Danny Penman
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‘Mindfulness’ reveals the secrets of lifelong happiness and details a unique programme developed by Oxford University psychologist Professor Mark Williams with colleagues around the world.

Overcoming anger and irritability : a self-help guide using cognitive behavioural techniques
by William Davies
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Constant irritability or flashes of bad temper can cause difficulties in relationships with friends, family or colleagues and leave us feeling unhappy and exhausted. This fully updated and revised edition of William Davies’ bestselling title is for anyone struggling to control their rage and regretting inappropriate reactions. It explains clearly what provokes anger and what we can do to prevent it.

Overcoming anxiety : a self-help guide to using cognitive behavioral techniques
by Helen Kennerley
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This book offers expert advice on managing the worries, fears and anxieties that can impair the quality of one’s life. Each problem is discussed and explained, and there is a self-help guide for those who wish to tackle their difficulties alone.

Overcoming binge eating : the proven program to learn why you binge and how you can stop
by Dr. Christopher G. Fairburn
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Do you have a binge eating problem or know someone who does? This work provides all the information needed to understand binge eating and bring it under control.

Overcoming depression : a self-help guide using cognitive behavioral techniques
by Paul Gilbert
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This book provides a guide to recovering from sadness, loss and depression. It explains how the mind and body interact and how our thinking affects our brains. Case histories are used to show how others have overcome their problems.

Overcoming health anxiety : a self-help guide using cognitive behavioral techniques
by Rob Willson and David Veale
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This is the essential book on health anxiety from David Veale, the bestselling author of ‘Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder’.

Overcoming low self-esteem : a self-help guide using cognitive behavioral techniques
by Melanie J.V. Fennell
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Melanie Fennell’s acclaimed and bestselling self-help guide will help you to understand your low self-esteem and break out of the vicious circle of distress, unhelpful behaviour and self-destructive thinking. Using practical techniques from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), this text will help you learn the art of self-acceptance and so transform your sense of yourself for the better.

Overcoming mood swings : a self-help guide using cognitive behavioral techniques
by Jan Scott
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This self-help manual for those who have experienced mood swings gives details on tried and tested techniques that will help people identify and manage their moods more effectively. Background information on depression and mania is also provided.

Overcoming panic : a self-help guide using cognitive behavioural techniques
by Vijaya Manicavasagar and Derrick Silove
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Panic attacks are recognised as one of the most serious forms of anxiety, and can become disabling. This guide explains both the physical and emotional symptoms, the common causes of this ‘fear of fear’, and how to master anxiety management techniques.

Overcoming social anxiety and shyness : a self-help guide to using cognitive behavioural techniques
by Dr. Gillian Butler
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In this fully revised and updated edition, Dr Gillian Butler provides a practical, easy-to-use self-help course which will be invaluable for those suffering from all degrees of social anxiety. These self-help guides use effective therapeutic techniques to treat long-standing and disabling conditions, both psychological and physical. Many guides in this series are recommended by the UK Department of Health under the Books on Prescription scheme.

Overcoming worry and generalised anxiety disorder : a self-help guide to using cognitive behavioural techniques
by Kevin Meares and Mark Freeston
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Up to 44 in every 1000 adults suffer from a condition known as generalised anxiety disorder. This is much more than the normal worrying we all do – it can be a debilitating disorder leading to significant personal and social problems and sometimes financial loss. Using established and proven CBT techniques, expert clinicians Kevin Meares and Mark Freeston help readers to understand that it is their propensity to worry, not the multitude of problems they worry about, that is the root of the problem.

Reasons to stay alive
by Matt Haig
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Aged 24, Matt Haig’s world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again. A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, this is more than a memoir: it is a book about making the most of your time on Earth.

Stress control
by Jim White
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tress is part and parcel of life. We all get it. Think of blood pressure. If you are alive, you have blood pressure. If you are alive, you have stress. If your blood pressure gets too high, you should do something about it. The same is true with stress and this book will help you to control it. Stress can be a mixture of anxiety, depression, panic feelings, poor sleep, low self-confidence, low self-esteem and a poor sense of wellbeing. It is one of the most common problems in the world today. But controlling your stress doesn’t have to mean expensive therapy or a long waiting list for a referral to a service. This book will teach you to become your own therapist.

