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Helpful books and resources

Kazzl
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi everyone

Members often refer in their posts to books and other resources that have helped them. This thread is a place to list those books so all members can find them easily.

The titles might include scholarly, mass market and self-help books, specialist websites or blogs, podcasts, vodcasts or print or online journals or magazines. Please note BB has a list of websites and resources under Get Help, so maybe check there first for online resources. (Also note that we cannot include live links to online resources.)

To make things easy to find, please put the category of the content first in bold, then the title of the book and then, if you want, a brief comment.

Please note that anything listed here reflects the member's views only. Publications and other resources are not necessarily endorsed by beyondblue.

Happy reading!

103 Replies 103

Kazzl
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Right, I'll kick off:

Cognitive behavioural therapy - Change your thinking, by Dr Sarah Edelman, published 2002 by ABC Books. (Australian author). A comprehensive but very readable guide to using CBT techniques yourself to overcome stress and self-defeating behaviour. Big sections on anxiety and depression.

Neuroplasticity - The brain that changes itself, by Dr Norman Doidge, published 2008, in Australia by Scribe Publications. (US author). THE book that brought world attention to this frontier area of neuroscience. Brilliant, easy to read and very engaging.

Bipolar disorder - The bipolar diet. Managing mood, food and weight, by Sarah Freeman, self-published and available online. (US author). Gaining weight is a very common and annoying issue for people on mood stabilisers. This book has excellent advice. Only problem is, just reading it doesn't make you lose weight. Think you actually have to do what it says. 😄

Bipolar disorder - Agents in my brain. How I survived manic depression, by Bill Hannon, published 1997 by Carus Publishing Company, (US author). One person's story, and what a story! The title refers to delusion of persecution, quite common amongst people with bipolar 1. I found this book fascinating, funny, gut-wrenching, terribly sad, and very hopeful all at once. A good read. It's an oldie and probably out of print but if you find it in an op shop, buy it.

Cheers

Kaz

Thank you Kaz, a great idea. Can you wait a couple of hours while I download my library?

Depression and Anxiety There is a series of books about IT, anxiety, and can relate equally to depression. They are small, cheap and easy to read, even funny in places. I found them hugely helpful when the Black Dog came calling.

The author is Bev Aisbett.
Living with IT
Living IT up
Letting IT go
Taming the Black Dog
All worthwhile reading on the bus or train, but don't be fooled by the light treatment from the author. She has some very powerful messages for you.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Reinventing Your Life by Jeffrey E Young & Janet S Klosko. My copy was printed in 1994 so there may be an updated version. It's a basic but comprehensive guide to CBT. Worthwhile for those just getting going with CBT. There is another book by these authors on a similar theme. Unfortunately I cannot remember the title.

Feeling Good by David D Burns. This was recommended to me by a psychiatrist many years ago. I think it's still relevant and easy to read.

People Skills by Robert Bolton. Not exactly CBT but close. Again an oldie but goodie.

For the Oldies in our midst and I include myself here.
The Gift of Years by Joan Chittister​. This about finding your niche, or possibly redefining your niche in society and family once you retire from the workforce. Basically it asks the question, what have you got to offer to the world once you age. You no longer have a formal role in society but you have the many years of experience to offer to the next generations. Your role is to guide and mentor, demonstrate your learning and pass on all the good stuff.

Falling Upward by Richard Rohr. This is similar to the book above. The theme is the same. Rohr writes in a very different style to Chittister. His writing is dense and takes a while to plough through. Great stuff but harder to read and definitely not on the bus.

Fiction
A Question of Integrity by Susan Howatch​. Only read this if you like being challenged. It is a fictional story but the various dilemma's are those we all struggle with. Do you have a moral compass and how well does it work?

Biography
Salvation Creek by Susan Duncan​. It reads like fiction at first but be assured this is a true story. How do you manage loss and grief? What keeps you going? How do you bring yourself back to life?

I hope someone will find this selection of value. Kaz, are asking for comments on books people have read on this thread?

