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Forums / Staying well / Helpful books and resources

Topic: Helpful books and resources

  1. Kazzl
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    18 December 2016

    Hi everyone

    Members often refer in their posts to books and other resources that have helped them. This thread is a place to list those books so all members can find them easily.

    The titles might include scholarly, mass market and self-help books, specialist websites or blogs, podcasts, vodcasts or print or online journals or magazines. Please note BB has a list of websites and resources under Get Help, so maybe check there first for online resources. (Also note that we cannot include live links to online resources.)

    To make things easy to find, please put the category of the content first in bold, then the title of the book and then, if you want, a brief comment.

    Please note that anything listed here reflects the member's views only. Publications and other resources are not necessarily endorsed by beyondblue.

    Happy reading!

    3 people found this helpful
  2. Kazzl
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    18 December 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Right, I'll kick off:

    Cognitive behavioural therapy - Change your thinking, by Dr Sarah Edelman, published 2002 by ABC Books. (Australian author). A comprehensive but very readable guide to using CBT techniques yourself to overcome stress and self-defeating behaviour. Big sections on anxiety and depression.

    Neuroplasticity - The brain that changes itself, by Dr Norman Doidge, published 2008, in Australia by Scribe Publications. (US author). THE book that brought world attention to this frontier area of neuroscience. Brilliant, easy to read and very engaging.

    Bipolar disorder - The bipolar diet. Managing mood, food and weight, by Sarah Freeman, self-published and available online. (US author). Gaining weight is a very common and annoying issue for people on mood stabilisers. This book has excellent advice. Only problem is, just reading it doesn't make you lose weight. Think you actually have to do what it says. 😄

    Bipolar disorder - Agents in my brain. How I survived manic depression, by Bill Hannon, published 1997 by Carus Publishing Company, (US author). One person's story, and what a story! The title refers to delusion of persecution, quite common amongst people with bipolar 1. I found this book fascinating, funny, gut-wrenching, terribly sad, and very hopeful all at once. A good read. It's an oldie and probably out of print but if you find it in an op shop, buy it.

    Cheers

    Kaz

    1 person found this helpful
  3. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
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    18 December 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Thank you Kaz, a great idea. Can you wait a couple of hours while I download my library?

    Depression and Anxiety There is a series of books about IT, anxiety, and can relate equally to depression. They are small, cheap and easy to read, even funny in places. I found them hugely helpful when the Black Dog came calling.

    The author is Bev Aisbett.
    Living with IT
    Living IT up
    Letting IT go
    Taming the Black Dog
    All worthwhile reading on the bus or train, but don't be fooled by the light treatment from the author. She has some very powerful messages for you.

    Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
    Reinventing Your Life by Jeffrey E Young & Janet S Klosko. My copy was printed in 1994 so there may be an updated version. It's a basic but comprehensive guide to CBT. Worthwhile for those just getting going with CBT. There is another book by these authors on a similar theme. Unfortunately I cannot remember the title.

    Feeling Good by David D Burns. This was recommended to me by a psychiatrist many years ago. I think it's still relevant and easy to read.

    People Skills by Robert Bolton. Not exactly CBT but close. Again an oldie but goodie.

    For the Oldies in our midst and I include myself here.
    The Gift of Years by Joan Chittister​. This about finding your niche, or possibly redefining your niche in society and family once you retire from the workforce. Basically it asks the question, what have you got to offer to the world once you age. You no longer have a formal role in society but you have the many years of experience to offer to the next generations. Your role is to guide and mentor, demonstrate your learning and pass on all the good stuff.

    Falling Upward by Richard Rohr. This is similar to the book above. The theme is the same. Rohr writes in a very different style to Chittister. His writing is dense and takes a while to plough through. Great stuff but harder to read and definitely not on the bus.

    Fiction
    A Question of Integrity by Susan Howatch​. Only read this if you like being challenged. It is a fictional story but the various dilemma's are those we all struggle with. Do you have a moral compass and how well does it work?

