A Conversation With a Dark Foe

By Tonny Wandella

Depression, you again depression! You sneak in like a thief, Stealing some of my joy and peace and hope, Leaving only grief. You wrap yourself around me, A heavy cloak of blue, Dragging me down to the depths, Where I cannot break through.

Your darkness seeps in like a creeping vine, Wrapping its tendrils around my mind, Choking the light, drowning out the sun, Till all that’s left is a heavy heart, undone. The weight of the world is on my shoulders, And I cannot seem to shake it off, It’s a never-ending cycle of pain, And I’m trapped in this eternal suffocating cough.

The tears flow like rivers down my cheeks, As I scream out in silent despair, No one can hear me, no one can see, That I’m suffocating, gasping for air. In this abyss of darkness, I am alone, With nothing but my thoughts and fears, And I cannot find a way out, So I sit here, lost in my tears.

You make me doubt my worth, And question all I do, You tell me lies and whispers, That I am not worth pursuing. But I know I am strong, And I will fight this war, I will not let you defeat me, Depression, I am more.

Get your FREE copy of Code of the Conqueror – The Journey (bookfunnel.com)

When Depression Is Getting Out of Hand

By Conqueror Team

Everyone has bad days when they are exhausted, irritated, and depressed. It’s natural to feel unhappy in response to painful life events, loss, or changes, but these feelings can linger for a long time if left ignored, making it difficult to get through each day.

Depression affects practically every aspect of your life, interfering with how you think, feel, and perform daily tasks from sleeping, working to socialising.

Although important life events can impact some people’s despair, the truth is that depression can strike anyone at any time with no cause or warning. In reality, depression is one of the most frequent mood disorders, affecting 8.7% of women and 5.3% of men each year. According to research, genetics, biology, environment, and psychology can all have a part in depression.

It’s crucial to remember that depression can range from moderate to severe, but even mild episodes should be addressed seriously. Depression is not only a “poor mood” or something that can be “snapped out of,” but it is very curable.

If you have severe depression, you will most likely notice the following symptoms:

  • Hopelessness
  • Sadness
  • A pessimistic perspective or catastrophic thinking
  • A sense of shame, remorse, or worthlessness
  • A feeling of numbness
  • Difficulties with attention or memory
  • Suicidal thoughts

Suicide is a genuine threat to those of us who are severely depressed. Some suicides go unreported because they are mislabelled as accidents, drug overdoses, or shootings. Up to 15% of adults with untreated depression will commit suicide.

Be mindful that suicidal behaviour is frequently impulsive. Remove any weapons, medicines, or other potential means of self-harm. Ask a trusted individual to keep a gun or other weapon away from you. Get rid of unused pills by putting them in a bag with cat litter or dirt and throwing the entire package away. By removing such items from your environment, you may gain valuable time to resist a suicide inclination and consider alternate ways to cope with your grief.

If you see any of these significant depression signs in yourself or someone you care about, seek treatment immediately. According to the APA, major depression is a fairly curable condition in most people, with a wide range of drugs and therapies that have been demonstrated to help. Check out our online course on how to take care of your memory and other memory loss-related illnesses. Click here to get started.

Check our conqueror.blog to help you conquer life!

7 Ways to Recession-Proof Your Life


Do you worry about how a potential recession or economic slowdown might affect you and your finances? Assuming that you have some time to prepare, you can put your fears to rest because there are many everyday habits the average person can implement to protect themselves ahead of time from the sting of a recession, or even make it so its effects aren’t felt at all. As the recession hits, these tools can help you get through it in one piece financially.

Have an Emergency Fund

If you have plenty of cash lying around in a high-interest, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured account, not only will your money retain its full value in times of market turmoil, it will also be extremely liquid, giving you easy access to funds if you lose your job or are forced to take a pay cut.

Also, if you have your own cash, you will be less dependent on borrowing to cover unexpected costs or the loss of a job. Credit availability tends to dry up quickly when a recession hits. Once these things happen, use your emergency fund to cover necessary expenses, but keep your budget tight on discretionary spending in favor of making that emergency fund last and restoring it ASAP. 

