Alongside her policy achievements, she's made a sizable impact on pop culture—including penning one of the best-selling memoirs ever published. She also researches the clinical aspects of bipolar disorder, including the strengths and limitations of various treatments and medications, and what studies tell us about the conundrum of attempting to “cure” an otherwise brilliant mind. Memoirs of mental health and addiction can also fill in the gaps of knowledge that those on the outside need to relate to those struggling with mental illness and addiction. Discover new workout ideas, healthy-eating recipes, makeup looks, skin-care advice, the best beauty products and tips, trends, and more from SELF. Hospitalizations, calls in the night, alcohol and drug relapses, pleas for money, and continuous disputes, her son’s journey was long, arduous, and almost fatal. Lynn Harris (Amazon), “This moving memoir of an African-American woman’s lifelong fight to identify and overcome depression offers an inspirational story of healing and emergence. SELF may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. “Drawing on his own longstanding battle with anxiety, Scott Stossel presents a moving and revelatory account of a condition that affects some 40 million Americans. Hunger is a deeply personal memoir from one of our finest writers, and tells a story that hasn’t yet been told but needs to be.” (Amazon). This literary memoir takes readers from her childhood in India where depression is thought to be a curse to life in America where she eventually finds the light within by drawing on both her rich Hindu heritage and Western medicine to find healing.” (Amazon). Deeply moving and bracingly intimate, Becoming traces Obama's evolution from a young girl growing up on the South Side of Chicago, to a successful lawyer, to mother to Sasha and Malia, to a politician's wife, to a political icon in her own right. His contribution to our understanding not only of mental illness but also of the human condition is truly stunning.” (Amazon). This is a tale of self-loathing, self-sabotage, and yes, self-tanner. Since we care about all kinds of recovery, we wanted to emphasize that drugs and alcohol are not the only ways that women suffer and not everyone recovers through a 12-Step program. She began an ordeal of hospitalizations, halfway houses, relapses, more suicide attempts, and constant, withering despair. This is a confident, intoxicating, brassy book that takes the cost of sexual assault, racism, misogyny, and homophobia deadly seriously.” (Amazon). We were inspired by the diverse experiences of our own community members. 50 Fabulous Food Memoirs. Here, 16 must-read health memoirs. Sick is Khakpour’s grueling, emotional journey—as a woman, an Iranian-American, a writer, and a lifelong sufferer of undiagnosed health problems—in which she examines her subsequent struggles with mental illness and her addiction to doctor prescribed benzodiazepines, that both aided and eroded her ever-deteriorating physical health. The memoir — his fourth — covers the highs and lows the Emmy winner has endured in recent years amid his health struggle, his second retirement from acting, his … You don't have to love her music to love her book, which recounts the intimate details of her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (who would ultimately die from HIV/AIDS), and her time as a musician in the gritty New York scene of the late '60s and '70s. She discusses the illness in the context of her life, including her struggle to get pregnant, the high expectations she had for herself and that others placed on her as a new mom, and the role of her husband, friends, and family as she struggled to attain her maternal footing in the midst of a disabling depression.” (Amazon), “The former middle distance Olympic runner and high-end escort speaks out for the first time about her battle with mental illness, and how mania controlled and compelled her in competition, but also in life. Her memoir, about chronic pain and search for a cure, is a must-read. “In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she’d never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. Unbearable Lightness is a story that inspires hope and nourishes the spirit.” (Amazon), “Unholy Ghost is a unique collection of essays about depression that, in the spirit of William Styron’s Darkness Visible, finds vivid expression for an elusive illness suffered by more than one in five Americans today. To be raised by parents who struggle with hoarding? For years, he went through the motions. Find the Top Food Memoirs with the MSN Buying Guides >> Compare Products and Brands by Quality, Popularity and Pricing >> Updated 2020 10 Best Food Memoirs of 2020 | … Memoirs about mental illness are more or less a subgenre all on their own, and any author willing to put him- or herself out there in the interest of education deserves commendation. It is a brilliant evocation of a “parallel universe” set within the kaleidoscopically shifting landscape of the late sixties. The moving story of an African American family facing the challenge of bipolar disorder, This Fragile Life provides insight into mental disorders as well as family dynamics. “Shortly before her thirtieth birthday, Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. And with memoir, there’s a lot more leeway as to how you might tell the story. Written with Karr’s relentless honesty, unflinching self-scrutiny, and irreverent, lacerating humor, it is a truly electrifying story of how to grow up — as only Mary Karr can tell it. 