The 10 Best Books About Overcoming Depression

Life can be very challenging at times. It is its nature for a person to face several hurdles throughout the course of their life, some of them being bigger than others. Who among us has not been down in the dumps because of a certain problem we were trying to overcome in our life?

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In fact, anybody who has achieved success in life would tell you that overcoming hurdles in life is what makes you stronger, and you would not be able to advance in life without them. Now, this statement holds true for the most part. Depending on the magnitude of the challenge a person is facing, it can have different effects on your life.

For example, a person will not cope with the loss materialistic goods the same way they would cope with the loss of a dear one! It is easier to come to terms with the former than it is with the latter. Even though human beings are built to overcome adversities in life, some of them could affect you a lot worse than others, and it could take more time to cope with them.

In such situations, people could go through a state of dejection and anxiety due to the uncertainty of what the future holds for them. This state could also be described as depression. Now, there are many ways to go about tackling depression, and reading the books listed below would be a great way to gain some knowledge on this topic.

1. Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

A majority of the readers who gave this book a read found it to be extremely relatable because its author, Jenny Lawson, used her own life experiences to point out the challenges people face due to terrible upbringings, and uses a lot of crude humor about certain tough situations she has been through in her life to get her point across.

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The constant laughs provided by Lawson in this book help change your mood for the better, which is a great start to tackling depression If you consider yourself to be suffering from mental illness, do not hesitate to let Lawson take you on a journey of self-realization that will help you realize what you are doing wrong that is bringing on the feeling of depression, and how you can escape the shackles of dejection in order to live a happier, healthier life.

2. David D. Burns’s Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

In a world where everybody is turning to pharmaceutical means to help treat their problems, be it mental or physical, Dr. Burns takes a completely different approach to helping people deal with their mental distress.

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Being a very successful psychiatrist has given Dr. Burns the opportunity to work with a lot of patients dealing with depression and other mental issues, and he has based this book on his tried and true method of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which is a way of analyzing why certain thoughts occur in your mind, and changing them so that you can start developing the habit of thinking more positively.

In this method of tackling depression, you take a look at what is causing the negative thoughts that keep occurring in your mind, and learn to substitute them with more positive thoughts, which will change your whole outlook in life.

3. Kay Redfield Jamison’s An Unquiet Mind

This book takes a more unorthodox approach to helping its readers out. Instead of talking about how to cure the problem of depression, the author, Kay Redfield Jamison, who is a manic depressive herself, presents this book in the form of a memoir.

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By discussing all the factors that drove her towards a depressive state and how she spent her teenage years battling this condition, she gives the reader a chance to compare their lives to hers and check for the factors or analysts of their depression.

This way, they can work on improving their thought process and bring more positivity into their lives. This may not be a book with all the answers, but the author’s life story is truly an eye-opening one that will help any reader pinpoint the weaknesses in their lives and work on them.

4. Anchor Books’ When Bad Things Happen to Good People

This book will help its readers look at life from a whole new perspective. The author, Rabbi Harold S. Kushner wrote this book to portray the challenges in life he faced after learning that his son suffered from a degenerative disease, that would most likely take his life before he entered adulthood.

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With stories based on staying courageous and facing extreme challenges in life, this book is designed to help people face their problems in life head-on, no matter what cards life has dealt you. It will help its readers develop enough mental strength to move on from even the toughest challenges in life.

If a father could cope with the fact that he was going to lose his son in a matter of years, any reader can surely use the knowledge he shares in this book to overcome any challenge life throws their way.

5. Russ Harris’ The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living: A Guide to ACT

As discussed in this book, there are just so many people out there who start their pursuit of happiness and end up in a loop of misery and depression.

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If this is such a common outcome, is it possible that there is some sort of similarity in the mistaken routes that people choose in their respective pursuits?

The author of this book discusses a method known as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, which is a way of training yourself to live according to what you believe is right, regardless of how distressed you may be.

It is a way of training your mind to function according to how you dictate it to. It is a great book for anybody who is looking to get a hold over their life, since that is exactly what the author is trying to help you do.

6. Kelly Brogan's A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives

In this book, Dr. Brogan addresses one of the most obvious things about depression.

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She does not consider depression to be a disease, but simply a symptom of a lifestyle crisis that requires a reset. There are many people who fall into depressions not necessarily because they are not happy enough in life, but simply because they feel like they can be a lot happier.