Live Within Your Means

If you make it a habit to live within your means each and every day during the good times, you are less likely to go into debt when gas or food prices go up and more likely to adjust your spending in other areas to compensate. Debt begets more debt when you can’t pay it off right away—if you think gas prices are high, wait until you’re paying 29.99% annual percentage rate (APR) on them by fueling up on credit card.

To take this principle to the next level, if you have a spouse and are a two-income family, see how close you can get to living off of only one spouse’s income. In good times, this tactic will allow you to save incredible amounts of money—how quickly could you pay off your mortgage or how much earlier could you retire if you had an extra $40,000 a year to save?

In bad times, if one spouse gets laid off, you’ll be okay because you’ll already be used to living on one income. Adding to your savings will stop temporarily, but your day-to-day frugal spending life style can continue as normal.

Have Additional Income

Even if you have a great full-time job, it’s not a bad idea to have a source of extra income on the side, whether it’s some consulting work or selling collectibles on eBay. With job security so nonexistent these days, more jobs mean more job security. Diversifying your streams of income is at least as important as diversifying your investments.

Once a recession hits, if you lose one stream of income, at least you still have the other one. You may not be making as much money as you were before, but every little bit helps. You may even come out the other end of the recession with a growing new business as the economy turns up.

Invest for the Long Term

So what if a drop in the market brings your investments down 15%? If you don’t sell, you won’t lose anything. The market is cyclical, and in the long run, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to sell high. In fact, if you buy when the market’s down, you might thank yourself later.

That being said, as you near retirement age, you should make sure you have enough money in liquid, low-risk investments to retire on time and give the stock portion of your portfolio time to recover. Remember, you don’t need all of your retirement money at 65—just a portion of it. It might be a bear market when you’re 65, but it could be a bull by the time you’re 70.

Be Real About Risk Tolerance

Yes, investing gurus say that people in certain age brackets should have their portfolios allocated a certain way, but if you can’t sleep at night when your investments are down 15% for the year and the year isn’t even over, you may need to change your asset allocation. Investments are supposed to provide you with a sense of financial security, not a sense of panic.

But wait—don’t sell anything while the market is down, or you’ll set those paper losses in stone. When market conditions improve is the time to trade in some of your stocks for bonds, or trade in some of your risky small-cap stocks for less volatile blue-chip stocks.

If you have extra cash available and want to adjust your asset allocation while the market is down, you may even be able to profit from infusing money into temporarily low-priced stocks with long-term value. Buy low so that you can sell stocks high later or hold on to them for the long run.

Be careful not to overestimate your risk tolerance, as that will cause you to make poor investment decisions. Even if you’re at an age where you’re “supposed to” have 80% in stocks and 20% in bonds, you’ll never see the returns that investment advisors intend if you sell when the market is down. These asset allocation suggestions are meant for people who can hang on for the ride.

Diversify Your Investments

If you don’t have all of your money in one place, your paper losses should be mitigated, making it less difficult emotionally to ride out the dips in the market. If you own a home and have a savings account, you’ve already got a start: you have some money in real estate and some money in cash.

In particular, try to build a portfolio of investment pairs that aren’t strongly correlated, meaning that when one is up, the other is down, and vice versa (like stocks and bonds). This also means that you should consider asset classes and stocks in businesses that are unrelated to your primary occupation or income stream.

Click Here To Read More https://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/08/recession-proof-your-life.asp

Get A Free Voice Over Like This

How to Get Out of Bed When Depression Is Keeping You Down

Written by Jamie Elmer

Depression presents so many challenges

I’ve been living with depression for so long that I feel like I’ve gone through every symptom the condition has to offer.

Hopelessness, check. Fatigue, check. Insomnia, check. Weight gain — and weight loss — check and check.

Living with depression is hard, no matter what symptoms you’re experiencing. Sometimes, just the act of getting out of bed can seem like such a major hurdle that you’re not sure how everyone does it every day.

And if you’re like me, sleep disturbances are a common symptom. I’ve even managed to simultaneously experience insomnia and hypersomnia (sleeping too much).

