May is Mental Health Awareness Month …
For the occasion, we offer some of the best books we’ve read on mental health and mental illness for Christian readers.
Some of these books take a more theological approach to understanding mental health, or a practical approach to fostering mental health in our churches. Others help us understand the social dynamics that surround mental health, and you also will find several memoirs of mental illness, some of which were written by Christians.
We feature our theology book of the year first, and after that the remaining book are in alphabetical order by the author/editor’s last name….
Books on Christianity and Mental Health…
10) Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness
The New York Times–bestselling memoir of crippling depression and the struggle for recovery by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Sophie’s Choice.
In the summer of 1985, William Styron became numbed by disaffection, apathy, and despair, unable to speak or walk while caught in the grip of advanced depression. His struggle with the disease culminated in a wave of obsession that nearly drove him to suicide, leading him to seek hospitalization before the dark tide engulfed him. Darkness Visible tells the story of Styron’s recovery, laying bare the harrowing realities of clinical depression and chronicling his triumph over the disease that had claimed so many great writers before him. His final words are a call for hope to all who suffer from mental illness that it is possible to emerge from even the deepest abyss of despair and “once again behold the stars.”
I would add Toward a Theology of Psychological Disorder by Marcia Webb (Cascade Books, 2017) and Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness by Matthew S. Stanford (IVP, 2017) to this list.