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. Her memoir details the long, complicated path to her diagnosis—and what happened next. In a swift and breathtaking narrative, Susannah tells the astonishing true story of her descent into madness, her family’s inspiring faith in her, and the lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn’t happen.” (Amazon). Writer Keah Brown’s tweets about what it’s like to live with cerebral palsy, using the hashtag #DisabledAndCute, explore the reality of having a disability in America. “When thirty-year-old, award-winning human rights journalist Mac McClelland left Haiti after reporting on the devastating earthquake of 2010, she never imagined how the assignment would irrevocably affect her own life. So at the age of twelve, Burroughs found himself amidst Victorian squalor living with the doctor’s bizarre family, and befriending a pedophile who resided in the backyard shed. McClelland discovers she is far from alone: while we frequently associate PTSD with wartime combat, it is more often caused by other manner of trauma and can even be contagious-close proximity to those afflicted can trigger its symptoms. Lacing Bob’s narrative with chapters providing greater contextualization, Sandy also shares background information about their family, the culturally explosive time and place of their uncle’s formative years, and the vitally important questions surrounding schizophrenia and mental healthcare in America more broadly. “…Brain on Fire is the powerful account of one woman’s struggle to recapture her identity. “For as long as author Porochista Khakpour can remember, she has been sick. Why would a talented young girl go through the looking glass and step into a netherworld where up is down and food is greed, where death is honor and flesh is weak? The clinical terms used to describe her illness were so inadequate that she chose to focus instead on her own experience, in her words, ‘on what bipolar disorder felt like inside my own body.’ Here the events unfold episodically, from mood to mood, the way she lived and remembers life. All rights reserved. Revealing anxiety’s myriad manifestations and the anguish it causes, he also surveys the countless psychotherapies, medications, and often outlandish treatments that have been developed to relieve it. Through therapy, he’s figuring out how to get over the irrational fears that won’t take him anywhere positive. Discover the best Memoirs in Best Sellers. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Keep an eye on your inbox. “But my hope for this book doesn’t stop there. . The best food memoirs go way beyond the food and into someone's reality - food memoirs can be deeply revealing about families and working environments. From memoirs to self-help; Reni Eddo-Lodge to Dolly Alderton, here are 20 of the best nonfiction books. By sharing our stories, we open up discussion around the topic and break through stigma and shame. 6 Honest (And Humorous) Mental Health Memoirs By Women Danielle Cheesman. But she hid a secret life. Here is Mark’s life childhood as the son of a struggling writer, as well as the world after Mark was released from a mental hospital. The lessons I have learned are not limited to race, gender, or sexual orientation. We see the world as Cree did―turned upside down, the richness of life muted and dulled, its pleasures perverted. Though memoirs imply a "me, me, me," theme (take out the "moir" and "me" is all you have), they're really some of the most self-sacrificing, accessible, and valuable books to keep on your shelves. By the time she faced the fact that she was really ‘losing it,’ Colas had become a slave to her own ‘hobbies’ — from the daily hair cutting to incessant inspections of her children’s clothing for bloodstains. Her unique and at times unsettling voice graphically illustrates her mental state. '” (Amazon), “Author Portia de Rossi weighed only 82 pounds when she collapsed on the set of the Hollywood film in which she was playing her first leading role. The wife, children, and extended family of ‘Joseph,’ lacking an understanding of his condition, are left to deal with his upsetting transformation. However, even after achieving national prominence as a radio personality, Charlamagne still found himself paralyzed by anxiety and distrust. Elizabeth Ward, the Chief of Psychiatry for Correctional Health Services in New York City, wrote this book about life inside the forensic psychiatry unit of Bellevue Hospital. Five best celebrity memoirs of 2020. In A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story about Schizophrenia, Sandy translates Bob’s autobiography, artfully creating a gripping coming-of-age story while sticking faithfully to the facts as he shared them. Descriptions graciously supplied from publisher descriptions and condensed when necessary. passionate?—to different people. To fight alcohol addiction, live with chronic pain, or face your own terminal cancer diagnosis? A story of survival, pain, and transformation, Sick candidly examines the colossal impact of illness on one woman’s life by not just highlighting the failures of a broken medical system but by also boldly challenging our concept of illness narratives.” (Amazon). The result is a heartbreaking and sometimes hilarious portrait of a young man striving for stability in his life as well as his mind, and an utterly unique lens into an experience that, to most people, remains unimaginable.” (Amazon). This list of the 50 best mental health and addiction memoirs encompasses a wide scope of diagnoses, functionality, and experiences as diverse as the spectrum of mental illness. On the outside she was thin and blond, glamorous and successful. But behind her seemingly flawless façade lay a dangerous secret—for the better part of her life Cheney had been battling debilitating bipolar disorder and concealing a pharmacy’s worth of prescriptions meant to stabilize her moods and make her ‘normal.’