Mind & Body – Mental Health and Mindfulness

Focus on: Mental Health
The Chemistry of Calm: A Powerful, Drug-Free Plan to Quiet Your Fears and…
by Henry Emmons

Anxiety disorders affect millions of people, but even stressed-out individuals who haven’t been diagnosed may find The Chemistry of Calm helpful. Using a process called Resilience Training, psychiatrist Henry Emmons teaches anxiety sufferers how to manage their moods and prevent recurrences of anxiety. Emmons believes that while medication can help in extreme cases, many of us could benefit considerably from lifestyle changes such as a healthier diet, nutritional supplements, more exercise, and mindfulness meditation. In this book, he presents a multimodal approach that “reinforces a sweetly generous and drug-free way to tame the wild mind within” (Publishers Weekly).

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me
by Ellen Forney

Award-winning cartoonist Ellen Forney learned that she had bipolar disorder just before she turned 30. In Marbles, she chronicles her illness and treatment while relating accounts of other creative people throughout history who were mentally ill. She explores various concerns, including whether medicines dull creativity, the costs of treatment, and limitations on health insurance coverage. She also shows how the right combination of therapies really did make her life better. Using eye-catching black and white drawings, she vividly contrasts her inner depressive and manic states with her outer life. This is a witty, insightful, and informative look at mental illness.

Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him
by Luis Carlos Montalván

Meet Luis Montalván, a decorated war veteran with devastating physical and psychological pain. And meet Tuesday, a golden retriever trained as a service dog, who transformed Montalván’s life. Author Montalván had cut himself off from family and friends and could barely keep himself alive until Tuesday came into his life. In this “gripping, timely, and poignant” account (Booklist), Montalván details both the challenges he faced after returning from Iraq and the resistance he encountered while seeking assistance. He also makes crystal clear the benefits of service dogs to people with mental illness. Readers interested in various aspects of mental illness, especially PTSD, will find Until Tuesday both informative and inspiring. The picture book version, Tuesday Tucks Me In, offers an engaging photographic account of Tuesday’s work.

The Insanity Offense: How America’s Failure to Treat the Seriously Mentally Ill…
by E. Fuller Torrey

In the 1960s, deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill became popular both with governments trying to save money and advocates for patients’ rights. As a result, thousands of people with severe psychiatric disorders were left without recourse. Many were and still are a danger to themselves and others, and several have committed mass shootings. In The Insanity Offense, psychiatrist Fuller Torrey argues that major policy changes are necessary, providing case studies and statistics-based analyses of deinstitutionalization’s effects to support his contentions. He offers clear, though not simple, solutions in this “chilling and well documented” (Publishers Weekly) book.

The 10 Best-Ever Depression Management Techniques: Understanding…
by Margaret Wehrenberg

If you’re struggling with depression — whether or not you’re seeing a therapist or taking medication — this guide offers “excellent step-by-step suggestions” (Library Journal) that can help you take control and change your life for the better. In addition, there’s a meticulous description of how the brain and its chemical processes (and the medications that address these) affect emotions. While author and licensed psychologist Margaret Wehrenberg does recommend talk therapy, she also offers guidance to those who may not have access to it, detailing ten specific techniques that lead from “Identify Triggers” to “Learn to Live Fully.”

List created 6/6/16 – James Hartmann

Adapted from Nextreads.

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