Although I’m using medication, working with a therapist, and practicing other helpful techniques that get me through the day right now, sometimes the biggest undertaking is starting the day.

Here are some tips I’ve collected over the years to pull myself out of bed (and out of deep depression).

Create a morning routine worth waking up for

Many people — myself included — get stuck in a routine of dragging themselves out of bed to get to work… and that’s it. We barely have time for breakfast in our routine. We’re just trying to get out the door.

But if you create a morning routine worth waking up for, you may have a different outlook for your morning.

1. Start slow: Sit up

Start with the basics: Just try to sit up. Push your pillows up, and maybe have an extra pillow stashed nearby to prop yourself up.

Sometimes just the act of sitting up can get you closer to getting up, getting ready, and starting your day.

2. What’s for breakfast? Start thinking food

Thinking about food or your first cup of coffee can be great motivation. If your stomach starts grumbling enough while you’re forcing yourself to think about eggs, bacon, and French toast, you’ll be more likely to pull yourself up.

This doesn’t always work, though, especially if you’re experiencing a loss of appetite from depression. Still, know that eating something in the morning — even if it’s just a slice of bread — will help you get up.

Plus, if you take medications in the morning, it’s usually a good idea to have something in your stomach.

3. Don’t disregard the classics — try an alarm

Go back to the classics. Set an alarm — or a whole slurry of annoying alarms — and put your phone or clock out of your reach.

You’ll have to get up to shut it off. While it’s easy to just climb into bed again, if you have multiple alarms set, by the third one you’ll probably just be like, “FINE! I’M UP!”

4. Focus on what’s around you

Paper and pens may seem old-fashioned, but the affect they have definitely isn’t. Consider writing down something you’re grateful for every day. Or even better, do this at night and reread your gratitude in the morning. Reminding yourself about the positives in your life can start your day a little better.

Another option is to focus on your pets, which have shown to provide many benefitsTrusted Source. They can be a great motivation for waking up in the morning, whether it’s feeding, walking, or cuddling with them.

Spending just a few minutes being unconditionally loved by your pet can have an overwhelming positive effect on your mood.

Click Here To Read More https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/depression-get-out-of-bed#wakeup-tips

Get A Free Voice Over Like This

The 11 Best Books for Depression of 2021, According to an Expert

Mary K. Tatum is a licensed mental health counselor and psychotherapist and has worked in the field of psychology for over 15 years, with seven years in the private practice setting.

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products, and articles are reviewed by healthcare professionals for medical accuracy. You can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Depression affects both the mind and the body and is much more than just feeling sad for a while. Depression squashes motivation for even the simplest of tasks and creates feelings of hopelessness and despair.

Depression is like a barometer: it tells us that something is wrong, but it doesn’t tell us what is wrong. Complicating the condition is the fact that it is experienced differently by each person, so an individualized treatment plan is essential for recovery.

Self-help books can be a useful tool in the overall picture of successful treatment. They can be used alone but shouldn’t substitute for treatment options like talk therapy and medication. Self-help books can even help to speed up the positive effects of talk therapy as self-study efforts provide added topics for processing in the therapy room.

Here is a list of the best books for depression, according to experts.Our Top PicksThis Is Depression at AmazonPsychiatrist Diane McIntosh explains depression’s many facets as well as various treatment options available.Feeling Great at AmazonThis book addresses depression in two ways: decreasing depressed feelings while increasing positive feelings for faster relief.Learned Hopefulness at AmazonDr. Tomasulo’s book comes from the field of positive psychology, which is gaining popularity in the talk therapy world.Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Made Simple at AmazonDr. Gillihan uses a holistic approach to help readers identify patterns of thought that are holding them back from their goals.Unlearning Anxiety & Depression at AmazonThe approach in this book argues that healthier thought and living habits would lead to happier feelings.Maybe You Should Talk to Someone at AmazonIf there was ever proof that helpers are not above needing help themselves at times, this book is it.Your Happiness Toolkit at AmazonWith techniques included for people in drug and alcohol recovery, this book focuses on drug-free methods of coping.101 Ways to Be Less Stressed at AmazonThis book offers many strategies to experiment with and determine which ones are most helpful for each person.Grief Works at AmazonPsychotherapist Julia Samuel provides stories and sound guidance to navigate the complicated healing journey of grieving.Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts at AmazonPsychotherapist Sally Winston teaches how to take back control of your brain and quickly curb intrusive thoughts.

