Mental Health Awareness Month: Stopping the Stigma
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. This important month has been observed for over 65 years, and continues to be advocated by organizations like Mental Health America and others, in the hopes of raising awareness. Mental Health Awareness Month acknowledges and supports individuals with mental health issues, as well as their families and caregivers. The discussion of mental health encompasses only depression, anxiety, suicide, and bipolar disorder, as well as ADHD, addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias and much more.
The Fauquier County Public Library has an array of resources for those affected directly or indirectly by mental health issues.
Understanding is Key
The American Psychiatric Association publishes a guide to the DSM-5 entitled Understanding Mental Disorders. This guide goes through disorders found in various categories, from obsessive-compulsive disorders to addictive disorders. Within each category, the book outlines the various disorders, their risk factors and treatments. While the DSM-5 is available in our reference section, the APA’s guide is available for checkout and is meant to be a more comprehensive read.
We also have books that focus on the individual disorders, and those disorders in specific age groups.
Helping Your Loved Ones
If you have a teen-age loved one who has been diagnosed with a mental health issue, you may be interested in Treating and Preventing Adolescent Mental Health Disorders. This book gives study results, and talks about the stigma surrounding mental health issues in teenagers, as well as treatment options. Also for teens and parents of teens, we have The Everything Parent’s Guide to Teenage Addiction by Edward Lynam, MD and Ellen Bowers, PhD.
Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults addresses the characteristics of gifted individuals and how misdiagnoses of disorders such as ADHD, OCD, or Asperger’s may occur. ADHD: What Every Parent Needs to Know, by Michael I. Reiff, MD, FAAP, offers guidance on ADHD in children from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
For you and your loved ones, the Family Guide to Mental Health Care by Lloyd Sederer, MD, the mental health editor of The Huffington Post, offers comprehensive advice on navigating our often-complicated mental health system.
Investigating Depression and Bipolar Disorder by Abigail Meisel provides a history of these disorders and information on diagnosis and treatment. Meisel provides true stories about people living with depression and bipolar disorder. Similarly, The Depression Helpbook may assist you in identifying depression and talking to your loved ones about it. Author Wayne Katon offers advice in regards to antidepressants and working effectively with your physician. We have many more books on both depression and bipolar disorder, including The 10 Best-Ever Depression Management Techniques by Margaret Wehrenberg and The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide by David J. Miklowitz, PhD. We also have The Bipolar Handbook by Wes Burgess, MD, PhD. Each of these books addresses, in various ways, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options for these disorders.
ADHD is often thought of as a childhood diagnosis, but ADHD can be present and diagnosed in adulthood as well. Taking Charge of Adult ADHD by Russell A. Barkley and Christine M. Benton addresses work, relationship and other lifestyle concerns for adults with ADHD. ADHD & Me by Blake E.S. Taylor is a memoir of the author’s life with ADHD, from the time he was a boy and through his adulthood.
Phobias and anxiety are often linked. Along these lines, you may wish to try The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne or Freeing Your Child From Anxiety by Tamar Chansky, PhD, meant to help children and teens.
An array of books about autism are also available. Autism and its Medical Management by Michael G. Chez, MD, provides an overview of the types of autism and the latest available options for treatment. This book is meant as a useful tool for both parents and professionals. The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome by Tony Attwood is an encyclopedic handbook offering everything from possible causes to indications and diagnosis to advice on social interactions and career development.
We have a variety of books covering the topic of addiction to everything from alcohol to methamphetamines to prescription drugs. Rod Colvin’s Overcoming Prescription Drug Addiction details the extent of the problems of prescription drug addiction and medication abuse. He suggests methods for prevention and treatment of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. We also have Cocaine & Methamphetamine Addiction by Arnold Washton and Joan Ellen Zweben, and Healing the Addicted Brain by Harold Urschel, III, MD, which covers alcoholism and addiction. Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism is also available.
This year, the theme for Mental Health Awareness Month is “life with a mental illness” and on the Mental Health America website you can find individual stories of people living with various mental illnesses. If you are looking for other memoirs and personal stories, author and blogger Jenny Lawson’s book Furiously Happy is a humorous take on her lifelong struggles with depression and anxiety. Another fascinating personal account is that of Allen Shawn. Wish I Could Be There: Notes from a Phobic Life details Shawn’s fears of heights, water, fields, subways, elevators and more. Shawn discusses his childhood and the possible factors that he speculates may have contributed to his agoraphobia.
From personal memoirs and autobiographies, to handbooks and guides, to informational volumes, the library is here to provide what you need on these difficult topics during Mental Health Awareness Month or any time. You may also find materials on schizophrenia, eating disorders, post traumatic stress disorder and much more.
Online Resources and Outside Help
Don’t see what you need here? Check in the 616 and 362 areas of our non-fiction collection or ask at the reference desk.
Finally, don’t suffer alone or in silence. If you or someone you know is having a mental health emergency, please call 911 or your physician.
~ Amanda, reference librarian, Warrenton central library