Books and Websites

NAMI-CVA does not endorse or suggest that the books, information in the books, or websites listed are applicable for consumers, family members, caregivers, or others. The books and websites listed on this page discuss mental illness and mental health matters. This page is simply a listing of published reading material on mental health.

Books on Mental Illness

Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness by Pete Earley — Crazy is combination of personal experience and investigative journalism. Earley’s son was diagnosed with a mental illness, and this book describes the struggles and the journey that this news brought to him and his family.

When Someone You Love Has a Mental Illness: A Handbook for Family, Friends, and Caregivers by Rebecca Woolis, MFT – This book offers exciting and vital current information about recovery from mental illness and substance abuse, while addressing short-term problems as well as long-term planning and care.

The Northumberland Nightmare: When Justice Ignores Mental Illness — This is the true story of people within a rural county criminal justice system that was more than willing to discard an eighteen-year-old boy without accounting for his mental illness.

Schizophrenia and Manic-Depressive Disorder, the Biological Roots of Mental Illness as Revealed by the Landmark Study of Identical Twins, by E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., Ann E. Bowler, M.S., Edward H. Taylor, PhD, and Irving I Gottesman, PhD — This book provides compelling evidence that both schizophrenia and manic-depressive disorder are biologically-based diseases of the brain.

How to Live with a Mentally Ill Person, by Christine Ademec — Written by a mother of a mentally ill child, this book covers all the essentials for family members. It includes basic information on mental illness and detailed information on caring for yourself, other family members, and the mentally ill family member; additionally the latter chapters are devoted to navigating the mental health care system.

My Sister’s Keeper — by Margaret Moorman, is the story of two sisters, one of whom suffered from schizophrenia. The memoir is written by the sister who wound up taking care of the ill sibling, and details her struggles.

I’m Sick, I Don’t Need Help: How to Help Someone With Mental Illness Accept Treatment by Xavier Amador, PhD

Books on Schizophrenia

The Complete Family Guide to Schizophrenia, by Kim T. Mueser, PhD, and Susan Gingerich, MSW — The authors deepen your understanding of the illness and cover a wide range of effective treatments.

Schizophrenia: Straight Talk for Families and Friends, by Maryellen Walsh — Walsh “takes the disease out of the closet,” explains what doctors now know about possible causes and treatments, destroys myths about it, and offers families and friends solid information and intelligent advice.

Surviving Schizophrenia: A Manual for Families, Patients, and Providers, by E. Fuller Torrey — This book contains the latest research findings on all aspects of the disease as well as information about the newest treatments, and answers to the most frequently asked questions.

The Quiet Room, A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness, by Lori Schiller and Amanda Bennett — The Quiet Room is a classic testimony of the ravages of mental illness and the power of perseverance courage. A personal account of Lori Schiller and her struggles with full-blown schizophrenia.

The Eden Express, A Memoir of Insanity, by Mark Vonnegut — “Vonnegut, in a humble, humorous voice, tells the other side of the story of the other side.” He has written this personal account of his schizophrenia and subsequent breakdown.

Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey From the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope, by Randye Kaye — A compelling account of one young man’s struggle with illness and the treatment plan that changed his life, as told by his mother.

The Day the Voices Stopped {A Memoir of Madness and Hope}, by Ken Steele and Claire Berman — Taunted by voices from the age of fourteen, in and out of hospitals and halfway houses for three decades, Ken Steele eventually emerged from madness to become a leading mental health advocate.

Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia, by Pamela Spiro Wagner and Carolyn S. Spiro, M.D. — This book is a dual memoir of identical twins, one of whom faces schizophrenia, and the other who becomes a psychiatrist after entering the spotlight that had long been focused on her sister. ?

Getting your Life Back Together When You Have Schizophrenia — by Roberta Temes, PhD is a handbook for sufferers of schizophrenia. The book has covers treatment, dealing with discrimination, and more.

Books on Depression

Depression: How it Happens, How It’s Healed by John Medina, PhD.

Undercurrents: A Life Beneath the Surface  by Martha Manning

The Beast: A Journey through Depression by Tracy Thompson

Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman’s Journey Through Depression: A Memoir by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah

Books on Bipolar Disorder

We Heard the Angels of Madness, by Diane and Lisa Berger — The authors tell a compelling personal account of a family member battling depression, and share the information they learned along the way.

The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide by David Miklowitz, PhD. —  Another excellent book about BPD; especially good for the patient who wants to live with and successfully manage the illness.

The Bipolar Child by Dimitri Papolos, M.D. and Janice Papolos —  Great information for families; reflects recent research and new knowledge about childhood-onset bipolar disorder. Includes information about working with the school system and how to go about drawing up an IEP.

Surviving Manic Depression by E. Fuller Torrey, M.D. — Excellent and accessible book from one of the leading researchers on schizophrenia and BPD.

Bipolar Disorder by Francis Mark Mondimore, M.D. —  A complete, expert and accessible book about the disorder and how to cope, for both consumers and family members.

Daughter of the Queen of Sheba by Jackie Lyden —  A memoir of growing up with a bipolar mother.
You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy? by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D. — A memoir of her own illness, from prominent authority on BPD.

Books on ADHD

ADHD: A Complete and Authoritative Guide, by Michael I. Reiff, MD, FAAP & Sherill Tippins — A guide to ADHD provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Books on Bereavement

I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye, by Brook Noel & Pamela D. Blair, PhD — Skills for surviving, coping, and healing after the sudden death of a loved one.

After Suicide Loss: Coping with Your Grief by Bob Baugher, Ph.D. & Jack Jordan, Ph.D. — A book written to help understand what one may experience during the months after a loss, using input from suicide survivors.

Suicide: Survivors, A Guide for Those Left Behind by Adina Wrobleski — A useful and practical guide down the road of grief and recovery. This book speaks to common problems of survivors, offers advice, gives solutions that have worked for others, and offers encouragement & hope.

Survivors of Suicide by Rita Robinson — Provides help for those who survive suicide victims in dealing with grief, as well as including detailed information on depression, relevant statistics, and historical and religious perspectives on the topic. The last chapter is devoted to suicide prevention.

Night Falls Fast by Kay Redfield Jamison, provides a comprehensive take on the topic of suicide, introducing the topic, discussing psychology and biology, and wrapping up by going into prevention. Jamison has suffered from manic depression and at one point attempted to take her own life.

External Links

Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (formerly NARSAD, the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)