This Is Depression

View On AmazonView On WalmartView On Barnesandnoble.com

The first step to healing depression is understanding exactly what it is. In this book, psychiatrist Diane McIntosh explains its many facets as well as various treatment options available to help the reader make confident decisions about what treatment to pursue.

An important benefit of understanding depression is being able to explain it and discuss it with friends, family members, and health care professionals. One of the most effective antidotes to depression is having an understanding and supportive community.

What Experts Say

According to the American Psychiatric Association, depression is a serious medical illness that affects the ways you think, feel, and act. It causes feelings of worthlessness, sadness, and loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. Along with other symptoms, it impacts your ability to function at work or home and lasts longer than a period of two weeks.1 These symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe. The risk factors for depression can include genetic make-up, brain chemistry, environmental factors, poor diet, vitamin deficiency, a toxic relationship, loss, self-deprecating thought patterns, poor sleep, long-term loneliness, and lack of good physical

Feeling Great

View On AmazonView On WalmartView On Barnesandnoble.com

Dr. Burns wrote this book after 40 years of research and over 40,000 hours spent treating people who struggle with depression as a psychiatrist. This theory of treatment looks at being able to listen to negative thoughts as important messages from your body rather than feelings to be completely avoided.

The book addresses depression in two ways: simultaneously decreasing depressed feelings while increasing positive feelings to bring faster relief.

Read more https://www.verywellmind.com/best-books-for-depression-5094535

Mental Health Issues at Work Are Incredibly Embarrassing (I Hid Mine for Decades)

This moment makes me extremely emotional. Most of my career was spent fighting an invisible battle in my head every single day. Things got so dark that I contemplated leaving the workforce forever and living with an elderly relative who survived on government benefits. Thinking about what could have happened if I kept going down that path scares me.

I shared this story on LinkedIn about battling mental illness at work. I didn’t expect hundreds of thousands of people to react to the post and tell their own stories. My inbox lit up. Two words featured in almost every message I got.

“Nobody knows.”

Here’s my story. It will help if you’ve ever faced mental illness at work.

Coming out of the Closet

Walt Disney ran our team. We were a group of misfits that the business had dumped into a team, hoping for a miracle. He moved from the sunny state of Tasmania to be our leader.

I liked Disney. He was a lot like the real Disney I idolized as a kid.

The guy had a weird way of running a business. He replaced many of our sales meetings with Ted Talks. One afternoon he made us all watch the “This Is Water Speech.” The idea we are all goldfish swimming around in a tank full of invisible water known as life really turned my worldview upside down. All the frustrations at work and at home were normal. They were moments to lean into, not write over the top of.

Disney and I got closer. He saw something in me. All I saw was what mental illness told me every morning: you’re a huge failure that screwed up a business full of innocent people who now can’t pay their mortgage.

Or this classic: “Why even try? You know you’ll screw it up and get sick.”

After a while I simply got pissed off with mental illness. All it ever did was screw up every opportunity. When I got a chance to do a job interview, it came out to play halfway through the interview and made me so nervous I got sick.

When Disney asked me to present at a meeting, it screwed that up too and made me forget what the hell I was supposed to say. And when I went on dates with women after work looking for love, it again made me sick so nobody would ever stick around to figure out what was wrong.

One morning I’d had enough.

I had my 1–1 meeting with Disney. The topic was our upcoming team day. It involved a days’ worth of activities, lunch, and a dinner.

“Are you excited for next week? This day is going to be so great.”

I then delivered the bad news.

“Sorry, I won’t be attending for personal reasons.”

His jaw dropped to the flaw. The look of disappointment still haunts me to this day. I was his work-in-progress and not showing up to the big day he spent his entire career planning was a huge F-You.