    Biography
    Salvation Creek by Susan Duncan​. It reads like fiction at first but be assured this is a true story. How do you manage loss and grief? What keeps you going? How do you bring yourself back to life?

    I hope someone will find this selection of value. Kaz, are asking for comments on books people have read on this thread?

    Mary

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Croix
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    18 December 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Dear Kaz~

    Greetings. This area looks like a pretty good idea.

    I'd like to include a book dealing with the efficacy of a specific drug in the treatment of depression (the author is a qualified Australian psychiatrist).

    Given the Community Rules prohibit 'reference to specific prescription medication names' would it be acceptable to cite the book here?

    Dear White Rose~

    Would you consider including a book you mentioned, concerning highly sensitive people, here? On my 2nd reading I'm finding even more of use to me - and also my partner.

    Thanks

    Croix

  5. Kazzl
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    18 December 2016 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix, thanks for joining in here. Does the title of the book include the name of the drug? If not then that's fine. If it does then best not to post it due to the community rules.

    Cheers

    Kaz

    1 person found this helpful
  6. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
    4932 posts
    18 December 2016 in reply to Croix

    Hello Croix

    More than happy to list this book and another I would put in the same genre.

    Self Help Books
    Highly Sensitive People in an Insensitive World by Ilse Sand. Before you all throw up at the notion of 'sensitive' people let me explain. This is not a description of a poor helpless person claiming the need to be cared for because the world is too harsh. That's what I always took the comment to mean. How is it different to shyness or introversion? It describes those folk, who can be introverts or extroverts, that register more nuances of speech and actions than others. The inputs they receive go deeper into their systems. They have a great imagination and lively inner world, which means that inputs and impressions received from outside can trigger a multitude of concepts, associations and thoughts. People whose 'hard drive' is quickly filled and become over-stimulated. When this happens, which is more quickly than for other people, they need to withdraw, to find quietness and recharge their energy. Even good inputs, to quote the author, can become over-stimulating. Being highly sensitive, they find it hard to take things lightly; their threshold for pain is low and they suffer more than others when their surroundings are difficult for them. There's a lot more than this brief sketch. If you recognise any of the 'symptoms' in yourself then read the book. Apparently about one fifth of the populations has this attribute.

    The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. I think many of you already know this author. The subtitle of the book says, Let go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. Good advice for most of us. The book cover tells us Brown is a research professor on vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame. Pretty big topics and I am sure again many of us will relate to them. I recommend it. Incidentally it was brought to my attention by someone posting on BB who tells me his psychiatrist recommended the book to him.

    Both of these are worthwhile reading. Try your local library first, as I did. If you like the books and want to reread them you can then buy a copy. It's a good habit to keep an eye on op shops. They have the most unexpected books on their shelves for a fraction of the new price.

    Mary

  7. Croix
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    18 December 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Dear Kaz

    I'm afraid it does so I'll go no further.

    Thanks

    Croix

  8. MsPurple
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    18 December 2016 in reply to Croix

    Hi everyone. Good thread idea. I have some books I really like. They have some topics like depression, PTSD, eating disorder etc. Some fiction some non-fiction however they are all story based so I find it easier to read. Kinda makes me feel like someone relates to me which I find helpful

    -So much to tell you - John Marsden

    -I hate myselife AND It gets worse - both by Shane Dawson

    -the order of the phoenix - JK Rowling (feeling of loneliness and PTSD)

    1 person found this helpful
  9. MarkJT
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    19 December 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Kaz, a couple of books that i have really enjoyed reading:

    The Price of Bravery: Book by former NSW Police Officer, Allann Sparkes telling his story of PTSD triggering events and his recovery.

    Exit Wounds: Book by former ADF Member General John Cantwell. Much like Allan's book, it goes through his triggering events and how he is coping with them.

    I found both of these highly inspirational and reinforcing that I am not alone in my journey. I clicked with these also as they are from policing (like me) and military, which has similarities to policing in respect to PTSD.

    Great thread.

    Mark.

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Kazzl
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    19 December 2016 in reply to MarkJT

    Thanks Mary, MsPurple and Mark. Personal stories can be so powerful, and how great that former police and military officers can open up about their experiences.

