Mental Health Awareness Month
A Cure for Darkness
Is depression a persistent low mood, or is it a range of symptoms? Can it be expressed through a single diagnosis, or does depression actually refer to a diversity of mental disorders? Is there, or will there ever be, a cure? In seeking the answers to these questions, Riley finds a rich history of ideas and treatments—and takes the reader on a gripping narrative journey, packed with fascinating stories like the junior doctor who discovered that some of the first antidepressants had a deadly reaction with cheese.
“Interweaving memoir, case histories, and accounts of new therapies, Riley anatomizes what is still a fairly young science, and a troubled one” (The New Yorker). Reporting on the field of global mental health from its colonial past to the present day, Riley highlights a range of scalable therapies, including how a group of grandmothers stands on the frontline of a mental health revolution.
Hopeful, fascinating, and profound, A Cure for Darkness is “recommended reading for anyone with even a peripheral interest in depression” (Washington Examiner).
A Mind of Your Own
Depression is not a disease. It is a symptom.
Recent years have seen a shocking increase in antidepressant use the world over, with 1 in 4 women starting their day with medication. These drugs have steadily become the panacea for everything from grief, irritability, panic attacks, to insomnia, PMS, and stress. But the truth is, what women really need can’t be found at a pharmacy.
According to Dr. Kelly Brogan, antidepressants not only overpromise and underdeliver, but their use may permanently disable the body’s self-healing potential. We need a new paradigm: The best way to heal the mind is to heal the whole body.
In this groundbreaking, science-based and holistic approach, Dr. Brogan shatters the mythology conventional medicine has built around the causes and treatment of depression. Based on her expert interpretation of published medical findings, combined with years of experience from her clinical practice, Dr. Brogan illuminates the true cause of depression: it is not simply a chemical imbalance, but a lifestyle crisis that demands a reset. It is a signal that the interconnected systems in the body are out of balance – from blood sugar, to gut health, to thyroid function– and inflammation is at the root.
A Mind of Your Own offers an achievable, step-by-step 30-day action plan—including powerful dietary interventions, targeted nutrient support, detoxification, sleep, and stress reframing techniques—women can use to heal their bodies, alleviate inflammation, and feel like themselves again without a single prescription.
Bold, brave, and revolutionary, A Mind of Your Own takes readers on a journey of self-empowerment for radical transformation that goes far beyond symptom relief.
Another Kind of Madness
Families are riddled with untold secrets. But Stephen Hinshaw never imagined that a profound secret was kept under lock and key for 18 years within his family—that his father’s mysterious absences, for months at a time, resulted from serious mental illness and involuntary hospitalizations. From the moment his father revealed the truth, during Hinshaw’s first spring break from college, he knew his life would change forever.
Hinshaw calls this revelation his “psychological birth.” After years of experiencing the ups and downs of his father’s illness without knowing it existed, Hinshaw began to piece together the silent, often terrifying history of his father’s life—in great contrast to his father’s presence and love during periods of wellness. This exploration led to larger discoveries about the family saga, to Hinshaw’s correctly diagnosing his father with bipolar disorder, and to his full-fledged career as a clinical and developmental psychologist and professor.
In Another Kind of Madness, Hinshaw explores the burden of living in a family “loaded” with mental illness and debunks the stigma behind it. He explains that in today’s society, mental health problems still receive utter castigation—too often resulting in the loss of fundamental rights, including the inability to vote or run for office or automatic relinquishment of child custody. Through a poignant and moving family narrative, interlaced with shocking facts about how America and the world still view mental health conditions well into in the 21st century, Another Kind of Madness is a passionate call to arms regarding the importance of destigmatizing mental illness.
This Close to Happy
“Despair is always described as dull,” writes Daphne Merkin, “when the truth is that despair has a light all its own, a lunar glow, the color of mottled silver.” This Close to Happy—Merkin’s rare, vividly personal account of what it feels like to suffer from clinical depression—captures this strange light.