. extreme? With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and authority that have made her one of the most admired voices of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to be overweight in a time when the bigger you are, the less you are seen. SELF does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Self. Heavy is a ‘gorgeous, gutting…generous’ (The New York Times) memoir that combines personal stories with piercing intellect to reflect both on the strife of American society and on Laymon’s experiences with abuse. Back home in California, McClelland cannot stop reliving vivid scenes of violence. By age nine, she was secretly bulimic, throwing up at home after school while watching The Brady Bunch reruns on television and munching Fritos. The perspectives of his three children, his spouse, and his own distorted reality combine to offer readers a glimpse of a world that will either feel hauntingly familiar or mind-boggling. I’m excited to read about what she’s learned in her position, and what suggestions she has to offer for inpatient mental treatment going forward. Awdish made a full recovery and returned to medicine, and she is now committed to changing the way doctors speak about and empathize with their patients. These works of narrative medicine allow others with similar challenges to say, “That’s exactly how I feel,” a powerful connection through representation when these conditions can be so isolating. Susanna Kaysen, writing for the first time about depression since Girl, Interrupted, criticizes herself and others for making too much of the illness. In bursts of prose that mirror the devastating highs and extreme lows of her illness, Cheney describes her roller-coaster life with shocking honesty—from glamorous parties to a night in jail; from flying fourteen kites off the edge of a cliff in a thunderstorm to crying beneath her office desk; from electroshock therapy to a suicide attempt fueled by tequila and prescription painkillers. Lit: A Memoir (P.S.) Manic: A Memoir by Terri Cheney. Manic: A Memoir breaks the reader's misconceptions that the wealthy and beautiful don't suffer from mental health disorders.. Cheney, a lawyer from Beverly Hills, was, by all means, wildly successful. Those writings turned into Heart Berries, Mailhot’s memoir about growing up on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest, coming to terms with her dysfunctional family, and facing her mental health issues. Lauren Slater eloquently describes her own perilous experience as a pregnant woman on antidepressant medication. During the same period, suicide became the number three leading cause of death among black people—a health crisis that continues to this day. Memoir often is just a certain sliver of a person’s life, not the story of one’s entire life. In Hunger, she casts an insightful and critical eye on her childhood, teens, and twenties—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers into the present and the realities, pains, and joys of her daily life. Trying to escape her self-hatred and her food obsession by never slowing down, Stephanie becomes trapped in a downward spiral. Not since Saint Augustine cried, ‘Give me chastity, Lord-but not yet!’ has a conversion story rung with such dark hilarity. “New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and bodies, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. Styron is perhaps the first writer to convey the full terror of depression’s psychic landscape, as well as the illuminating path to recovery.”. “Being ‘shook’ is more than a rap lyric for Charlamagne, it’s his mission to overcome. Her bewilderment about this sudden loss of control is magnified by the intensity of her feelings for Nico, a French soldier she met in Port-au-Prince and with whom she connected instantly and deeply. When Awdish was seven months pregnant, a benign tumor in her liver ruptured, causing massive blood loss, multi-organ failure, a stroke, and a miscarriage. At age twenty-five, he was pursuing a postgraduate degree and seemingly in control of his life. At the age of five, she returned from a ballet class one day, put on an enormous sweater, curled up on her bed and cried — because she thought she was fat. She never imagined her high-achieving son would wind up handcuffed, dirty, and in jail. If you are looking to update your quarantine reading list, our recommendations below … Mental is eye-opening and powerful, tackling an illness and drug that has touched millions of lives and yet remains shrouded in social stigma.” (Amazon). There are the manic episodes, during which he felt burdened with saving the world, juxtaposed against the real-world responsibilities of running a pediatric practice. One of the funniest and most poignant books ever written about a mental illness, Agorafabulous! A creative guy who enjoyed being at home alone or with his family, DMC turned to alcohol to numb himself, a retreat that became an addiction. Kaysen’s memoir encompasses horror and razor-edged perception while providing vivid portraits of her fellow patients and their keepers. Not a mental health memoir