Some Writings on: Depression/Bipolar

Personal Memoirs: Depression

*Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness†
William Styron
A chilling account of his descent into, and recovery from, an almost suicidal depression by a Pulitzer prizewinning author. A national bestseller.

The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression†
Andrew Solomon
The Noonday Demon forges a long, brambly path through the subject of depression-exposing all the discordant views and ‘answers’ offered by science, philosophy, law, psychology, literature, art, and history. The result is a sprawling and thoroughly engrossing study, brilliantly synthesized by author Andrew Solomon.

Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America: A Memoir
Elizabeth Wurtzel
Painful, poignant, and ultimately triumphant, Prozac Nation is Elizabeth Wurtzel’s catharsis-a cry of rage at the chronic depression which has dominated most of her young life. A powerful portrait of one girl’s journey through the purgatory of depression.

Undercurrents: A Life Beneath the Surface
Martha Manning
This powerfully gripping account of a therapist’s reckoning with her own severe depression is a breathtaking gem of a book, heartrending, hilarious, extraordinarily human.

The Beast: A Journey Through Depression
Tracy Thompson
In an eloquent, unflinchingly honest autobiography, a journalist recounts her struggle with depression, which culminated in a terrifying bout with suicide, and her search for an understanding of and a cure for it.

Standing In the Shadows: Understanding and Overcoming Depression in Black Men
John Head
Head, a veteran journalist and a success by any objective standard, shares his 25-year struggle with depression within the context of the kinds of social and cultural forces that can cause depression in black men and, at the same time, discourage acknowledgment or treatment of that depression.

Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman’s Journey Through Depression
Meri Nana-Ama Danquah
The author, a black single mother and Ghanian-born immigrant, has battled melancholy and despair, culminating in episodes of overwhelming depression. In this brutally painful memoir she reveals how her illness began, how it progressed to the point where she couldn’t function, and how she finally got the support she needed to help combat it.

Skin Game
Caroline Kettlewell
A memoir of self-mutilation by a woman who grew up cutting herself with razors in an attempt to relieve the depression and anxiety she felt.

Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression
Nell Casey
This is a collection of modern essays about depression by writers who know their subject intimately. William Styron’s excerpt and his wife’s contribution demonstrate a wonderful partnership – a good role model for friends and family in the wife and a classic sufferer of depression in the husband.

Personal Memoirs: Bipolar

*An Unquiet Mind†
Kay Redfield Jamison
This is the classic autobiography of bipolar disorder written by a professor of psychiatry who is herself bipolar. With breathtaking honesty Jamison tells of her own manic depression, the bitter costs of her illness, and its paradoxical benefits. This is one of the best scientific autobiographies ever written, a combination of clarity, truth, and insight into human character.

A Brilliant Madness: Living With Manic-Depressive Illness
Patty Duke
Duke tells the story of her manic-depressive illness and its successful treatment, while in alternating chapters science writer Hochman explains the facts of the disease and the methods of treatment available at the time. Duke shows bravery in telling her story in all its humiliating flagrance. Well written and easy to read.

The Years of Silence are Past: My Father’s Life with Bipolar Disorder
Stephen P. Hinshaw
A powerful account of what it is to be the son of a man who lost not only his way, but his mind as well. Professor Hinshaw has written a compelling book about fathers and sons, madness, and the intolerance of society and the academic and medical communities.

Detour: My Bipolar Road Trip in 4-D†
Lizzie Simon
Simon writes of her life with bipolar disorder. She put aside her career in order to travel around the country interviewing other people afflicted with bipolar disorder.

The Naked Bird Watcher
Suzy Johnston
“This is a personal, poignant and poetic story of Recovery. Suzy teaches us about determination, patience and perseverance. She inspires people to continue living their lives while learning to manage a mental illness.”
Christine Gayler, Boston University

Neural Misfire: A True Story of Manic-Depression
Jeff D. Kazmierczak
This book is written in the unusual format of a novel based on a true story. It gives a continuous story, which describes the protagonist’s path from the early symptoms of depression, to mania, and finally his initial treatment.

Bipolar Disorder: Rebuilding Your Life
James T. Stout
Reverend Stout’s battle with bipolar disorder. Other memoirs are more comprehensive or better written. Stout’s book, however, will be helpful to Christians confronting mental illness directly or indirectly.

Journey Not Chosen…Destination Not Known: Living With Bipolar Disorder
Mary Worthen
A fairly enjoyable, quick read about battling bipolar disorder. The quality of writing is good and the story inspires empathy in the reader though it may have a little too much of God in it for those lacking a religious faith.

Win The Battle, The 3-Step Lifesaving Formula to Conquer Depression and Bipolar Disorder
Bob Olson
Based on the author’s personal recovery experience, this book provides hope for patients who want to end months or years of suffering by following the right path.

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