Here are two great graphic novels that deal with depression.
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh is not only one of the funniest things I’ve ever read, it has a section that covers depression. Not only does it cover depression, but it has one of the best descriptions of what it’s like to be depressed that I have ever read. And I say that as someone that works with a lot of depressed people. The narrative is gritty, hilarious, and heartbreaking. (It also has a great subtitle.)
Another terrific graphic novel is Marbles by Ellen Forney. A first-person narrative about her experience with bipolar disorder, Forney really conveys the journey — from denial, to diagnosis, and the ongoing frustration with managing the highs and lows, lapses in judgment, and getting her meds just right. Given everything that she went through, it’s encouraging she got it together to write the book.
For those of you in Los Angeles, why not stroll down to Secret Headquarters on Sunset Junction and pick up a copy of one or both?
It’s sometimes a comfort to sit down and read about others’ experience with depression. If you are depressed yourself, this can help reduce that feeling that you are so alone.
- Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns, M.D. Cover looks a little cheesy, but I’ve heard a couple of people swear by it, including graphic novelist Ellen Forney.
- An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison. A harrowing ride, made all the more inspiring by the author’s level of success.
- The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself From Chronic Unhappiness by Mark Williams and John Teasdale. Solid, practical, useful stuff. This is not a fluffy book.
- The Mindful Way Workbook. An 8-Week Program to Free Yourself from Depression and Emotional Distress by John D. Teasdale and Mark G. Williams. Not familiar with this book, but the authors’ previous work is very solid. Not just people hopping on the mindfulness bandwagon — they have been both researchers and clinicians.
- When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner. Helpful to accept the premise of this book.
- The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression by Dr. William J Knaus EdD and Albert Ellis PhD. Ellis is one of the founders of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
- The Wounded Heart by Dan B. Allender. Well reviewed on Amazon.
- The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression Without Drugs by Stephen S. Ilardi. If only it were so easy. Well reviewed, though.
- The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon. Atlas is the word. Comprehensive and brilliant.
- Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness by William Styron. By all accounts a moving, tour de force. An inside look at suicidal depression.