    A few good online resources:

    Bipolar disorder: Bipolar Burble - www.natashatracy.com

    My favourite bipolar writer (US). She has bipolar and writes about it from both a personal and general 'consumer' viewpoint. Reading Natasha's blog helped me enormously to accept my disorder and learn to live with it. She also writes for the Huffington Post.

    General mental health:

    Psychiatric Times - www.psychiatrictimes.com. This is a professional publication for psychiatrists but easy to read and has very good articles on a wide variety of topics.

    Psychology Today - www.psychologytoday.com. Basically as above but for psychologists. Good articles, broad content.

    1 person found this helpful
  11. SourceShield
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    932 posts
    21 December 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Hi Kaz,

    Thanks for this thread!.

    ---

    Meditation resource -

    How To Meditate - Tara Brach.

    A PDF of 8 pages that can be downloaded, and stored.

    Written by Tara Brach, a wise and knowledgeable Mindfulness teacher, and psychologist.

    ---

    Confidence -

    The Ultimate Secrets of Total Self Confidence - By Dr Robert Anthony.

    A quick easy read. With many practical application tips.

    ---

    Memory -

    How To Develop Perfect Memory - Dominic O'Brien.

    Memory and Creativity are intertwined.

    Creativity is a big part of my life purpose.

    In both very practical, and spiritual ways.

    Mastering the power of one's memory, has helped me to be more efficient and effective with my own business and studies.

    ---

    Nutrition -

    The China Diet - Dr T Colin Campbell.

    This is a comprehensive research piece that argues a strong case for whole food plant based diets.

    There is also a documentary that you can watch with Dr Campbell and more info on health and wellbeing.

    Documentary - "Forks Over Knives".

    ---

    Other Documentaries -

    "Planetary" - Planetary mixes stunning imagery with interviews from renowned experts such as NASA astronauts, environmentalists and philosophers to show that all life on the planet is inseparably interconnected.

    "Alive Inside" - The documentary explores great sides of music whose power can heal the souls and discover the deepest parts of the human. It is made by many experiences of listening to music from many different people.

    "Marley" - About the life and times of Bob Marley.

    ---

    Audiobooks -

    Starting Over with Purpose - Anthony Robbins - Youtube

    The Science of Being Great - Wallace D Wattles.

    ---

    Deep&Meaningful -

    The Celestine Prophecy - James Redfield

    The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

    The Prophet - Kahlil Gibran

    A Midsummer Night's Dream - Shakespeare

    ---

    Podcasts - Tara Brach @ TaraBrach.com

    ---

    T.V Shows - (There are some days where I can barely do much at all. The psycho-motor retardation, hits me big time, some days. So, I seek out shows that will stimulate the creativity, and intelligence, as well as shows for pure entertainment and laughter!)

    The OA - This is a very new drama, sci fi.

    Produced by Brad Pitt's team.

    It's about consciousness, and mental illness, and life and living.

    Intense and full on, but just stick with it and it gets so much better.

    30 ROCK - Great for a laugh!. Sometimes that's all I need to do after a really exhausting day.

    ---

    Plus all the research papers out here!.

    PeaceOut.

    Kaitoa

    3 people found this helpful
  12. SourceShield
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    932 posts
    21 December 2016 in reply to SourceShield

    ***Excuse me - That should be, "THE CHINA STUDY - Dr T C Campbell". Based on research about the diet of the Chinese people.***

    1 person found this helpful
  13. Just Sara
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    21 December 2016 in reply to SourceShield

    Thanks Kaz for this amazing resource thread! I want to read up on BPD and Neuro-plasticity for sure to help me understand.

    Hey Mary...how well read are you? Much...!

    Kaitoa...I've read and re-read all on your 'Deep and Meaningful' list! In fact, 'The Prophet' by Kahlil Gibran is one of my fave books of all time! Quote's galore! Really enjoyed 'The Alchemist' too..ah what the heck! I love them all!!!

