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NAMI Bookshelf: July 2010

Editors' note: Click the book title to order the book from and NAMI will receive a portion of the proceeds.

Struck By Living: From Depression to HopeStruck By Living: From Depression to Hope
Julie K. Hersh
(Brown Books Publishing Group 2010)

This is a beautifully written memoir about the author’s experience with clinical depression. As a formerly successful business woman leading what appeared to be a happy family life with a devoted husband and two young children, Hersh seemed to “have it all.” However, her experience with a crushing depression ultimately led to three suicide attempts.

Hersh’s vivid descriptions help readers grasp the depth of her own pain and frustration, and later her hope, as she works towards recovery. Her travels through hospitalizations, medications and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) ultimately end in an inspiring story for anyone affected by mental illness.   

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Falling into the SunFalling into the Sun
Charrie Hazard
(Spoonbill Cove Press 2009)

This poignant novel by a former St. Petersburg Times editorial board member and columnist focuses on a mother’s journey to find help for her son living with bipolar disorder.

Following a neighbor’s death by suicide, Kate Nardeck is haunted by the thought that her own teenage son, whose behavior has become progressively volatile, may be living with mental illness. In finding help for her son, she also confronts a family history of alcoholism and mental illness.

As she meditates on mental illness, death and her sense of self, Kate finds healing and peace in exploring spiritual beliefs drawn from Hindu, Native American and Judeo-Christian beliefs.

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The Buddha and the BordlerlineThe Buddha and the Borderline: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Buddhism and Online Dating
Kiera Van Gelder
(New Harbinger Publications, Inc. 2010)

This engaging memoir illuminates the experience of living with borderline personality disorder, a mental illness that is often misunderstood.

The author shares her painful struggles with depression, drug addiction, self-harm and unstable relationships that ultimately lead to her late diagnosis with borderline personality disorder. Through her pursuit of dialectical behavior therapy, Buddhist spirituality and adventures in online dating, she reclaims life and works towards recovery on her own terms.

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When do I get my Shoelaces Back?When Do I Get My Shoelaces Back?
Suzy Johnson
(The Cairn 2010)

The author, who lives with bipolar disorder, becomes ill with hepatitis A. Forced to stop taking her psychiatric medications, she experiences the most severe episode of bipolar disorder of her life. As part of her therapy, she chronicles her time this diary, revealing what it was like to experience feelings of paranoia and vivid hallucinations during her treatment in the psychiatric unit. This account is a unique insight into psychosis and the author’s frustration with the separation of mental and physical health in hospital treatment.

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