Confessions of a Readaholic

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Which Books Have Helped You Manage Your Anxiety?

Living with anxiety is a daily battle and sometimes I wonder if it’d ever go away. It gets worse at night when one is not allowed to sleep even though one tries to count his each breath and sometimes the number is astonishing to that someone. Once it crossed 300 breathes and after that I lost the count. Well, I have read some books and reviewed a few here which do talk anxiety especially, Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive, and if you consider Syliva Plath’s Bell Jar, a book wholesomely written by an anxious person.

It causes me to spend more time with it, and less time with what I like to do. I end up wasting a lot of time due to it, less reading, less writing, not enough focus while working but someday I will have my revenge, I hope. Anxiety causes me to sleep sometimes too, but after the sleep, tiredness is often the result. Also, too much of caffeine never helps but increases the level of anxieties inside me. There are many ways of coping with this little bastard, and one way is to read a comforting book.

So I ask you guys, which books have helped yourself managing the anxiety. Share with me.

19 Replies to “Which Books Have Helped You Manage Your Anxiety?”

  • Infinite Jest deals with a broad swathe of mental health issues and is in large part an exercise in how to get out of your own head and realise that you are not alone. As grim as it can get one certainly does not feel alone reading it, and there is real hope and comfort to be found in it despite how despairing some of its conclusions can be. I’ve thought of it very often since reading it.

    • It is not about being alone to me. I like being lone at times if the matter needs my utter attention. The only problem is the anxiety of a kind. I read Infinite Jest earlier this year, and felt disappointing. Though you are correct about the description and what it offers to the reader but it did not work out for me well. Anyway, thanks!

  • The best I have ever come across is ‘When Things Fall Apart’ by Pema Chodrin. Now separate from a book that is designed for this purpose The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowland and the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews helped me through two very difficult situations in my life. They aren’t about anxiety but reading them reduced my anxiety.

  • I’d actually really like to hear some answers to this question, too. Anxiety is something I also struggle with, but I don’t know of many books dealing with it. The Bell Jar is the only book that comes to my mind.

  • Let’s Pretend this Never Happened and Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. One because she knows what anxiety feels like and writes about her struggles and Two she does it in a way that will make you laugh and cry and then laugh even more. I always turn to her books and blog when I’m feeling my anxiety is high or if my mood is low. I highly recommend her books 🙂

  • You already mentioned Matt Haig: his “The Humans” novel helped me at an extremely low point in my life. Sitting and reading that in my garden was a turning point for me. I also enjoyed his book “Echo Boy”, but that’s simply because I enjoy sci fi, and it’s an excellent book.

  • What a great post. I tend to head for books that make me laugh because there’s nothing like laughing to reduce anxiety. My favourite is a book called Fat Chance which is written by Simon Gray the writer of the play Cell Mates. It was the play that Stephen Fry walked out of. The comfort in the book (maybe comfort is the wrong word here) is the level of complete catastrophe that befalls him and the play and the levels of hysterical panic. It is an incredibly funny, raw, short book. There’s another called Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife by Sam Savage. It’s about a rat who lives in a second hand bookshop. It’s a very funny life affirming book and because I’ve spent a lot of my life in bookshops I love it. If all that fails I tend to read Tintin.

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