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5 Must-Read Mental Health Awareness Books

1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year.

These adults are friends, mothers and fathers and spouses. They work beside you and bag your groceries. They may suffer in silence or proudly share stories of triumph over their disease. Even though more than 43 million Americans endure mental illness, the stigma surrounding diagnosis and treatment of the disease is real.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, works to fight the stigma of mental illness by encouraging individuals to educate themselves through books, movies and essays on what it means to live with a mental illness. Here are a handful of selections about the struggles and hopes of those living with mental illness from the NAMI bookshelf.

A Mother's Climb Out Of Darkness: A Story about Overcoming Postpartum Psychosis

by Jennifer H. Moyer

“In this memoir Jennifer Hentz Moyer tells the story of her journey with postpartum psychosis. Following the birth of her son Jennifer struggles with the often misunderstood disease and its symptoms including insomnia, irrational fear, distrust and delusion.”

The Price of Silence: A Mom’s Perspective on Mental Illness

By Liza Long

“In her book Liza Long tells the story of children with mental illness and disabilities and the families who struggle against problems such as limited financial resources, difficulty obtaining diagnoses and policies that do not allow early intervention, giving rise to what Long describes as a “school-to-prison pipeline.” "

Unhinged: A Memoir of Enduring, Surviving and Overcoming Family Mental Illness

By Anna Berry

"Unhinged captures how the author, Anna Berry, is able to break free from the cycle of mental instability, and masterfully chronicles her family’s story. The story tells of Berry’s own amazing recovery and her ongoing fight to help her family members who still struggle"

My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind

By Scott Stossel

"Scott Stossel’s book is about the “history, literature, philosophy, religion, popular culture and recent scientific research” of anxiety. The stories which he shares range from heart breaking recollections of his great-grandfather, who was committed to the famous McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., to some seemingly bizarre treatments Stossel has faced."

Discover more mental health awareness books at NAMI's website.

If you or a loved one is silently suffering from mental illness, UF Health Psychiatry experts are here to help. Our physicians are faculty members at the University of Florida, expertly trained and certified by the American Board in Psychiatry to provide patients with consultations, evaluations and treatments as well as a wide variety of services. Call 352.265.4357 or fill out a form to make an appointment. For inpatient options, call 352.265.5481. 

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Amanda Austin

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Amanda manages UF Health's Facebook and Twitter accounts, and curates information about healthy and wellness, health industry news, and updates on UF Health research....Read More

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