The best 9 Mental Illness books

Understanding mental illness is crucial for breaking down stigmas and providing support to those who need it. In this book list, we delve into the complexities of mental health, from scientific explanations to personal stories. These insightful reads offer valuable insights, helping us foster empathy and promote a more compassionate society. Whether you're looking to expand your knowledge or seek solace, this collection is a must-read for anyone interested in mental well-being.

The best 9 Mental Illness books
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Mental Illness Books: Educated by Tara Westover


Tara Westover
A Memoir
4.3 (169 ratings)
Listen to the Intro

What's Educated about?

Educated (2018) is the memoir of Tara Westover, who grew up in a Mormon family in rural Idaho, and, despite never attending school, was able to earn a PhD from the University of Cambridge. However, she had to pay a high price to achieve her academic dreams. Indeed, she lost her family in the process.

Who should read Educated?

  • Readers who love astonishing memoirs
  • Anyone interested in a peek inside a Mormon family
  • Teachers and anyone curious about higher education

Mental Illness Books: The Quiet Room by

The Quiet Room

A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness

What's The Quiet Room about?

The Quiet Room is a memoir by Lori Schiller that chronicles her struggle with severe mental illness. From her initial diagnosis to her time in psychiatric hospitals, Schiller provides a raw and honest account of her experiences. The book offers insight into the challenges faced by those with mental illness and the importance of understanding and support. It is a powerful and eye-opening read.

Who should read The Quiet Room?

  • Those struggling with mental health issues
  • People seeking to understand the experience of living with schizophrenia
  • Anyone interested in gaining insight into the challenges of navigating the mental health system

Mental Illness Books: The Soloist by

The Soloist

A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music

What's The Soloist about?

The Soloist is a captivating true story about a journalist who befriends a homeless musician with extraordinary talent. As he delves into the man's past and struggles with mental illness, the author explores themes of friendship, music, and the power of human connection. This inspiring book sheds light on the complexities of homelessness and mental health, while also celebrating the beauty of music and the resilience of the human spirit.

Who should read The Soloist?

  • People interested in exploring mental illness and homelessness
  • Readers who enjoy true stories about the power of human connection
  • Individuals seeking a deeper understanding of music's ability to heal and inspire

What's The Collected Schizophrenias about?

This book is a collection of essays that offers a unique and insightful perspective on living with schizophrenia. Esmé Weijun Wang shares her personal experiences and delves into the complexities of the condition, challenging common misconceptions and shedding light on the realities of mental illness. Thought-provoking and beautifully written, it provides a deep understanding of what it means to navigate life with schizophrenia.

Who should read The Collected Schizophrenias?

  • Individuals seeking to deepen their understanding of mental health
  • Those interested in personal accounts of living with schizophrenia
  • Healthcare professionals looking to broaden their knowledge about schizophrenia

Mental Illness Books: Sybil by


The Classic True Story of a Woman Possessed by Sixteen Personalities

What's Sybil about?

Sybil is a gripping true story about a woman with multiple personality disorder. Written by Flora Rheta Schreiber, the book delves into the life of Sybil Dorsett and her 16 distinct personalities, as well as the therapy sessions with her psychiatrist, Dr. Cornelia B. Wilbur. It explores the devastating effects of childhood trauma and the resilience of the human mind. A haunting and thought-provoking read.

Who should read Sybil?

  • Readers who are fascinated by psychology and mental health
  • Individuals interested in learning about dissociative identity disorder
  • Those who enjoy non-fiction books about real-life cases and personal journeys

What's Elsewhere about?

"Elsewhere" is a novel by Richard Russo that tells the story of a man named William who returns to his hometown after his mother's death. As he navigates through his past and present, he uncovers family secrets and learns to come to terms with his own life choices. The book explores themes of family, regret, and the search for meaning in life.

Who should read Elsewhere?

  • Readers seeking a heartfelt and moving story about life, loss, and second chances
  • People who enjoy exploring complex relationships and the dynamics of family and friendship
  • Those who appreciate richly developed characters and thought-provoking themes

What's Heart Berries about?

Heart Berries is a memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot that delves into her experiences as a First Nations woman, grappling with mental illness, trauma, and the complexities of her own identity. Through raw and poetic prose, Mailhot explores her journey towards healing and self-discovery, offering a powerful and intimate reflection on love, family, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Who should read Heart Berries?

  • Readers who are interested in exploring the complexities of mental health and personal growth
  • Individuals who appreciate introspective and raw storytelling
  • Anyone looking for a thought-provoking and authentic perspective on Indigenous experiences and identity

Mental Illness Books: The Deepest Well by

The Deepest Well

Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity

What's The Deepest Well about?

In "The Deepest Well," Nadine Burke Harris explores the long-term effects of childhood adversity on health and well-being. Drawing on her own research and experiences as a pediatrician, she reveals the profound impact that early trauma can have on the developing brain and body. Harris also offers insights into how we can better support and protect children from the harmful effects of toxic stress. This book sheds light on an important public health issue and offers hope for a healthier future.

Who should read The Deepest Well?

  • Individuals seeking to understand the long-term impact of childhood adversity on health and well-being
  • Medical professionals interested in addressing the root causes of chronic illnesses
  • Parents and caregivers looking for ways to protect and support their children's health and development

Mental Illness Books: Tweak by


Growing Up On Methamphetamines

What's Tweak about?

Tweak is a memoir by Nic Sheff that chronicles his struggle with addiction and his journey to recovery. Sheff provides a raw and honest account of his experiences with drugs, relapses, and the impact it had on his family and friends. Through his compelling storytelling, he sheds light on the complexities of addiction and the challenges of finding redemption.

Who should read Tweak?

  • Individuals struggling with addiction or supporting someone who is
  • Those seeking a raw and personal account of addiction and recovery
  • Anyone interested in gaining insight into the challenges and triumphs of overcoming addiction

Related Topics

Mental Illness Books

What's the best Mental Illness book to read?

While choosing just one book about a topic is always tough, many people regard Educated as the ultimate read on Mental Illness.

What are the Top 10 Mental Illness books?

Blinkist curators have picked the following:
  • Educated by Tara Westover

Who are the top Mental Illness book authors?

When it comes to Mental Illness, these are the authors who stand out as some of the most influential:
  • Tara Westover