    For hidden treasures and pearls of wisdom, I prefer fiction. For personal perspective and knowledge I go to non-fiction. Will be back with my list soon..

    Happy reading everyone!!!

    Sara xo

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Shelley anne
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    4704 posts
    22 December 2016 in reply to SourceShield

    Hi Kaitoa,

    I have also read huge parts of The China Study by Dr Campell. He has an online certified plant based nutrition course running from some university in USA. And I have The "Forks over Knives" cookbook ebook. But I haven't seen the documentary.

    Shell

    2 people found this helpful
  15. SourceShield
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    932 posts
    22 December 2016 in reply to Shelley anne

    Hi Shell,

    Thanks for the info re: online course.

    I'm going to look into that...

    Hi Sara,

    I'm not surprised at all that you and I both love those books mentioned. They're some of the best reads out here!. IMHO.

    And, as you've written from fictional works we can find "hidden treasures and pearls of wisdom", I completely agree.

    Happy reading to you, over the xmas time, and beyond.

    And, big hugs too...

    MuchLove everyone.

    Kaitoa

    2 people found this helpful
  16. Croix
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    22 December 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Dear Kaz, I'll leave it up to you to decide if these should be here.

    There are 2 sets of fantasy fiction, they do not purport to be in any way psychological texts and do not even have related subject matter.

    The reason I propose them is because when I, as an adult, was in the worst of meltdown and despair they were a huge comfort, taking me away to simpler worlds well removed from myself and my situation. I think a few others in my then situation might find them of benefit too.

    Fiction

    A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony - Young adult fantasy (The start of the Xanth series)

    Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings - Fantasy (the start of The Belgariad series)

    My thanks

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  17. SourceShield
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    22 December 2016 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix,

    The Belgariad and The Mallorean are my two favourite Sword&Sorcery book series of all time.

    Plus the other 'prequels' about the sorceress Polgara and the sorcerer Belgarath.

    Some criticise the series for being too formulaic, and this may be so, but I still love them all the same.

    I've read all the books and both series maybe five or 6 times.

    They are for me, "comforting-reading" for the soul.

    MuchLove

    Kaitoa

    1 person found this helpful
  18. Croix
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    22 December 2016 in reply to SourceShield

    Dear Kaitoa

    I'm so pleased. Thank you for telling me. For me the 'formula' worked a charm.

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  19. TenthC
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    1 posts
    23 January 2018 in reply to SourceShield

    Thanks for the list of books and resources. These are helpful.

    I have also read in part 'The China Study' by Dr Campbell. Very informative.

    Recently I read as a reference ... "Depression the way out" by Dr Neil Nedley.

    1 person found this helpful
  20. Shelley anne
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    4704 posts
    24 January 2018 in reply to TenthC

    Hi there TenthC,

    Yes the " China Study" by Dr Colin Campbell", a very in depth study on the effects of what we choose to eat and how this affects our bodies. A real eye opener that one. I have been eating the way he recomends for about 3 weeks now. But have known about it and experimented in it for a while. Whole food plant based.

    Shell

    1 person found this helpful
  21. Shelley anne
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    4704 posts
    24 January 2018 in reply to TenthC

    Oh it appears you are new here. Well a big welcome to you tenthC. Feel free to introduce yourself or start a thread . Or just read around. Don't feel pressured though. All cool.

    Shell

  22. TheSanctum
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    1 posts
    2 February 2018

    Hi Everyone,

    Are there any good resources/books/memoirs on schizophrenia?

    Thanks :D

  23. Croix
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    2 February 2018 in reply to TheSanctum

    Dear All~

    I'm pleased to see this thread is coming alive again. It's good to get other people's views.

    Can I mention Brené Brown on TED and YouTube. I've found her talks on courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy as well as things like boundaries to be very helpful and give me a measure of perspective.

    TheSanctum~

    A Beautiful Mind on the Nobel Prizewinner John Forbes Nash by Sylvia Nasa was seemingly accurate and very readable. It is also a movie starring Russell Crowe.

    Perhaps others might have wider experience.