Disney didn’t give up. He wanted to know what was wrong. Years of regrets built up inside my body and suddenly reached boiling point.

“Alright! You wanna know what’s wrong? I feel sick every day. I have sudden panic attacks I can’t explain. I can’t go on dates with women. I feel sick when I try to eat socially with other people. I vomited at my 21st birthday in front of my closest friends and family. Happy now?”

Disney saw the other side of me. He got a peek into the day-to-day battle I faced. I’d never told anybody before.

The Surprising Aftermath

The best way I can describe admitting you’re facing mental illness is like this: you feel as though you’ve shared a taboo secret. It’s like admitting your sexual fantasies to your straight down the line boss and having them think you’re dirty.

I walked into the office the next day. Disney went out of his way to unleash a huge smile. The team said hello, loudly. Disney had an evil plan, and he wasn’t telling me. We ended up agreeing that I’d attend the team day and simply see what happened. If at any stage it became all too much, I could leave and Disney would eloquently cover my tracks.

Two things changed:

  1. He normalized my mental illness. We talked about it in future conversations as a normal phenomenon. “Normal” is easier to face than “never happened to anybody before.”
  2. He gave me confidence. This undying belief that I could turn things around helped a lot. We set challenges together to find ways to prove my mental illness wrong. One of those was writing on LinkedIn and facing harsh judgment. That experiment completely changed my life and is why I’m writing these words.

The “Me Too” Effect

Going up twenty-six floors in an elevator every day is difficult when mental illness is poking holes in your view of the world. Elevators at work made me anxious. So one experiment I tried was riding back-to-back elevators.

I went to a hotel close to work. I decided to hop in the elevator and see if I could survive the climb up Mount Everest in my jocks. The first elevator I hopped in had a couple in it. As the elevator started to go up, I looked visually sick. The man started to stare at me like something was wrong.

I suddenly burst out and said, “Elevators make me anxious.”

His response was unexpected.

“Me too.”

Those two words transformed my thinking. For the first time ever my embarrassing mental illness was shared by another human being. “Maybe I’m not alone. He seems to deal with it okay.”

Admitting mental illness to a stranger is powerful. There’s no risk of being exposed. You might just find there are others who see the world as dark like you do, but have found ways to cope.

You’re not broken. You’re imperfect.

Mental illness told me I had to be perfect, or the day was a fail, and it had won. This form of perfection caused me to torture myself when one small thing went wrong.

We’re imperfect creatures. Mental illness doesn’t make you broken. It makes you imperfect and there is so much beauty in that. Accepting imperfection allows the healing process to begin.

The Quiet Realization That Changed My Entire Career

What helped me overcome mental illness at work isn’t obvious. I want to spell it out in simple terms. If you struggle with mental illness, admit to one person at work what you’re going through. Why?

Mental illness can be defeated when it goes from being invisible to visible.

Mental illness lies to you. Having one person you can chat to about it helps the lies become exposed. You explain what you’re going through and then the other person will present evidence that puts mental illness on the spot. I regret not telling someone sooner about my mental struggles.

Mental illness isn’t taboo. Tell one person at work. Speak up. It’s normal.

Tim Denning is an Aussie Blogger with 500M+ views — Writer for CNBC & Business Insider. He inspire the world through Personal Development and Entrepreneurship —

Source: https://index.medium.com

5 Best Books for Dealing with Anxiety and Depression

About Mark, he is a two-time #1 New York Times bestselling author whose books have sold over 14 million copies worldwide. His work has been translated into more than 65 languages and hit bestseller lists in sixteen different countries. According to Amazon Charts, his book The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck was the most-read non-fiction book in 2017.

There are a lot of books out there giving crappy advice about anxiety and depression. Here’s my shortlist of books that actually help.

Depression blows. Anxiety isn’t any fun either. And perhaps the only thing worse than the well-intentioned friends and family who implore you to just “get over it” or advise you to “keep your head up” is the fact that there are approximately 3,102 crappy books out there promising to wave a little wand and sprinkle fairy dust in your ass, and everything will instantly be better.

