30 Day Mental Illness Awareness Challenge: Day 19

Day 19: Have you ever read a self-help book or a book related to psychology?  What is your opinion on them?  If you have read them do you have a favorite?

My opinion on self help/psychology books be would the same as any book. There are good and bad ones, some will add to your life and others will do nothing to it. It all depends on the reader.

Probably my favourite thing about self help books is that they’re there for you when person-to-person treatment is not. You don’t have to wait 6 months to a year for a book (maybe there is a little wait if you use the library) and for the most part they are way more affordable then majority of treatments available.

I also think self help books are a great way to try out a certain type of therapy before committing to it (which could be another financial hassle). I tried a self help book based on CBT and hated it. I found one of DBT and fell in love with it. It only cost me $20 to figure that out instead of over $200 paying for sessions.

Self help books are for certain readers though. You do need to be in a fairly insightful and stable place since you are embarking on the journey alone. On the other hand, I know of many people who use self help books with their therapists and have found that to be a positive experience. Still, I think self help books are a great resource and great alternative to in person treatment.

My favourite!

Keep in mind that if the book is too difficult or is causing you unnecessary pain, PLEASE STOP READING!!!

Some of my favourite self help books are:

The Hurt Yourself Less Workbook (Free PDF here)

The Healing Choice (Post Abortion Self Help Book)

The Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Workbook

Wreck This Journal

The Happy Book

Pride in Madness has a Self Help Book category that shows you some of the work I have done in different self help books, including two I have mentioned above.


7 thoughts on “30 Day Mental Illness Awareness Challenge: Day 19

  1. We love to read! Thanks for the list, they might be some of our next library trip choices!

    Because for 40 years of our life, all we knew was how to be abused so when i started group T, she said to get this book called, “why does he do that”. we first read it because we were in a bad marriage, then when out, we read it again, to see other people in it (bosses, parents, etc.), then self reflection on the third read. We learned about red flags in other people, as well as how to be a better friend to others and ourselves. i think i need to read it again. i have shared this book with many and almost all agree, it was helpful.

    We read “the sociopath next door”, that was an eye opener to most of the men i grew up with and dated and married one. seeing unsafe people is really important to me/us. when i remarried, he was a real man; he had no desire to hurt me, he wanted only to see me grow and fall in love with life. he (and the help of this book) helped me see that there are safe and good people (not perfect) out there!

    mostly i journal, take it to T and then go over it. ow mostly learning to accept things as they are; i can’t change a thing in the past, i don’t know my future, so i try to stay present and not worry about uncontrollable things (easier said then done). i go from trying so hard to ‘fix’ me, then give up cause i realize, i cannot be ‘fixed’. acceptance is the only thing i can do and succeed at if i am diligent.

    like i said, i love to read, but mostly it is to escape the noise in my head. self help books take a lot of thought/reflection. maybe i should try harder . . . maybe not, maybe just say “i am who I am”. and try to be happy with that. it is a constant argument. 🙂

    • I read to escape too.

      I’ve downloaded “Why Does He Do That”. I think it’s a book I need to read.

      Some books I’ve read on feminism and other topics have also changed how I viewed myself, others and life in general. “Outdated: Why Dating is Ruining Your Love Life” really helped me think about why I want to get married, if marriage is actually for me and just gave me a more critical lens to relationships.

      • as you know, my husband died a few years ago. dating~~hard to think about it. i’ve been married twice, a third time reeely sounds horrible to me! my problem is, i give too much of myself and forget who i am and what values i hold dear. seems marriage and even dating have that kind of strong hold on me and i don’t like that, so i purposely stay single now. friendship with my gf is what i desire now~my gay friends too. as long as i don’t feel a threat that i might have to ‘perform’ somehow. i have to be me. in dating you put on your best face, you smile a lot, you go out to dinner, you get to know each other, and don’t forget, SEX! men my age (over 50). Hard to be pc here. most men over 50 can’t get it up without drugs, and they make it a big deal, like getting hard it is what makes the relationship great. Fellas, if you are listening, yes, sex is nice, i will not argue, however/BUT it is a very small part of the relationship. for me at least it is. What i need in a man is almost impossible to find. I even went on MATCH.COM and they said there were no matches. haha!!! PICKY!!! my late husband was a gem.

        i get lost in relationships, even in my best most wonderful marriage, i still got lost in care-giving. his needs trumped mine (as they needed to be) but now, my needs are most important. i cannot give anything else to anyone else because i have nothing to offer. staying afloat is all i can do or i will drown.

        books I read for pleasure have been written by Barbra Kingsolver. Bean Tree, Poisonwood Bible and more. also love Jo-Ann Mapson’s Bad Girl Creek and the one after it i’ve not read yet but it is next, Goodbye Earl. I like mysteries too, Elizabeth George and many others.

        I am doing a study/self help book with my T called “Amongst Ourselves by Tracy Alderman and Karen Marshall for people with or are interested in learning about DID (dissociative Identity disorder). But i will tell ya, i don’t like it. it is a good book, but i really fight it for some reason. i guess i fight being labeled; reading and changing is hard, especially at my age. I just want to live my life and not be bothered with anyone’s bs. kinda funny. in the old days, in my 20’s, 30’s and even 40’s, i had drive to be better, to succeed! now, i couldn’t care less about much of anything. i just want to hold up in a quiet place and read, pet my dog, take walks, etc. the thought of responsibility sets me into a deadly panic.

      • Relationships are hard, especially if you come with “baggage” that can get in the way. I also lose myself when I go into relationships and I’ve also come to realize that I try and be the controller since so many of my relationships were about control and not love.

        I think single is good. But, I say this as someone who has never been single for long due to my constant need for validation….ugh

        I’m interested in Amongst Ourselves. I admit that I know little about DID. I just accept it for what it is but there are many disorders that do not get the same spotlight as depression, anxiety, and bipolar so it is up to us to educate ourselves!

  2. You are a fantastic resource! This is such important stuff to impart. In my work as a therapist I have done any number of things with these books with regard to suggesting a certain one or working through one with clients. My favorite book for parents of children with anxiety disorders is “The Anxiety Cure for Kids: A Guide for Parents”, by Elizabeth DuPont Spencer, Robert L. DuPont, Caroline M. DuPont. It gives parents the heads up on my work with their kids and helps them to reinforce it at home.
    Thanks for a great read!

  3. Pingback: Why Does He Do That? | Pride in Madness

  4. I have a few self help books, and I have read them all, my biggest issue is not fully understanding them (learning disability issues) on my own and putting the information into practice which is where I struggle. I do best when self help books are in conjunction with a professional who can guide me through it and explain things when I have trouble understanding what something means.

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