Memoirs of Mental Illness

Psychology and mental illness are topics that have always interested me. I’ve always wanted to know why people do the things they do and what mental states have caused them to do those things. It’s a wonder that I never went to school for it since I read a lot of books that are either about mental illness or trying to psychoanalyze their choices. Maybe one day I’ll go back to school again for another degree and study it further. Until then, I prefer to read books about it.

Memoirs about mental illness are especially intriguing to me because the people writing them have either gone through the experience themselves or had a family member suffering through it and to read about it on a personal level rather than a professional looking in on it is always pulls me down the rabbit hole.

With that being said, here are some true stories of mental illness that have found their way onto my to read shelf:

  1. My lovely Wife in the Psych Ward by Mark Lukach
  2. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
  3. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan
  4. Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia by Marya Hornbacher
  5. Sybil: The Classic True Story of a Woman Possessed by 16 Personalities by Flora Rheta Schreiber
  6. When Rabbit Howls by Truddi Chase
  7. Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back to My Mother, Anne Sexton by Linda Gray Sexton
  8. Her by Christa Parravani

7 thoughts on “Memoirs of Mental Illness

  1. I found your blog post through Lynette! 🙂 Thanks so much for writing about memoirs of mental illness!

    My memoir “Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder” is the first memoir written about this unusual form of bipolar disorder/perinatal mood & anxiety disorder. It has been endorsed by Mark Lukach (I’m glad you’ll be reading his book!), Kay Redfield Jamison (author of the classic memoir “An Unquiet Mind”) and other amazing authors and medical experts. I’m excited it’s going to be published in October by Post Hill Press, and it’s on Amazon now for paperback pre-sales.

    I hope you find all the books you mentioned on your “to read” list to be outstanding ones. I haven’t read #2 – 8 yet , but I read Mark’s book and it was a poignant, worthwhile read.


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