13 Memoirs About Mental Illness That Shouldn't Go Unread

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These books are too powerful not to share.

13 Memoirs About Mental Illness That Are Too Powerful to Miss

Mental health should be the forefront of our society but often times, it is not. But that won't stop us, here at women.com, from seeking help, talking about our illnesses, or furthering our understanding of these complicated struggles.

That's why we've rounded up 14 memoirs about mental illness that are too powerful to miss. They are honest, raw, hilarious, and moving. But most importantly, they prove that we are not alone in our struggles and that even against the craziest odds, people suffering from mental illness can lead a happy and healthy life free of stigma. But it's important to celebrate such books, so that judgement and misunderstanding is minimized.

1. Look Me in the Eye: My Life Asperger's

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Author, John Robison details his struggle with Asperger's syndrome and the long road to a diagnosis. This memoir is an honest depiction of a young boys struggle to figure out who he is in this world, all while struggling with autism. It will remind the reader to be patient with other humans, as we all might be struggling with personal battles.

2. Hurry Down Sunshine: A Father's Story of Love and Madness

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Michael Greenberg details his daughters struggle with mental illness and the characters they meet along the way. Hurry Down Sunshine proves that mental illness can be a family affair, that support systems are vital to the betterment of someone struggling. If you're a fan of Girl, Interrupted don't miss this remarkable memoir.

3. Wasted Updated Edition: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

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A New York Times bestselling memoir, author Marya Hornbacher chronicles her battle with anorexia and bulimia. This memoir will seemingly be timely and relevant for those struggling with eating disorders. Hornbacher holds nothing back, which only makes her memoir honest, blunt, and therapeutic.

4. Manic: A Memoir

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In Terri Cheney's memoir, Manic the struggle of mental illness is tangible further proving the extremes people go through to hide a disorder. Secretly hiding her bipolar disorder from her high-powered legal colleagues, Cheney describes her roller-coaster life of trying to be "normal" in a world filled with medication and drugs. This is one memoir you won't forget.

5. Just Checking: Scenes from the Life of an Obsessive-Compulsive

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Emily Colas describes her battle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and how it went on to affect her family, husband, relationships, and everyday life. A story of struggle, Colas seeks to regain control of her life while sharing her personal hardships to all. Brave, hilarious, and shocking, Just Checking can't be missed.

6. Mental: Lithium, Love, and Losing My Mind

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Jaime Lowe takes science into her own hands and interviews scientists, psychiatrists, and patients to better understand bipolar disorder, an illness she's lived with since sixteen years old. Lowe dives into lithium, a medication often prescribed to patients with bipolar disorder, and one that can cause lasting damage. This extremely passionate memoir will help shatter stigma surrounding mental health, and should be mandatory reading.

7. Drinking: A Love Story

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In the United States, fifteen million Americans struggle with alcoholism. Five million of that statistic are women. Author, Caroline Knapp was one of them. Drinking: A Love Story dives into why women are prone to alcoholism, why we use alcohol as a "liquid armor", and how to cope with a deadly addiction. The New York Times called Knapp's memoir, "eloquent, a remarkable exercise in self-discovery". Time for you to discover it, too.

8. So Sad Today: Personal Essays

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Talented writer, Melissa Broder struggles with anxiety and to cope with her constant panic attacks, she created an anonymous Twitter account; @sosadtoday. With these essays, she dives into the themes of sadness; self-esteems, addiction, love, and death to name a few. Use So Sad Today as a therapeutic guide each day when, well, you're feeling sad.

9. The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: My Tale of Madness and Recovery

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Barbara Lipska was a leading expert on neuroscience when a melanoma spread to her brain. Her frontal lobe began shutting down and she "descended into madness", experiencing dementia and schizophrenic behavior. Doctors were able to help her and miraculously, she was back to her old self but this time, with vivid memoirs of her descent. With firsthand experience, Lipska details mental illness in an extremely detailed way.

10. Everything Is Horrible and Wonderful: A Tragicomic Memoir of Genius, Heroin, Love, and Loss

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Harris Wittels was a genius in the comedy scene. He was beloved by coworkers like Amy Poehler and Aziz Ansari. But he battled addiction privately, and behind closed doors. Now, his sister, Stephanie Wittels Wachs opens up about the struggle with addiction and tragedy in a meaningful and heartbreaking memoir.

11. Insomnia

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If you've ever had trouble falling asleep, it feels like the world is ending. With a rising number of sleepless Americans, Insomnia is a look at the complexities of the unconscious mind, and what, internally, could be stopping us from sleep. Marina Benjamin takes on her personal experiences with insomnia, and the potential deeper reasonings behind the sleep disorder.

12. You Only Love Me When I'm Suffering: Poems

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Jon Lupin is known as The Poetry Bandit. You'll find raw, heartfelt, and honest prose in this book, all of which can be used as a therapeutic tool in coping with mental illness. Poems about love, heartbreak, and restoration might aid in a healing process and turning to You Only Love Me When I'm Suffering can be a useful tool.

13. The Day That Went Missing

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In this painfully honest memoir, Richard Beard grapples with the death of his brother, an event that went unspoken in his family and ultimately led to a missing piece of childhood. The memoir touches on denial, mourning, depression, and forgiveness, all experiences that need to be promoted in some way, for Richard and his family, and for those suffering with mental illness. Because sometimes surviving is the hardest part of all.

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