Mary

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Kaz~

Greetings. This area looks like a pretty good idea.

I'd like to include a book dealing with the efficacy of a specific drug in the treatment of depression (the author is a qualified Australian psychiatrist).

Given the Community Rules prohibit 'reference to specific prescription medication names' would it be acceptable to cite the book here?

Dear White Rose~

Would you consider including a book you mentioned, concerning highly sensitive people, here? On my 2nd reading I'm finding even more of use to me - and also my partner.

Thanks

Croix

Kazzl
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Croix, thanks for joining in here. Does the title of the book include the name of the drug? If not then that's fine. If it does then best not to post it due to the community rules.

Cheers

Kaz

Hello Croix

More than happy to list this book and another I would put in the same genre.

Self Help Books
Highly Sensitive People in an Insensitive World by Ilse Sand. Before you all throw up at the notion of 'sensitive' people let me explain. This is not a description of a poor helpless person claiming the need to be cared for because the world is too harsh. That's what I always took the comment to mean. How is it different to shyness or introversion? It describes those folk, who can be introverts or extroverts, that register more nuances of speech and actions than others. The inputs they receive go deeper into their systems. They have a great imagination and lively inner world, which means that inputs and impressions received from outside can trigger a multitude of concepts, associations and thoughts. People whose 'hard drive' is quickly filled and become over-stimulated. When this happens, which is more quickly than for other people, they need to withdraw, to find quietness and recharge their energy. Even good inputs, to quote the author, can become over-stimulating. Being highly sensitive, they find it hard to take things lightly; their threshold for pain is low and they suffer more than others when their surroundings are difficult for them. There's a lot more than this brief sketch. If you recognise any of the 'symptoms' in yourself then read the book. Apparently about one fifth of the populations has this attribute.

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. I think many of you already know this author. The subtitle of the book says, Let go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. Good advice for most of us. The book cover tells us Brown is a research professor on vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame. Pretty big topics and I am sure again many of us will relate to them. I recommend it. Incidentally it was brought to my attention by someone posting on BB who tells me his psychiatrist recommended the book to him.

Both of these are worthwhile reading. Try your local library first, as I did. If you like the books and want to reread them you can then buy a copy. It's a good habit to keep an eye on op shops. They have the most unexpected books on their shelves for a fraction of the new price.

Mary

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Kaz

I'm afraid it does so I'll go no further.

Thanks

Croix

MsPurple
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi everyone. Good thread idea. I have some books I really like. They have some topics like depression, PTSD, eating disorder etc. Some fiction some non-fiction however they are all story based so I find it easier to read. Kinda makes me feel like someone relates to me which I find helpful

-So much to tell you - John Marsden

-I hate myselife AND It gets worse - both by Shane Dawson

-the order of the phoenix - JK Rowling (feeling of loneliness and PTSD)

MarkJT
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Kaz, a couple of books that i have really enjoyed reading:

The Price of Bravery: Book by former NSW Police Officer, Allann Sparkes telling his story of PTSD triggering events and his recovery.

Exit Wounds: Book by former ADF Member General John Cantwell. Much like Allan's book, it goes through his triggering events and how he is coping with them.

I found both of these highly inspirational and reinforcing that I am not alone in my journey. I clicked with these also as they are from policing (like me) and military, which has similarities to policing in respect to PTSD.

Great thread.

Mark.

Kazzl
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Thanks Mary, MsPurple and Mark. Personal stories can be so powerful, and how great that former police and military officers can open up about their experiences.

A few good online resources:

Bipolar disorder: Bipolar Burble - www.natashatracy.com

My favourite bipolar writer (US). She has bipolar and writes about it from both a personal and general 'consumer' viewpoint. Reading Natasha's blog helped me enormously to accept my disorder and learn to live with it. She also writes for the Huffington Post.

General mental health:

Psychiatric Times - www.psychiatrictimes.com. This is a professional publication for psychiatrists but easy to read and has very good articles on a wide variety of topics.

Psychology Today - www.psychologytoday.com. Basically as above but for psychologists. Good articles, broad content.