Daphne Merkin has been hospitalized three times: first, in grade school, for childhood depression; years later, after her daughter was born, for severe postpartum depression; and later still, after her mother died, for obsessive suicidal thinking. Recounting this series of hospitalizations, as well as her visits to myriad therapists and psychopharmacologists, Merkin fearlessly offers what the child psychiatrist Harold Koplewicz calls “the inside view of navigating a chronic psychiatric illness to a realistic outcome.” The arc of Merkin’s affliction is lifelong, beginning in a childhood largely bereft of love and stretching into the present, where Merkin lives a high-functioning life and her depression is manageable, if not “cured.” “The opposite of depression,” she writes with characteristic insight, “is not a state of unimaginable happiness . . . but a state of relative all-right-ness.”
In this dark yet vital memoir, Merkin describes not only the harrowing sorrow that she has known all her life, but also her early, redemptive love of reading and gradual emergence as a writer. Written with an acute understanding of the ways in which her condition has evolved as well as affected those around her, This Close to Happy is an utterly candid coming-to-terms with an illness that many share but few talk about, one that remains shrouded in stigma. In the words of the distinguished psychologist Carol Gilligan, “It brings a stunningly perceptive voice into the forefront of the conversation about depression, one that is both reassuring and revelatory.”
When Dr. Kenneth Rosenberg trained as a psychiatrist in the late 1980s, the state mental hospitals, which had reached peak occupancy in the 1950s, were being closed at an alarming rate, with many patients having nowhere to go. There has never been a more important time for this conversation, as one in five adults--40 million Americans--experiences mental illness each year. Today, the largest mental institution in the United States is the Los Angeles County Jail, and the last refuge for many of the 20,000 mentally ill people living on the streets of Los Angeles is L.A. County Hospital. There, Dr. Rosenberg begins his chronicle of what it means to be mentally ill in America today, integrating his own moving story of how the system failed his sister, Merle, who had schizophrenia. As he says, "I have come to see that my family's tragedy, my family's shame, is America's great secret."
Dr. Rosenberg gives readers an inside look at the historical, political, and economic forces that have resulted in the greatest social crisis of the twenty-first century. The culmination of a seven-year inquiry, Bedlam is not only a rallying cry for change, but also a guidebook for how we move forward with care and compassion, with resources that have never before been compiled, including legal advice, practical solutions for parents and loved ones, help finding community support, and information on therapeutic options.
As director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Thomas Insel was giving a presentation when the father of a boy with schizophrenia yelled from the back of the room, “Our house is on fire and you’re telling me about the chemistry of the paint! What are you doing to put out the fire?” Dr. Insel knew in his heart that the answer was not nearly enough. The gargantuan American mental health industry was not healing millions who were desperately in need. He left his position atop the mental health research world to investigate all that was broken—and what a better path to mental health might look like.
In the United States, we have treatments that work, but our system fails at every stage to deliver care well. Even before COVID, mental illness was claiming a life every eleven minutes by suicide. Quality of care varies widely, and much of the field lacks accountability. We focus on drug therapies for symptom reduction rather than on plans for long-term recovery. Care is often unaffordable and unavailable, particularly for those who need it most and are homeless or incarcerated. Where was the justice for the millions of Americans suffering from mental illness? Who was helping their families?
But Dr. Insel also found that we do have approaches that work, both in the U.S. and globally. Mental illnesses are medical problems, but he discovers that the cures for the crisis are not just medical, but social. This path to healing, built upon what he calls the three Ps (people, place, and purpose), is more straightforward than we might imagine. Dr. Insel offers a comprehensive plan for our failing system and for families trying to discern the way forward.
The fruit of a lifetime of expertise and a global quest for answers, Healing is a hopeful, actionable account and achievable vision for us all in this time of mental health crisis.
Easy Crafts for the Insane
Kelly Williams Brown had 700 Bad Days. Her marriage collapsed, she broke three limbs in separate and unrelated incidents, her father was diagnosed with cancer, and she fell into a deep depression that ended in what could delicately be referred to as a “rest cure” at an inpatient facility. Before that, she had several very good years: she wrote a bestselling book, spoke at NASA, had a beautiful wedding, and inspired hundreds of thousands of readers to live as grown-ups in an often-screwed-up world, though these accomplishments mostly just made her feel fraudulent.
