Navigating depression booklist
For World Mental Health Day I wanted to share some books that helped me through depression. It’s an issue I care deeply about, having experienced my first episode of depression aged fourteen and several times since.
I now understand depression in a completely different way. I used to think there was something ‘wrong’ with me that needed to be fixed. I didnt realise the purpose and potential of depression when journeyed through in an empowered way. I couldnt have done it without the guidance and support of others who’d journeyed ahead of me. Now I try to share my story, let go of the stigma and help others as I was helped. Connection and sharing is key to healing and happiness 🙂
The MIND website has advice and resources if you’re experiencing mental health difficulties or caring for someone who is. There is no single solution for all. Your reasons and your journey will be different from mine, but you will find your way faster and more empowered when you connect with others who’ve been through it and emerged stronger on the other side. Use their torchlight to light your way and create your own bright future.
Depression afforded me a much needed psychological, emotional and physical de-gunk, but it was grim and terrifying at the time. Understanding the process you’re in and that it IS a natural (and purposeful!) process, helps keep going through the darkness.
I think of it now like a transformational cocoon that I unwittingly entered, so I could let go of old parts of myself and my story that had served their purpose and reassemble the “me” that I wanted to carry forward into the next chapter of my life .
Connecting with others who’d already been through it and emerged happier and wholer the other side, really helped. Gather your team. Call in your support circle. Call me if you like. I mean it. Together we’re stronger.
Here’s some books that helped kickstart my recovery.
How Sadness Survived by evolutionary psychologist Paul Keedwell. This was my turning point to see a purpose in depression. It gave me my power back. Positive and historic reframing.
Inspiration by Dr Wayne Dyer – It’s really hard to read when your brain is fogged by depression. This book feels light and comforting, like a big spiritual hug with easy actions to quiet your ‘ego’ and re-connect to inspiration.⠀
Visioning by Lucia Capacchione – deceptively simple. A hands-on, scissors and glue stick approach to re-designing your own brighter future. I visioned my own route to wellness. And it worked! Pure magic.⠀⠀
The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine Aron. Aha! I’m not just weird – I’m actually wired differently! This book reframes sensitivity as an asset and offers case studies, exercises and advice to thrive.⠀⠀
The Artists Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. Don’t be put off by the title, this is for anyone wanting to reconnect to their own inner self and creativity, not just artists. Cameron’s “morning pages” remain key to my self-care practise. Better still, do it with a group.⠀⠀⠀⠀
The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama. Practical wisdom from one of the world’s great spiritual leaders. A highly accessible guide to finding mental and spiritual freedom.⠀
Lost Connections by Johan Haari. Following his own diagnosis of clinical depression and taking antidepressants for years, yet never truly recovering, Haari began to question what the causes of depression are, and what depression actually is. How is it possible to live happily in a world designed to make us miserable? Reconnection, as the title implies, is the route Haari suggests we must follow to escape our unhappiness.
Main image credit: Aamod Korhonen @balanceisjoy photography – Aamod is the founder of male suicide prevention initiative, The Hope Project https://www.facebook.