In my experience, the best books on dealing with anxiety and depression are the best because they are honest about the situation. There is this thing that sucks, and you’re not going to magically make it go away. You have to deal with it, engage it, wrestle with it a bit and become stronger in the face of it.

I get hundreds of emails every month from people who struggle primarily with anxiety and depression. Many of them are looking for a solution or a piece of wisdom or advice. Unfortunately, the only thing I’m qualified to send them is this new care bear emoji I got on my phone. And that’s probably not a long-term solution for them.

So instead, I will send them here, to these books.

I’ve read a lot of books about anxiety and depression over the years and these are some of the best ones I’ve come across. They’re way more qualified than I am to help you through whatever suckage you’re experiencing. And this way, when nothing works and the world is still a steaming pile of dogshit, you can blame them and not me.

The three Types of Mental Health Books

Books about mental health come in three flavors:

  1. Greater Understanding/Research – These are books that explain what the latest research suggests that’s happening in your life/brain and what the most effective treatments may be. Building your understanding and knowledge about your problem can often be enough so that you can take care of it from there.
  2. Feeling Less Alone – These books inspire hope. Usually, the author has suffered from the same problem as you, except that their situation was orders of magnitude worse than yours. This has the double-whammy effect of a) reassuring you that you’re not the only one to go through shit like this, and b) that there is hope — if this person made it, so can you. “Feeling Less Alone” books tend to be the most emotionally powerful (and best-written) of the three flavors.
  3. Exercises/Actions – I’m personally not a huge fan of books that want you to take out a sheet of paper every other page and write a bunch of crap down. But I know some people are. And I know that some of these exercises can be highly effective. And if the exercises are well-done (usually constructed by a therapist/psychiatrist with tons of experience) you can get good results from these books.

All three flavors can be more/less useful given the situation/personality/tastes of the reader. That’s why I’ve specified the type for each book below.

One last statement before we get to the books. Why anxiety and depression together? Well, because they often occur together. In fact, they occur so often together that people will mistake one for the other. A close friend of mine recently spent the better part of a year constantly complaining of anxiety and stress. After a couple of months of therapy, she discovered that she had actually been deeply depressed. Similarly, I felt depressed for a brief period at the beginning of this year and looking back, it turns out I was incredibly anxious about something in my life and the feelings of lethargy/meaninglessness were merely my ways of escaping that anxiety.

So anxiety and depression are like two peas in a pod. Sonny and Cher. Bonnie and Clyde. Piss and vinegar. They’re a package deal. Much of what you’ll get from these books is an understanding between the two and recognizing when one or the other takes over.

The Best Books on Depression and Anxiety

1. The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon

Focuses on: Depression
Type(s): Feeling Less Alone and Greater Understanding/Research

Solomon calls his book “An Atlas of Depression” and once you’ve covered about half of the 688 pages, you start to realize why: this is everything you would ever want to know about depression—the personal experience of it, the medical experience of it, the pharmacological treatments, the history of it, the cultural interpretations of it, and of course, Solomon’s own struggles with it. The book is a lot to take in. What carries the book, though, is the combination of how well-written it is, along with the shocking severity of Solomon’s own story.

I’m going to be honest. I’ve been reading about depression and mental health for many years. I’ve even suffered from some mild depressive episodes myself. I had no idea the depths this thing can reach. This is the only book I’ve ever read that makes me understand why a person might choose to end their own life.

Reading Noonday Demon changed a number of my attitudes and assumptions that I’ve had about not just depression, but antidepressants, therapy, and mental health. Had I read it while I was depressed, it would have given me more hope and helped me to navigate getting myself out of it.

2. First, We Make the Beast Beautiful by Sarah Wilson

Focuses on: Anxiety
Type(s): Feeling Less Alone and Greater Understanding/Research

I loved this book but I don’t think everyone will. This is mostly due to Wilson’s writing style and, I suppose, the way her brain works. Like a chronically anxious person, First, We Make the Beast Beautiful is frenetic and at times, overly-energetic, leaping from story to story, back ten years to ahead five years to childhood to imagined old age, from personal disaster to scientific research to that thing my meditation teacher told me that, by the way, totally didn’t work, but hey, it’s funny now, looking back.