One of the few things that kept her moving forward was, improbably, crafting. Not Martha Stewart–perfect crafting, either—what could be called “simple,” “accessible” or, perhaps, “rustic” creations were the joy and accomplishments she found in her worst days. To craft is to set things right in the littlest of ways; no matter how disconnected you feel, you can still fold a tiny paper star, and that’s not nothing.
In Easy Crafts for the Insane, crafting tutorials serve as the backdrop of a life dissolved, then glued back together. Surprising, humane, and utterly unforgettable, this is a poignant and hysterical look at the unexpected, messy coping mechanisms we use to find ourselves again.
Eat to Beat Depression and Anxiety
A revolutionary prescription for healing depression and anxiety and optimizing brain health through the foods we eat, including a six-week plan to help you get started eating for better mental health.
Depression and anxiety disorders are rising, affecting more than fifty-eight million people in the United States alone. Many rely on therapy and medications to alleviate symptoms, but often this is not enough. The latest scientific advances in neuroscience and nutrition, along with our understanding of the mind-gut connection, have proven that how and what we eat greatly affects how we feel--physically, cognitively, and emotionally.
In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Drew Ramsey helps us forge a path toward greater mental health through food. Eat to Beat Depression and Anxiety breaks down the science of nutritional psychiatry and explains what foods positively affect brain health and improve mental wellness.
Dr. Ramsey distills the most cutting-edge research on nutrition and the brain into actionable tips you can start using today to improve brain-cell health and growth, reduce inflammation, and cultivate a healthy microbiome, all of which contribute to our mental well-being. He explores the twelve essential vitamins and minerals most critical to your brain and body and outlines which anti-inflammatory foods feed the gut.
He helps readers assess barriers to self-nourishment and offers techniques for enhancing motivation. To help us begin, he provides a kick-starter six-week mental health food plan designed to mitigate depression and anxiety, incorporating key food categories like leafy greens and seafood, along with simple, delicious, brain nutrient-rich recipes.
By following the methods Dr. Ramsey uses with his patients, you can confidently choose foods to help you on your journey to full mental health.
Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen
Many black women have endured physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, domestic violence, pregnancy-related trauma, loss, and abandonment. Rather than admitting their pain-seen as a sign of weakness-black women mask their troubles behind the façade of being "strong" and ever capable of handling everything for themselves and those around them. Nobody Knows the Trouble I Have Seen helps women understand the high price they pay for wearing a mask of strength and provides a framework for healing.
Black women deprive themselves of experiencing a full range of emotions and tend to hang on to anger and hurt which simmer. This leads to feelings of shame, loneliness, and other negative emotions that test their mental health. In addition, black women are less likely to acknowledge their mental health needs or to seek mental health treatment, increasing their risks for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and suicidal thoughts which can lead to debilitating physical problems, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.
Combining the latest research with her personal story and those of family members and clients, Dr. Inger Burnett-Zeigler reveals that a life of joy is possible, and discusses outlets for support, including mental health treatment, the church and spirituality. Her illuminating work gives the phrase, "I am a strong black woman" a whole new meaning, while letting women know they are not alone in their suffering.
Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?
Drawing on years of experience as a clinical psychologist, online sensation Dr Julie Smith provides the skills you need to navigate common life challenges and take charge of your emotional and mental health in her debut book.
Filled with secrets from a therapist's toolkit, Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before teaches you how to fortify and maintain your mental health, even in the most trying of times. Dr Julie Smith's expert advice and powerful coping techniques will help you stay resilient, whether you want to manage anxiety, deal with criticism, cope with depression, build self-confidence, find motivation, or learn to forgive yourself. Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before tackles everyday issues and offers practical solutions in bite-sized, easy-to-digest entries which make it easy to quickly find specific information and guidance.
Your mental well-being is just as important as your physical well-being. Packed with proven strategies, Dr. Julie's empathetic guide offers a deeper understanding of how your mind works and gives you the insights and help you need to nurture your mental health every day. Wise and practical, Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before might just change your life.