    Criox

  24. aussiejosh
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    1 posts
    8 September 2018 in reply to Croix
    Jack Canfields "Chicken soup for this soul " is brilliant
  25. mddx
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    6 posts
    10 September 2018

    I have just downloaded CBT related one, I generally have mental barrier towards self-improvement books as most them simple glorified "you can do it, if you believe it" types and some of the authors language style can be degrading which I hate the most.

    No harm in trying though

  26. KyCoo
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    1 posts
    26 November 2018 in reply to mddx

    There are certain self-motivation books that'll help you a lot.

    1) Power of the mind in Health & Healing

    2) You are Badass

    3) The First 90 Days

  27. quirkywords
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    26 November 2018 in reply to KyCoo

    Kycoo

    Welcome to the forum. this is a caring, friendly and supportive place.

    Thanks for sharing your list of. Looks that you feel will help others.

    Can you explain how the books helped you and what you liked about them ?

    I have not heard of any of the books so I would like to know more.

    I find with self help books it is a good idea to find one helpful idea Instead of hoping one will solve all one’s problems.

    I found books of quotations and poetry helped me when feeling low lost and hopeless.

    Mddx, I agree and I avoid books that promise to solve all my problems in a month etc.

    Quirky

  28. 16sundayz
    16sundayz avatar
    24 posts
    26 November 2018

    I'm currently finding The ABCS of Coping with Anxiety: Using CBT to manage stress and anxiety by James Cowart really helpful. It has a bunch of coping strategies and exercises to do with your psych or on your own. I went over the word limit with an explanation of of what it's about so I'll put it in another post below this one.

  29. 16sundayz
    16sundayz avatar
    24 posts
    26 November 2018
    In The ABCS of Coping with Anxiety: Using CBT to Manage Stress and Anxiety,
    James Cowart offers a concise collection of tried-and-tested strategies
    from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and makes them accessible to
    people who are learning to cope with their anxiety on a day-to-day
    basis. Anxiety is a normal part of our human nature. For spurring you to
    make decisions or perform, it can actually be helpful. However, an
    unchecked pattern of intrusive negative thoughts can escalate the
    severity and persistence of the level of anxiety experienced over time.
    As this worsens, it is not uncommon to feel an increasing lack of
    control - ultimately leading to a chain of self-defeating behaviors that
    may negatively affect all aspects of your daily life. Yet, while it is
    not possible to directly control our emotions (or what others think or
    do), it is possible to learn and apply coping skills that can help you
    face feared situations - rather than escape or avoid them. James
    Cowart's aim in The ABCS of Coping with Anxiety is to share a
    toolbox of CBT techniques garnered over 40 years' clinical practice that
    will enable you to manage your anxiety on a sustainable path toward
    taking back some of that control. These self-help strategies focus on
    developing key coping skills designed to reduce fear and anxiety, and
    are complemented by a user-friendly, step-by-step program of practical
    exercises that can be personalized to meet each individual's unique
    needs. Informed by his extensive experience and therapeutic knowledge,
    and with real-life case studies to guide you along your own journey,
    James's easy-to-remember ABCS approach is as transformative as it is
    simple: A is for accepting the thoughts and feelings you can and can't
    control; B is for breathing slowly and naturally to relieve and relax
    muscle tension; C is for countering any unrealistic or catastrophic
    thoughts with truth and logic; and S is for staying with it so you can
    face your fears and anxieties until they are reduced.
  30. 16sundayz
    16sundayz avatar
    24 posts
    26 November 2018
    Each step is
    explored in detail in the first four chapters, and further discussion is
    also dedicated to using the ABCS with different types of anxiety
    (including social anxiety, specific phobias, panic attacks and obsessive
    compulsive disorder (OCD)) and coping with related depression, anger
    and impulsivity. Punctuated with research-informed insight and
    instruction throughout, The ABCS of Coping with Anxiety offers
    hope, relief and reassurance in helping you master your anxiety and work
    toward greater independence. Suitable for those living with anxiety and
    for the health professionals - including psychiatrists, psychologists,
    social workers and counsellors - working with them.

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