Since they are not really jobless, they feel the need to move forward in life, without being able to address their depressed state. So, what do they do? Take anti-depressants.

This remedy to depression is chosen by millions of people around the world, who are unaware of the fact that their medication is actually weakening their body’s ability to deal with such situations on its own.

This book helps you tackle depression by hitting the ‘reset’ button, and getting your body’s systems back in proper condition, so that you have the ability to deal with your problems on your own, without having to depend on medication.

7. Mark Williams’s The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness

In this book, Mark Williams encourages the reader to take a good, hard look at themselves to figure out what is wrong.

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More often than not, a person going through depression underestimates their own ability to deal with the issue, and immediately turns to either professional help or pharmaceuticals. What this book does is remind you that you are more than capable of guiding yourself through the fight against depression.

It is not a guide through depression. It is simply a guide that will help you build a strong base of knowledge that will help you cope with your mental issues.

8. Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Racing to the Finish: My Story

This is probably the most emotional book on this list, as it is about the struggles that professional stock car racing driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. went through during the course of his career, and the tough decisions he had to make towards its end.

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Having lost his father to the sport, and having suffered multiple concussions throughout his career, Earnhardt was aware of how dangerous his job was. Getting hurt on Sunday and hurting throughout the week, just to work again on the weekend had become a painful routine for him.

Choosing his health over his career may have been the obvious choice, but it was not the easiest one to make. This book addresses people who suffer from depression due to factors such as, in his case, an identity crisis.

He talks about how to come to terms with even the toughest decisions you have to make, and the importance of doing so in order to live a happy and healthy life going forward!

9. Stephen S. Ilardi’s The Depression Cure: The 6- Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs

Similar to a couple of other books on this list, Stephen Ilardi uses this book to stress on the fact that medication is not the primary solution to depression.

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Depression does not always indicate a deep, underlying pain caused by an unforeseen circumstance. Depression can be caused simply because our bodies are naturally not designed to cope with the amount of stress that it is put through, especially for people who lead a busy lifestyle in the 21st century.

Laying out his plan into 6 components, Ilardi is using an approach known as Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) which uses techniques used by the aboriginals back in the day! You would be surprised by the number of minor things in your life that are actually depressants, and by addressing their importance in your life, you will be able to move past them, and work towards treating your depression on your own.

10. Andrew Solomon’s The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression

This critically-acclaimed book takes a look at some of the main moments in an individual’s life that could trigger a feeling of depression, and discusses the modern techniques used to overcome this condition.

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This award-winning author encourages us to take a journey through not only our own lives but look at the problems among other family members that could have been responsible for you feeling the way you do.

While considering a wide range of factors connected to an individual’s depressive state, the author does focus on one thing that every person must have: hope. They must have hope that no matter how tough the process will be, they will eventually overcome the depression, and live a happier life!

Conclusion

Depression is a very serious problem in the world we live in today. As mentioned in Stephen Ilardi’s book our bodies are simply not designed to endure the kind of stress that we are expected to put our bodies through on a daily basis.

Other than these obvious causes of depression, we can also be faced with unforeseen circumstances that could throw our lives into a loop of sadness and hopelessness. In such situations, there are three things we can do:
1) We could seek professional help i.e. consult with a psychiatrist,
2) We could take medication, such as anti-depressants, or
3) We could try to cope with the depression on out own.

In case somebody was to tackle their depression on their own; reading good books is by itself therapeutic, and they could consider reading up and grasping the vast amount of knowledge available in the books listed above.

All you have to remember is that you are more than capable of solving your own issues, and you must never underestimate the power of your mind in such situations!
About author
Vijay Janardhan
My name is Vijay Janardhan. I am the Chief Editor at BookRabbit, a software engineer with a deep love for reading. I have read hundreds of books, most of them non-fiction & self help oriented. I have a diploma in journalism and love to write and develop websites.

I have special interest in researching about nutrition and health. I like to keep learning, and in 2017, I also completed Diplomas in Nursing and Human Nutrition. I have experience in documenting cancer research papers and simplifying clinical studies for the masses.

Currently working with 2 Nutrition Scientists on a book that aims to simplify the documented clinical studies on health & nutrition and give actionable quick options to readers who want to improve their health.

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