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Books to beat depression?

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 1 Feb 2013 11:50

" GPs draw up list of 27 'mood-boosting' reads to help those with mental illness.

Therapeutic qualities of books hoped to help those with depression, anxiety and stress.
List includes 'Cider With Rosie', Note from A Small Island' and 'The Secret Garden' "

I was thinking much the same this week as I re-read a favourite, a gentle ramble through a home and garden with amusing characters and a certain degree of acid wit :-). The books one goes back to for a 'lift'.

What would be your choices for the list? and do you think certain tv programmes contribute to depression ( soaps with lots of tragedy and distress?) .This board can be like that I feel, when one is depressed coming here and reading threads can be a real 'pick me up' or ....quite the opposite ;-)


AnnCardiff Report 1 Feb 2013 12:03

any of Bill Bryson's book should give a feeling of inner peace and for a good laugh, any of Tom Sharpe's

I suffer from clinical depression and have done for many years now, the medication certainly helps, could not live without it, but I do read a lot - had a Kindle for my birthday last year and have just finished reading "The Chocolate Girls" - all about three girls who worked in the Bourneville factory in Birmingham during WW2 - a lovely story of their lives - some sad bits but a very happy outcome


Guinevere Report 1 Feb 2013 12:04

I don't watch soaps, Rose, I only ever see brief extracts and I find that depressing enough.

Feelgood books?

Three of my favourites there in your post.

I would add The Chronicles of Narnia, Mary Stewart's historical novels, anything by Terry Pratchett and anything by Bill Bryson.

And Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams.

And Travels with my Aunt by Graham Green, The Importance of being Earnest by Oscar Wilde and loads that I thought of but forgot while I was typing.

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 1 Feb 2013 12:21

Gerald Durrell books, definitely anything by Bill Bryson, Beverley Nichols, the 'Elliot family' trilogy by Elizabeth Goudge.

Gwynne I remember reading, and enjoying, 'Travels with my aunt' many years ago, will look out for it.


Sharron Report 1 Feb 2013 12:54

Cold Comfort Farm,James Herriot.Margaret Powell.


AnninGlos Report 1 Feb 2013 13:10

Possibly what would lift one person might depress another so it is very personal. But I would agree with Bill Bryson, Cider with Rosie and the Secret garden, gentle books. Then there is Round Ireland with a fridge, another funny book.

I find books by the following authors lift me up.

Gervaise Phinn
Deborah Moggach
Maureen Lipman
Katie Fforde
Lilian Harry
Erica James.

Mostly quite light reads as if I feel fed up (I don't think I have ever been depressed thank goodness), I don't want anything too heavy.


Pammy51 Report 1 Feb 2013 15:44

If I am sad I go back to The Harvester by Gene Stratton Porter - old fashioned, rather moralistic but with a lovely feel-good ending.


SheilaWestWilts Report 1 Feb 2013 16:08

'1984' - because no matter how low you're feeling, you can't be faring as badly as poor old Winston Smith...... ;-)

Bill Bryson is great - I like them all but a particular favourite is 'A Walk in the Woods'.
The 'Susan' books by Jane Shaw - written in the 50s I think for teens. They were handed down to me by a cousin when I was about 10 and I've loved them ever since.
'Jill' pony books by Ruby Ferguson - part of my childhood!
Anything that 'transports' me - either historically or geographically - by the power of its words, subject matter irrelevant.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 1 Feb 2013 16:15

Probably any book that is a 'page turner' and helps you lose yourself in a story.

Subject matter is so personal, as is the writing style; it would be difficult to recommend an author or title to someone you don't know well.


AnnCardiff Report 1 Feb 2013 16:17

definitely not that heap of junk called "Fifty shades of Grey"


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 1 Feb 2013 16:22

Lol - asked our daughter what she thought of it. She got fed up with the 'naughty bits' and ended up flicking through until the story line continued....not that she thought much of that either!

It seems odd the GP's should have a list of recommended books, not that the idea isn't sound.


ShelleyRose Report 1 Feb 2013 16:26

I like Deric Longden, his book a cat who came in from the cold (about a kitten called Thermal) is brilliant I only have to read the first chapter and I'm laughing, there's a couple of follow up books as well, equally as good, lifts my depression every time. :-) :-) :-)


DazedConfused Report 1 Feb 2013 19:48

My favourite Bill Bryson was his first Notes from a Small Island - real laugh out loud passages far too many to mention but the incident in the kitchen when a lady left a package while he was doing the washing up and he did not know she was there is just priceless!!!

And I have just finished reading Start the Car by David Lloyd - now I am no sports fan but bought it for OH and I could hear him laughing while reading it, so I thought I would see what all the fuss was about. Well I can say that I nearly p**d myself in places. Hilarious and well written.

And a good Agatha Christie - just to lose yourself in and not worry about the rest of the world.


GinN Report 1 Feb 2013 21:19

Cider With Rosie is my very favourite book, and I've re-read it often. I also love the follow up, When I walked Out One Midsummers Morning. Laurie Lee was a wonderful writer.


Susan10146857 Report 1 Feb 2013 22:55

Or you could always watch Dumbo. I just have and he is soooo sweeeet. Enough to cheer anyone up :-D

Ok so it isn't a book....but it is still a cheerer upper :-D