5 2019 mental health releases: part 1

Author: Wendy Tuxworth

There are a lot of mental health books being released in 2019, so we thought that we would highlight 5 nonfiction books that are coming out this year.

1. Jog On by Bella Mackie, released December 27th 2018 (close enough to 2019, okay?!)

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Divorced and struggling with deep-rooted mental health problems, Bella Mackie ended her twenties in tears. She could barely find the strength to get off the sofa, let alone piece her life back together. Until one day she did something she had never done of her own free will – she pulled on a pair of trainers and went for a run.

That first attempt didn’t last very long. But to her surprise, she was back out there the next day. And the day after that. She began to set herself achievable goals – to run 5k in under 30 minutes, to walk to work every day for a week, to attempt 10 push-ups in a row. Before she knew it, her mood was lifting for the first time in years.

In Jog On, Bella explains with hilarious and unfiltered honesty how she used running to battle crippling anxiety and depression, without having to sacrifice her main loves: booze, cigarettes and ice cream. With the help of a supporting cast of doctors, psychologists, sportspeople and friends, she shares a wealth of inspirational stories, research and tips that show how exercise often can be the best medicine. This funny, moving and motivational book will encourage you to say ‘jog on’ to your problems and get your life back on track – no matter how small those first steps may be.

I had the pleasure of reading an ARC of this book, and a review will be posted later this week!

2. Paper Cuts by Stephen Bernard, released February 22nd 2019

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With Paper Cuts, Stephen Bernard boldly tests the bounds of what a memoir can achieve. Living through the trauma of childhood abuse and mental illness, he writes to escape and confront, to accuse and explain.

Each morning when he wakes, Stephen Bernard must literally reconstruct his self: every night he writes himself a letter to be read the next day. The fractured, intensely personal narrative of Paper Cuts follows a single day in his life as he navigates a course through the effects of mania, medication and memories. The result is painful, unique and inspiring.

3. Brave Face by Shaun David Hutchinson, released May 21st 2019

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“I wasn’t depressed because I was gay. I was depressed and gay.”

Shaun David Hutchinson was nineteen. Confused. Struggling to find the vocabulary to understand and accept who he was and how he fit into a community in which he couldn’t see himself. The voice of depression told him that he would never be loved or wanted, while powerful and hurtful messages from society told him that being gay meant love and happiness weren’t for him.

A million moments large and small over the years all came together to convince Shaun that he couldn’t keep going, that he had no future. And so he followed through on trying to make that a reality.

Thankfully Shaun survived, and over time, came to embrace how grateful he is and how to find self-acceptance. In this courageous and deeply honest memoir, Shaun takes readers through the journey of what brought him to the edge, and what has helped him truly believe that it does get better.

4. My Shit Therapist by Michelle Thomas, released June 13th 2019

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When Michelle Thomas suffered her first major depressive episode in 2013, she read and watched and listened to everything she could get her immaculately-manicured hands on in an effort to fix herself. God,it was tedious. Painfully earnest, bone-dry material, that read more like messages of condolence than support. Frankly, it was depressing, which is the last thing she needed. Now, this is her riposte. My Shit Therapist is an honest account of living with mental illness, which mimics the frank, honest and – dare we say? – funny interactions Michelle has had with her friends and followers about madness, medication, and making the most of a misbehaving brain.

Michelle isn’t here to preach about a miraculous, scented-candles-and-yoga-retreats cure for your mental health problems. Instead, she draws on her own experience, and weaves through stories from her online community, to offer insight and support to fellow sufferers and those who know them.

From medication and therapy to mates and dates, this book offers advice and tricks to help you navigate the world and understand the social constructs that can contribute to mental ill health. It also shares the contents of Michelle’s mental health toolbox to show you how she prepares for the storm in moments of calm. Following in the footsteps of Mad Girl, Reasons To Stay Alive, and Remember This When You’re Sad, My Shit Therapist, is a fresh, fierce and funny addition to the ongoing conversation about mental health.

5. The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang, released February 5th 2019

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An intimate, moving book written with the immediacy and directness of one who still struggles with the effects of mental and chronic illness, The Collected Schizophrenias cuts right to the core. Schizophrenia is not a single unifying diagnosis, and Esmé Weijun Wang writes not just to her fellow members of the “collected schizophrenias” but to those who wish to understand it as well.

Opening with the journey toward her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, Wang discusses the medical community’s own disagreement about labels and procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness, and then follows an arc that examines the manifestations of schizophrenia in her life. In essays that range from using fashion to present as high-functioning to the depths of a rare form of psychosis, and from the failures of the higher education system and the dangers of institutionalization to the complexity of compounding factors such as PTSD and Lyme disease, Wang’s analytical eye, honed as a former lab researcher at Stanford, allows her to balance research with personal narrative. An essay collection of undeniable power, The Collected Schizophrenias dispels misconceptions and provides insight into a condition long misunderstood.

Did we miss a 2019 release? Email us at mindthepage@gmail.com.

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