4 Best New Mental Health Books To Read in 2019

Mental health is a fundamental global issue.  More than 300 million people suffer from some type of mental health difficulty. In the United States, the National Institute of Mental Health classifies the condition as a common illness; one in five people receive treatment for a mental health disorder.

May’s designation as Mental Health Awareness Month brings attention to a vital overall health component. Despite a greater awareness on the importance of mental health, the stigma regarding seeking treatment for different conditions persists. Some sufferers stay silent, although there is a broader understanding of mood, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders. The fear of being stereotyped also isolates people seeking treatment. Discussing symptoms of the disorder causes discomfort or embarrassment.

 Despite the commonality of mental illness, a general struggle to understand mental disorders remains.  Thankfully, the publishing industry plays a vital role in drawing attention to mental health problems and disorders. 

Books on mental health topics evolved from the dark and grim subject of psychiatric hospitals depicted in Ken Kasey’s 1961 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest to the more intimate and compelling portrayal of alcoholism in Joyce Rebeta-Burditt’s 1977 novel,  The Cracker Factory.  By the 1990s, serious narratives like Kate Redfield Jamison’s An Unquiet Mind afforded a personal perspective on living with manic-depressive disorder. As a psychiatrist accepting a serious mental disorder, Jamison’s bipolar affective condition is an element and not the main theme in her personal and professional functions. In closing the gap between mental illness and wellness, the biographies reveal that coping with a mental health issue is part of the human condition. 

The current trend in mental health publications include memoirs of ordinary people who document experiences of mental health adversities and transformation. Additionally, this non-fiction category expands to include a guidebook on procrastination, posttraumatic stress issues for Iraqi war veterans, anda workbook on depression. Here are 4 best new mental health books to read in 2019 to start a conversation of mental health’s diverse issues.

Finding Fatima

By Tony Porfilio

Finding Fatima is an example of a biography that offers compassion, empathy, and hope to readers undergoing a major emotional crisis event.  Porfilio’s narrative is a moving and relevant account of the stressors encountered in the modern urban environment, where people complete multiple functions on a daily basis.   The coping mechanisms to maintain an emotional resiliency functioned for decades. Yet, the continuous work commitments made him question his essential human role. When a bad business venture costs Porfilio his life savings, a mental dissonance trigger turns his life chaotic.  He strives to maintain an outward appearance of normality. Nonetheless, the financial fallout continues to dominate his life. Porfilio finds the courage to confide in his best friend about the ongoing economic hardships affecting the author’s overall health.  In doing so, Porfilio starts the odyssey towards discovering a needed balance. By confiding in his family, Porfilio halts the downward spiral threatening to engulf his life. The turning point is the first step for the author to redefine his life.  Porfilio finds a new path along his learning journey that incorporates holistic life-lessons and accepts the full range of human emotions.

Procrastination: Mind Tricks, Mental Health, and Effective Ways to Overcome Procrastination and Get Stuff Done

By Jonathan Wilkens

Procrastination is a behavior most of us perform at some point in our lives. There are tasks we prefer avoiding. We do other menial functions to ignore completing the required assignment. Sometimes, we delay task completion until the last minute, when it becomes an urgent crisis.  An occasional instance of procrastination is acceptable. Procrastination becomes problematic when it turns into a chronic situation that controls every aspect of your life.

The detailed guidebook explains why we procrastinate and methods to overcome this behavior.  The author provides effective steps to stop procrastination any time we lose track of completing the required functions. Topics discussed include:

  • Procrastination basics
  • Procrastination’s real costs
  • Learning accountability
  • Productivity while procrastinating
  • Roadblocks that keep you procrastinating
  • Effective steps to end procrastination

Thank You for Your Service

By David Finkel

Journalist David Finkel provides a harrowing and vivid account of how 21st century war impacts the lives of soldiers and their families. Thank You for Your Service chronicles the lives of a group of U.S. soldiers’ often tragic reintegration into American society after fighting in the Iraq War.  The interconnected narratives impart the sobering reality of suffering from post-traumatic stress or the terrifying specter of enduring a traumatic brain injury.

For the ex-combatants, receiving adequate mental health treatment is one of the book’s most troubling aspects.  No matter the difficulties, veterans feel the pressure to appear mentally fit.  None feel the distress to pretend normality more than former serviceman, Adam Schumann.  He survives Iraq without physical injury.  Yet, his mental state is fragile as he struggles to perform basic daily functions. Finkel’s book brings needed attention to the stigma veterans feel about sharing psychological war-related issues when they return from combat duty.

The 10-Step Depression Relief Workbook

By Simon Rego, PsyD and Sara Fader

Co-author Sara Fader has personal experience with depression issues throughout her life.  With her familiarity on the topic and Dr. Rego’s extensive proficiency, the authors combine to create an accessible 10-chapter workbook that uses Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) that helps readers identify depressive symptoms and capacitates sufferers to take an active role in changing negative thought processes endemic to depression.  The 10-chapter workbook provides real-life examples identifiable to readers suffering from depression. Each section also includes useful homework exercises for further self-development and a summary of the chapter’s main points.

The authors also recommend incorporating a healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity to complement the practical and achievable CBT goals to treat depression.

The impending Book Expo America and Book Con spotlight many featured authors, including mentor, consultant, and artist, Tony Porfilio. Contact Agora Publishing for interviews and autograph sessions.


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