7 books about self-harm and depression


Author bio

Page last updated: 24/10/2022

7 books about self-harm and depression

In this blog we present to you a list of books about self harm and depression

Books about self-harm and depression

Here is a list of books about self harm, cutting, and depression:

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow 

This particular book is by Kathleen Glasgow that chronicles self harm in the life of Charlie, the protagonist. 

This book talks about how romantic relationships can impact mental health as well as charlie’s journey towards healing. The book also presents the challenge of toxic friendships and the challenge of setting healthy boundaries with romantic partners and toxic friends. 

The story of Charlie also follows that of her addiction, relationships, and her own efforts to grow in self love as she struggles with self harm and cutting using her tender kit, and it’s full of glass that she uses for self harm.

Willow by Hoban

This particular book by hoban about self harming and grief follows the life of Willow who is an orphan and carries with her a lot of pain, guilt, numbness, and at the same time love. 

While it is not said whether Willow struggles with a specific mental disorder, what we do know is that she is struggling with self-harming as a way to cope because she is, in essence, a child who is struggling to deal with the terrible things that happened in her life. 

For Willow, self harm and cutting is the best that she can do at the time when she feels lonely, guilty, or in pain. 

This honest book allows readers to connect with willow as she followers her own path towards healing and at some point, becoming whole through the healing power of love/ 

Scars by Cheryl Rainfield

This heartbreaking book by Cheryl Rainfield packs a punch as it covers topics related to 

Self harm and cutting, sexual abuse, and relationships through the life of Kendra. 

Our protagonist Kendra was raped at a very young age by an anonymous and unidentified man and the book follows her journey in therapy for treating her PTSD. 

The book portrays Kendra’s experience of PTSD and her efforts to cope with the painful memories that have started to surface.

The book not only deals with these topics and her journey towards healing but it also touches on the topic of paranoia, stalking, and her efforts to cope through her love for art. 

7 books about self-harm and depression

Darkness Visible

This non fiction book that covers severe depression by William Styron, follows his life at a time when he was hopeless and suicidal. 

This particular book is his memoir that follows his life through hospitalisation and his own road to recovery.

Darkness Visible provides insight as to how it is like to live with depression, how hopeless it might seem, and how dangerous depression is when left untreated. 

The book provides much insight and also greater understanding of what it is like to live with depression. 

Anne Sexton: A Portrait in Letters 

This particular book by Anne Sexton is a compilation of her letters to her friends and family which has been compiled into a memoir after she committed suicide in 1974. 

This particular book provides a view of the inner life of someone who has struggled with depression for a long time as she discusses her own self view as a person and poet and her relationships with her husband and children. 

The particular book allows readers to take a look into the inner life of how someone with depression is impacted and how her entire life is also affected by it. 

The Black Veil

This particular book by Rick Moody is about how he ended up in a psychiatric hospital. The book covers how he was admitted into the hospital riddled with drugs and alcohol and his process towards recovering. 

In the book he discusses his experiences with depression and substance abuse and the series of events that led him to finally seek help as a result of being influenced by the life of one of his murderous and twisted relative that shaped the way he viewed life, himself, others, and the world. 

This book also touches on the topic of stigma related to mental health,especially that of which individuals with substance abuse are subjected to by society that makes one feel ashamed. 

Reasons to Stay Alive

This particular book by Matt Haig depicts his own journey of overcoming his depression. The book also highlights his philosophy of gratefulness and appreciating the little things of life. 

According to Haig, appreciating the little things is often how one can find reasons to continue on living in spite of the hopelessness and despair that people with depression struggle with. 

How to manage feelings of loneliness and cope with depression?

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a leading publication used for diagnosis of mental disorders by mental health professionals, Major depressive disorder or depression is a serious mood disorder.

Depression symptoms also include extremely low mood and fatigue and is often accompanied by thoughts of worthlessness and hopelessness which can lead to suicidal ideation and even attempts. 

Depression related symptoms such as inability to focus, lack of energy, and hopelessness can impact a person’s ability to work and meet the demands of their daily lives. 