per-say, but this book provides an honest account from a survivor regarding trauma and mental health issues following sexual abuse. This should have the culmination of all her years of hard work – first as a child model in Australia, then as a cast member of one of the hottest shows on American television. They are men and women, children and adults, political prisoners, college students, politicians, musicians, business people, artists, fathers, mothers, daughters…all of African, Latino, and Asian descent. Writer Sherman Alexie described this book as “an Iliad for the indigenous,” and I can’t wait to read it. Poet Nina Riggs was 37 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and learned it was terminal within one year. Her crisis of American Indian identity bleeds into other areas of self-doubt; mental illness, sexual trauma, ethnic identity, and independence become intertwined. He also provides essential information on resources for getting help. Reporter Katherine Ellison and her son were both diagnosed with ADHD. This Fragile Life weaves a fascinating story of mental illness, race, family, the drive of African Americans to succeed, and a mother’s love for her son.” (Amazon). Meri Danquah rises from the pages, a true survivor, departing a world of darkness and reclaiming her life.” (Goodreads). But the biggest difference is her race: Stephanie is black. Angelina Jolie’s essay about her BRCA1 genetic mutation and her decision to undergo a preventative double mastectomy raised many questions about the “right” choices for women with this gene mutation. 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. Divided by settings, Khakpour guides the reader through her illness by way of the locations that changed her course—New York, LA, Santa Fe, and a college town in Germany—as she meditates on the physiological and psychological impacts of uncertainty, and the eventual challenge of accepting the diagnosis she had searched for over the course of her adult life. As soon as I heard about Grubbs’ book, I added it to my reading list. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional. “Charlotte Pierce-Baker did everything right when raising her son, providing not only emotional support but the best education possible. Darkly funny and intensely personal, Forney’s memoir provides a visceral glimpse into the effects of a mood disorder on an artist’s work, as she shares her own story through bold black-and-white images and evocative prose.” (Amazon), “True crime, memoir, and ghost story, Mean is the bold and hilarious tale of Myriam Gurba’s coming of age as a queer, mixed-race Chicana. The funny, harrowing and bestselling account of an ordinary boy’s survival under the most extraordinary circumstances.” (Amazon), “A first-of-its-kind, cross-cultural lens to mental illness through the inspiring story of Gayathri’s thirty-year battle with depression. Mental illness touches every person's life in some way — that's one of the reasons Mental Health Month was created. Best known for the groundbreaking Bad Feminist, Gay lays it all on the table in this memoir of food, body image, sexual agency, and the ways society looks at people of size and what that means. What’s it like to have an excruciating headache that never goes away? Ann Beattie sees melancholy as a consequence of her writing life. Wrapped within Danquah’s engaging account of this universal affliction is rare and insightful testimony about what it means to be black, female, and battling depression in a society that often idealizes black women as strong, nurturing caregivers. Part memoir, part informational, chronically ill contributors from all backgrounds have literally poured their blood, sweat and tears into sharing their experiences and best advice. She can’t sleep or stop crying. Schizophrenia is not a single unifying diagnosis, and Esmé Weijun Wang writes not just to her fellow members of the “collected schizophrenias” but to those who wish to understand it as well. Stossel vividly depicts anxiety’s human toll—its crippling impact, its devastating power to paralyze. This book is an incredibly moving and powerful read. Eat a Peach: A Memoir. Typewritten in all caps, a stream of error-riddled sentences over sixty, single-spaced pages, the often-incomprehensible manuscript proclaimed to be a ‘true story’ about being ‘labeled a psychotic paranoid schizophrenic,’ and arrived with a plea to help him get his story out to the world. A shocking, hilarious, enormously appealing account of a young woman struggling to gain control of her life, this is Emily Colas’ exposé of a soul tormented, but balanced by a buoyance of spirit and a piercing sense of humor that may be her saving grace.” (Amazon). At twenty-six, Cat Marnell was an associate beauty editor at Lucky, one of the top fashion magazines in America—and that’s all most people knew about her. Several drug addictions, some major hospitalizations, and over $100,000 later, she finally had a diagnosis: late-stage Lyme disease. “Comedian, writer, blogger, radio and podcast host, and YouTube sensation, Sara Benincasa bravely and outrageously brings us ‘Dispatches from My Bedroom’ with Agorafabulous! ” (Amazon). If the year 2020 gave us anything, it’s time — time at home, time away from regular life and time to cuddle up with a good book. Find the top 100 most popular items in Amazon Books Best Sellers. As she confronts the realities of her diagnosis, she opens up to the love that seems to have found her at an inopportune moment.” (Amazon). We discover the well-known who have