I enjoyed it because my brain (and writing) sometimes operates in the same way. But I’ve seen reviews online from anxious people who have commented that the book actually made them more anxious, just by reading it. Obviously, that’s not the goal.

But all of that aside, I think this book is the best demonstration of what it is to actually live with severe anxiety and still find a way to function and thrive in one’s life. Wilson has suffered from bipolar disorder, eating disorders, manic episodes, and intermittent depression. But the anxiety has always been there. Intensely there. And she’s somehow leveraged it to get her places. I’ve always argued that the key to anxiety is not getting rid of it but merely directing it in more productive ways. The heart of First, We Make the Beast Beautiful is the same argument, demonstrated through a vibrant (and slightly crazy) life that is unlike anything else I’ve quite come across before.

(Note: This book is not out yet in some countries.)

3. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David Burns

Focuses on: Anxiety and Depression
Type(s): Exercises/Action

Godwin’s Law famously states that the longer any internet discussion continues, the probability of someone being compared to Hitler approaches 100%. Well, in my experience, the longer an internet discussion about depression, anxiety, or any other mental health problem goes on, the probability that Feeling Good gets recommended to them also approaches 100%. I see this book mentioned everywhere.

That’s because if you were going to write a comprehensive, “This is what three months with a CBT therapist would be like,” book, full of enough exercises to fill a small notebook, you’d have Feeling Good. Burns has done a fantastic job of essentially writing the closest replacement to a real therapist. As a result, pretty much any time I come across someone who needs a therapist but can’t get one for some reason, this book is the insta-recommendation.

4. The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living by Russ Harris

Focuses on: Anxiety and Depression
Type(s): Greater Understanding/Research and Exercises/Action

I love this book. It was quite influential on me when I read it years and years ago and I was quite upset to find out that I had inadvertently ripped off one of the exercises in it in my Self-Knowledge PDF (it has since been fixed and credited appropriately).

Harris is probably the most visible proponent of something called ACT or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. ACT is a relatively new form of therapy that argues that the key to dealing with depression, anxiety, or addiction is to not necessarily to remove bad feelings. Instead, ACT focuses on developing mental tools and habits to simply weather those bad feelings more effectively. Whereas CBT is focused on channeling pain and suffering into more productive interpretations and actions, ACT just says fuck it, bad feelings are bad feelings and they don’t necessarily have to mean anything at allif we don’t let them. To me, ACT is one of the more promising recent developments in psychology as it incorporates some of the benefits of mindfulness, with a zest of eastern philosophy thrown in.

The Happiness Trap is also one of the most approachable and enjoyable psych reads out there. The writing is clear and fun, and the exercises are engaging. In my opinion, the best pop psychology books bring some humor and humanity to the subject, and this is one of the few books that pulls that off really well.

5. Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff

Focuses on: Anxiety and Depression
Type(s): Greater Understanding/Research and Exercises/Action

In The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (yes, I had to find a way to plug my own shit here), I made the point that true self-esteem can’t be a measure of how someone feels about their successes, it must be a measure of how we feel about our failures.

This isn’t a terribly original idea. People have been shitting on self-esteem for a couple decades now. But Neff is the first psychologist to conceptualize an alternative metric for self-esteem: self-compassion.

People with self-compassion can weather failures, can forgive themselves for screwing up, can accept their insecurities and flaws and continue trying despite them.

Ignore the cheesiness of the title here. Self-compassion gives you the answer and the how-to for every time you’ve ever heard someone say, “hey, don’t be so hard on yourself.” In this book, Neff proposes self-compassion as a more effective measurement of psychological health and did the research into how we get there. How do we cultivate self-compassion? How do we forgive ourselves for fucking up, for not living up to what we want from ourselves, for having failures and down moments and days where nothing seems to go right? *Infomercial Voice* Read this book to find these answers and more!

Like many pop psychology books, her examples and anecdotes are sometimes cliche-ridden. However, the central idea is important enough that this book is still worth a read if you are the insanely self-critical type.