People with depression often struggle with low self esteem and self worth which can cause them to negatively assess themselves. They may fear rejection and abandonment from other people which may cause them to isolate themselves in a bid to protect themselves.

This social withdrawal can make it difficult for them to maintain social commitments and relationships as they might choose to push people away especially when they do not have the skills to communicate and manage their emotions and thoughts. 

While these are some of the ways depression impacts a person, the disorder itself can cause the quality of life of people who have it to drastically decrease and in extreme cases, if the disorder is left untreated, it can lead to suicide attempts and death. 

Here are a few things that you can do to cope with these feelings of loneliness and depression. 

If you find yourself struggling with depression and loneliness, we urge you to seek support from a professional immediately. 

Here are a few resources form the NHS that you can make use of if you are suicidal, depressed, or engageing in self harm. 

  • Call 116 123 to talk to Samaritans, or email: jo@samaritans.org for a reply within 24 hours
  • Text “SHOUT” to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line, or text “YM” if you’re under 19
  • If you’re under 19, you can also call 0800 1111 to talk to Childline. The number will not appear on your phone bill.
  • Self Injury Support webchat (for women and girls) is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 7pm to 9.30pm
  • CALM webchat (for men) is open from 5pm to midnight every day

You can also reach out to your local medical service providers or a mental health service provider. 

If you are hesitant about reaching out for help, speak to a trusted friend or adult about what you are going through.

Do not hesitate to make use of resources provided to seek out professional support.

Seek professional help

Seek out professional help when these thoughts don’t improve after a week or two even after you have tried to manage them alone. 

It is also imperative that you seek out help when the intensity of these thoughts and feelings disrupt your ability to function and meet the demands of your daily life. 

When loneliness turns to thoughts and feelings of hopelessness it can aggravate your suicidal ideation, this is a major symptom of depression. So seeking out professional help becomes necessary. 

Distract yourself

Of course, your therapist will teach you coping strategies but until then, one of the best things you can do when you feel these thoughts of suicide and loneliness come to mind is to distract yourself.

Watch a familiar movie or listen to a song that reminds you of good times. Reach out to a friend to have a nice day out, or even just a phone call to talk about everything or nothing, depending on how you see fit. 

Challenge your thoughts

Thoughts of loneliness and worthlessness that often accompany suicidal ideation are often regarded as irrational thoughts and beliefs. 

When such thoughts arise, you can challenge them by listing your positive assets and the victories that you have achieved.

Challenging your irrational beliefs with your strengths can be one of the best skills you can learn. If it is too difficult to do it yourself, ask a trusted friend to help you.

Push yourself to reach out

Reaching out is difficult especially if you find social interaction challenging. However, building up the courage to do so is a vital strength that we all have. 

Using that courage to reach out to someone in spite of your fears is something that you need to push yourself to do.

Join a support group

Another thing you can do for yourself is to join a support group of people struggling with depression so that you can experience emotional support first hand within these communities and over time learn how to manage your challenges by learning from each other. 

It is possible that people with depression can also struggle with a sense of worthlessness, a feeling that you have nothing of value to offer. By joining a group that is open, empathetic, and growing towards healing, you and your experiences can be an excellent sense of support to someone else who is also in their early part of their journey. 


In this blog we presented to you a list of books about self harm and depression

FAQ related to books about self harm and depression

Can a book trigger depression?

It is possible that books can trigger stress and lead to higher risk for sucide, especially books of self growth according to research. 

Books related to advice on how to change life, attain happiness or find true love and problem solving books were related to higher levels of stress and depression. 

Does reading books help with depression?

According to Group Medical Services, reading fiction can help cope with depression as reading and connecting with a community of book lovers can help you feel more connected and can help people who may be dealing with depression or anxiety.


 Allison Wild. 12 Powerful Books About Depression. Early Bird Books. Retrieved on 29th April 2022. https://earlybirdbooks.com/books-about-depression

Which Ya Books About Self-Harm And Cutting Should You Read Next?. Retrieved on 29th April 2022. https://www.khristinachess.com/blog/2021/3/7/which-ya-books-about-self-harm-and-cutting-should-you-read-next