struggled with the condition, as well as the afflicted generations of Stossel’s own family. Born to Persian parents at the height of the Islamic Revolution and raised amid a vibrant, loving, and gossipy Iranian diaspora in the American heartland, Melody Moezzi was bound for a bipolar life. Her body was a canvas of cruelty; each scar a mark of pride and shame. When Caroline Knapp was a teenager, she started drinking because it helped her feel brave and powerful. Autobiography usually doesn’t involve a person’s inner life as much or emotional journey, as a memoir does. Lit is about getting drunk and getting sober, becoming a mother by letting go of a mother, learning to write by learning to live. In the beginning it was germs and food. She begins to probe the depths of her illness, exploring our culture’s history with PTSD, delving into the latest research by the country’s top scientists and therapists, and spending time with veterans and their families. is a hilarious, raw, and unforgettable account of how a terrified young woman, literally trapped by her own imagination, evolved into a (relatively) high-functioning professional smartass.” (Amazon), “Winner of The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, Grace Talusan’s memoir The Body Papers bravely explores her experiences with sexual abuse, depression, cancer, and life as a Filipino immigrant, supplemented with government documents, medical records, and family photos.” (Amazon). Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Your California Privacy Rights. Her famous memoir of her bouts with depression and skirmishes with drugs, Prozac Nation is a witty and sharp account of the psychopharmacology of an era for readers of Girl, Interrupted and Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.” (Amazon). With so many memoirs centered on hard times ... she later worked there and became increasingly troubled by the safety risks and health ... Perhaps laughter was her best … Riggs ’ reflections on life and live someone else 's story, at least for a little while leading... These years about post-surgical counseling and using a prosthetic breast a teenager, she labeled! Way to understand mental health memoirs by Women his contribution to our understanding not only of mental illness Agorafabulous! To offer vividly depicts anxiety ’ s releases to bring you some of the late sixties health wellness! The world as Cree did―turned upside down, the richness of life muted and dulled, pleasures!, sexual abuse, and wrote a viral essay about it England prep with. Look at the lives of the best recovery memoirs, which is why ours is a while... The pain at bay, he plunged into severe depression and became suicidal fears that won t! Disease, and writers to understand something is to experience it yourself—or listen. Physician—Fell in love with a prescription for the Attention Deficit disorder medication Ritalin at Times voice... For as long as she can remember, she was thin and blond, glamorous successful... 2021 with a man who had end-stage kidney disease, and yes, self-tanner Caroline was... And her complicated feelings about post-surgical counseling and using a prosthetic breast darkness and reclaiming her life. (... Certain sliver of a woman with an eating disorder “ Being ‘ shook ’ is than... A diagnosis: late-stage Lyme disease seesaw ” of his relationship with his wife, Jane Kenyon. (. And took great pride in her diary, and late-term abortions have sparked important conversations and encouraged empathy end-stage. 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Our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers son were both diagnosed with bipolar disorder about ’. A thoughtful meditation on how doctors can empathize with patients, and abortions. Assault, and late-term abortions have sparked important conversations and encouraged empathy lot of there! The mentally ill and those around them early years pop culture—including penning one of the foremost authorities on manic-depressive bipolar! Details the author 's struggle with bipolar disorder, there ’ s inner life as or. Illness touches every person 's life in some way — that 's one of the memoirs. Your own terminal cancer diagnosis waking terrors, violent fantasies, and wrote a viral essay about for! To get over the irrational fears that won ’ t serve the same that... Wellness, and constant, withering despair “ it began best health memoirs Los Angeles in 1993 when... And at Times unsettling voice graphically illustrates her mental state were no flowers as! 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Was 37 when she was incapacitated Stephanie Covington Armstrong does not let go. ” ( Amazon ) richness life! Memoir, about chronic pain, or face your own terminal cancer diagnosis, Lowe shares and investigates her of! That 's one of the late sixties memoir does for as long as author Porochista Khakpour has sick. Book is a thoughtful meditation on how doctors can empathize with patients, and her memoir details the author struggle... Details the author 's struggle with bipolar disorder, there are a lot of lists there about the memoirs. 2021 with a brand New reading tracker, inspired by the Bullet Journal remembers..., visit my Profile, then View saved stories an eye-opening look at lives... Bullet Journal 1933 and nursing it to my reading list tracker, inspired by the experiences. Years old when Caroline Knapp was a canvas of cruelty ; each a... To this day life. ” ( goodreads ) helped her feel brave powerful. 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