Can reading about depression and anxiety actually help you?

I think this list of books will help you better understand depression and anxiety. But you might still be wondering: will they actually help me deal with my depression and anxiety?

Well, I’d answer that with “it depends.” (Sorry, but you had to have seen that coming.)

I love books. I read them every single day. But if you’re reading a book with the hopes that it will permanently “fix” you, then no, none of these books will help you.

There’s a fine line between reading a book to gain a new perspective on a problem and reading a book to simply avoid the problem by intellectualizing it.

You could read every single book ever published on money and personal finance. But if you don’t apply that knowledge and save and invest your money, you’ll still be broke. You’ll understand why you’re broke really well, but you’ll still be broke.

This seems so obvious when it comes to more tangible outcomes like money or losing weight or whatever. But when it comes to our emotional and mental health, we often believe we can just think the problems away.

Getting your emotional and mental shit together is a lived experience. You have to face and endure the pain, not rationalize it away. You can do it with a therapist or a family member or a good friend. In some cases, you might be able to do it alone. But no matter what, it has to be done, not simply thought about and analyzed.

So, yes, these books are helpful—as a starting point. They will give you perspective on what your depression and anxiety really are and where they come from. They will show you that you’re not alone, and that others have gone through what you’re going through. They will show you that, yes, you can come out the other side a happier, stronger person.

They’ll make the work a bit easier. But you still have to do the work.

Source: https://markmanson.net

How to take care of your mental health: 10 effective tips

There can be no denying that the year or so has been incredibly difficult for just about everyone. The stress and worry caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has been amplified for many by the restrictions and loneliness of lockdown. At such times, and as we move forward, it’s more essential than ever to take care of your mental health.

We take a look at why it’s such an important topic, how events such as Mental Health Awareness Week can help, and some proven methods for helping you take care of your own mental health.

What is mental health?

Let’s get things started with a mental health definition. The term mental health refers to an individual’s emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. The World Health Organisation further defines it as “a state of wellbeing in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”.

What are mental health issues?

So, when we talk about mental health, we’re talking about both internal and external factors that impact an individual and their emotional health and wellbeing. And when we use terms such as ‘mental health issues/disorders/problems’, we’re talking about conditions that affect a person’s mood, way of thinking, and ability to cope.

There is a range of mental health problems that can impact us, and many of these are more common than you might think. A UK-wide study in 2014 found that 1 in 6 people in England reported experiencing a common mental health problem each week. Similarly, data from the US show’s that around 18.1% of the population experience anxiety disorders every year.

The list of mental health issues that can affect people is quite long and varied. What’s more, such diagnoses can only be made by a medical or mental health practitioner. However, some common examples include:

Mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder
Anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorders
Eating disorders
Personality disorders
Within each of these categories are often multiple conditions. Usually, medical professionals will classify these issues using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) or the International Classification for Diseases (ICD).

Why is your mental health important?

So why is it important to care for your mental health? As we saw from our definition, it’s a subject that can have far-reaching implications. Taking care of your mental health can impact your personal wellbeing, relationships, resilience, and various other factors. Let’s explore a couple of these areas in more detail:


Many studies have shown the link between positive mental health and overall wellbeing. In fact, the two concepts are closely tied together, and many suggest that physical and mental health should often be addressed simultaneously.

There are several examples where this link between mental and physical health are seen, some of which are outlined in our open step on diet and mental health:

Those with serious mental disorders have a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and even some cancers.
People suffering from depression are also at an increased risk for cardiometabolic disorders, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Those disorders – in turn – increase the risk of depression.
Individuals with gastrointestinal disorders are much more likely to have a higher prevalence of adverse mental symptoms, such as depression and anxiety.
Those with depression commonly report gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea, constipation and bloating.


The people around us and our place in society play a significant role in our mental health. Studies show that those who are more socially connected are generally happier, healthier, and live longer than those who are less connected.

Those who struggle with their mental health may, at times, find it hard to maintain these relationships, which can often make matters worse. Again, this proves why mental health is important.

Source: https://www.futurelearn.com