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9 Books To Read If You Struggle With Depression

Depression can leave you feeling isolated, disengaged with the world, and generally despondent. It can become a debilitating, crushing affliction that makes even getting out of bed feel like a monumental task some days. It’s easy to feel like the only person in the world going through these difficulties. However, there are some great books to read if you struggle with depression that can prove that you are absolutely not alone in your suffering. Reading about the ways others have coped with depression may help you see your own condition in a different light.

Some of these books are hands-on guides to coping with depression, while others are the real-life accounts of people who have dealt with the very common affliction. Still others can teach you coping techniques for dealing with the symptoms. And there are even a few humorous stories that really take the piss out of depression.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest” that can make doing day-to-day activities difficult. If you feel like these symptoms of depression apply to you, then a conversation with your doctor or therapist is the best way to develop a plan for treatment. And these reads can serve as companions on your path to recovery.  

1. 'The Upward Spiral' by Alex Korb

Amazon

Alex Korb’s The Upward Spiral examines the brain processes that lead to depression. By using neuroscience research, this book offers straightforward advice for working with your brain and moving toward a happier life.

2. 'Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It' by Kamal Ravikant

Amazon

The cover art is a little shocking, but Kamal Ravikant's Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It is a meditation on the transformative power of really loving yourself. It's a simple concept that can be deeply transformative.

3. 'How To Be Happy (Or At Least Less Sad)' by Lee Crutchley

Amazon

If you like a more hands-on approach to working through your depression, then Lee Crutchley's How to Be Happy (Or at Least Less Sad): A Creative Workbook may be the book for you. It lets you move at your own pace and work on becoming more mindful in a creative and inviting way.  

4. 'Hyperbole And A Half' by Allie Brosh

Amazon

This just might be the funniest, most insightful, look at depression ever. In Hyperbole and a Half, Allie Brosh's vibrant illustrations and sharp wit explain what depression is really like in an honest — and sympathetic — manner.

5. 'The Noonday Demon' by Andrew Solomon

Amazon

In The Noonday Demon, Andrew Solomon examines the personal, historical, and philosophical impacts of depression. With wit and compassion, this book defines the illness and explores the many options for treatment.

6. 'Hardcore Self Help: F**k Depression' by Robert Duff

Amazon

If regular self-help books feel too soft for your tastes, then Robert Duff's Hardcore Self Help: F**k Depression may be the read for you. Written in a friendly (and curse-filled) manner, this book explains why you feel so zapped and what steps to take to feel better.

7. 'Uncovering Happiness' by Elisha Goldstein

Amazon

Mindfulness is a hot topic now, and it may serve as a helpful way to cope with depression, as explained in Uncovering Happiness by Elisha Goldstein. The author draws on research into mindfulness and self compassion techniques, as well as neuroscience, to present actionable ways to cope with depression.

8. 'Get It Done When You're Depressed' by Julie A. Fast and John D. Preston

Barnes&Noble

Getting everyday things accomplished can be a burden when you're depressed. Get It Done When You're Depressed by Julie A. Fast and John D. Preston offers practical advice to help depressed people keep their workload manageable.

9. 'Exercise for Mood and Anxiety' by Michael Otto and Jasper A.J. Smits

Amazon

Backed by research that proves exercise can help relieve symptoms of depression, Exercise for Mood and Anxiety by Michael Otto and Jasper A.J. Smits offers manageable ways to get involved in exercise. It helps readers set up an exercise routine that is easy to maintain and effective for elevating mood.