The boy with the topknot : a memoir of love, secrets and lies in Wolverhampton
by Sathnam Sanghera
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This is a hilarious and heart-rending reinvention of the modern British memoir. For Sathnam Sanghera, growing up in Wolverhampton in the eighties was a confusing business. On the one hand, these were the heady days of George Michael mix-tapes, Dallas on TV and, if he was lucky, the occasional Bounty Bar. On the other, there was his wardrobe of tartan smocks, his 30p-an-hour job at the local sewing factory and the ongoing challenge of how to tie the perfect top-knot. And then there was his family, whose strange and often difficult behaviour he took for granted until, at the age of twenty-four, Sathnam made a discovery that changed everything he ever thought he knew about them. Equipped with breathtaking courage and a glorious sense of humour, he embarks on a journey into their extraordinary past trying to make sense of a life lived among secrets.

The CBT handbook
by Pamela Myles and Roz Shafran
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CBT is widely recommended nowadays in the NHS for the treatment of emotional and psychological problems, such as depression, low self-esteem, low mood, chronic anxiety, stress or out-of-control anger. This thorough yet easy-to-read general self-help guide is a must-have for anyone experiencing these common problems.

The compassionate mind approach to postnatal depression
by Michelle Cree
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It is well-known that having a baby can be a time of joy but also one of anxiety and even depression for new mothers. Indeed it is very common for new mothers to experience a short period of distress following childbirth, often referred to as ‘baby blues’. Usually this passes quite quickly, however for more than 1 in 10 women, this distressing experience can be more prolonged. This practical self-help book helps women to recognise some of the symptoms and, where appropriate, to normalise them, thereby alleviating their distress.

The essential guide to life after b:ereavement beyond tomorrow
by Judy Carole Kauffmann
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The period following the death of a loved one can be a time of great turmoil. This sensitive book acts as a supportive road map through the initial period of loss, and through the weeks and months that follow. The authors address not only the emotional and spiritual aspects of bereavement, but also important and often overlooked practical considerations such as dealing with wills and other paperwork, disposing of personal possessions, making arrangements for funerals and memorial services, coping with the anniversaries of a death and resolving family conflict. Drawing on many real examples, they offer compassionate, realistic advice on dealing with guilt and other negative emotions, as well as helpful guidance on how and when to break the news of a death to others, including to children, people with learning disabilities and people with dementia. This will be an invaluable guide for anyone who has experienced, or who is facing, a bereavement. It will also be of interest to professionals involved in supporting those who are bereaved, both as a source of helpful information and as a resource to recommend to clients.

The recovery letters : addressed to people experiencing depression
by James Withey and Olivia Sagan
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An anthology of inspirational, heartfelt letters written by people who have recovered or are recovering from depression and addressed to those who are currently affected by it with additional resources for recovery.

The Sheldon short guide to phobias and panic
by Professor Kevin Gournay
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For many people, life is made intolerable by phobias. Common fears may range from crowded places to a fear of spiders or blood, but, the basic underlying mechanism is the same – acute anxiety. This book looks at how to tackle both specific phobias and the anxiety which causes such disproportionate fear, and covers obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobia, generalised anxiety state, and panic disorder with agoraphobia.

The sleep book : how to sleep well every night
by Guy Meadows
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Using a blend of mindfulness and new ACT therapy techniques, Dr Guy shares his unique five-week plan to cure your sleep problem whether it’s a few restless nights or a lifetime of insomnia. Most people who have trouble sleeping invest a huge amount of time, effort and money into fixing the problem, but Dr Guy has discovered the secret lies not in what you do, but what you learn not to do. In fact, as you will have discovered, the more frustrated you become only serves to push sleep further away. Dr Guy’s pioneering methods at The Sleep School clinic have been an unprecedented success. By popular demand, his highly effective and 100% natural insomnia remedy is now here in this book. THE SLEEP BOOK is the sum of a doctorate degree in sleep and well over 12,000 hours spent working with more than 2,000 insomniacs in one-to-one clinics, workshops and retreat environments. Say goodbye to the vicious cycle of sleepless nights. Sleep well, maintain a positive outlook and restore the quality of life you deserve – for good.

We’re all mad here : the no-nonsense guide to living with social anxiety
by Claire Eastham
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Claire Eastham, a twenty-something living in London and working in her dream job, has a seemingly perfect life – except for her social anxiety. Combining honest personal insights, humour and practical advice, this book explains what anxiety is, why it happens, and how to survive it.

 

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