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The 6 Best Books on Depression for Men

Updated on January 17, 2018

The 6 Best Books on Depression Ever Written

If you've found this page then I'm guessing you already know what depression is and how debilitating, life-wrecking and hard to conquer it can be. Despite these "depressing" facts about depression, we can help ourselves to overcome depression, low mood and anxiety by making the most of the vast amounts of knowledge available to us.

The following books on depression are all extremely well written in easy to read language and have been helpful to many men who want to improve their mental health.

Books From Mental Health Professionals

Each book is written by highly experienced professionals in the field of mental health who work with depression and depressed individuals every day. They know intimately what works to help depression and what hinders recovery. Take their advice on board and who knows, maybe you will beat depression once and for all.

Fortunately, nobody is alone and more and more people are recognizing the need to take the matter of depression seriously. The following titles are the six best books on depression and while not expressly written for men each has the potential to be a lantern in the tenacious darkness that is depression.

They offer practical help and guidance for those who need it and educate other people on what they can do to help the depressed individuals in their lives. These depression self help books will enable you to start taking charge of your depression today.

Overcoming Depression: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is a psychotherapeutic approach that involves changing negative patterns of behaviour and thought to treat psychological disorders, such as depression. Overcoming Depression is a must have for your bookshelf and reflects over ten years of new research on understanding and treating depression, incorporating CBT into a self-help guide. While other books on depression are conveniently qualitative, this book is scientifically grounded but surprisingly easy to read.

Author Paul Gilbert outlines the CBT-based program in a user-friendly, step-by-step system which includes case studies and practical ideas that will help sufferers of depression to take control of their lives. This is a simple and practical guide for the depressed, their friends and families, and is a must have reference for anyone who is touched by depression.

Manage Your Mood: How to Use Behavioural Activation Techniques to Overcome Depression

You must have this book in your collection of depression self help books. Manage Your Mood is based on Behavioral Activation techniques, which are an offshoot of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This therapy for depression and low mood focuses on scheduling activities that depressed patients have been avoiding. Written by leading clinicians Dr. David Veale and cognitive behavioral therapist Rob Wilson, this book shows how Behavioral Activation Techniques analyse, challenge, and change the typical behaviors of the depressed, such as avoidance and excessive worrying.

To encourage you on your journey, worksheets and practical problem-solving techniques are included along with the featured step-by-step approach to analyzing and changing behaviors. A detailed explanation of depression plus associated behaviors and case studies make this a thorough depression self-help book suitable for anyone.

Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medication Can't Give You

From psychotherapist Richard O’ Connor, Undoing Depression is an unpretentious, straightforward book on depression that has gained the respect and praise of people everywhere. Here, the author strips down depression and shows it as simply driven by genetic, biochemical and environmental factors. He then proceeds to focus on a factor that has been constantly overlooked: our own habits. With this book, O’Connor teaches us to replace depressive patterns with a new and effective set of skills.

While other books on depression teach us how to deal with it, Undoing teaches us how to undo depression completely. This is highly recommended for anyone suffering from depression as it is very personal in its approach, but holistic in its solution. No therapy, no medication— just purely enlightening and inspirational.

The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness

Four experts come together and bring this book that brings power to the depressed mind. In true East meets West fashion, meditation is utilized in breaking the dark cycle of chronic unhappiness by sidestepping bad mental habits like rumination and self-blame.

Done properly, the book shows that mindfulness in an individual will prevent and treat depression. As a result, the person emerges more resilient, able to handle challenges as they come. In an accompanying CD, one of the authors, Jon Kabat-Zinn encouragingly narrates guided meditations for a complete package of hope and psychological well-being.

The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs

These days, it seems medicine is the easy way out for every ache and pain. While depression may have a physiological cause that requires taking prescribed drugs, there is something we can do to combat the full descent of depression without their help. The Depression Cure is a six-step program in beating depression sans medications.

Inspired by aboriginal groups like Kaluli of Papua New Guinea, author Dr. Ilardi illustrates that the answer is simply going back to the basics. Basically, the home remedy of a good-night’s sleep, a well-balanced diet and even an active lifestyle does more to benefit a depressed individual than any drug known to man. Ilardi’s program even works on individuals who have failed to respond to traditional medications. If you want to beat depression without drugs this is the best book on depression for you.

I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression

While women are known to be more prone to depression than men, the results of untreated depression in men are more shocking than in women. This is because men are less likely to admit feeling depressed and are less willing to seek help. I Don’t Want to Talk About It is perhaps one of the most interesting books on depression because it tackles the conventional belief that “boys don’t cry” and exposes its effect on men and society in general.

The content’s autobiographical thread focuses on the author’s main concern: covert depression which is a painful, incipient stage that may erupt into overt depression. The title may seem completely pour homme but the arresting details gives a universal view on depression that caters to all genders.

There is no specific formula for curing depression. Depression will always be relative to the person experiencing it and in a way that is a good thing. These books on depression teach us how to deal with it the best way we can and according to who we are. They may be different in their approach but they all give the readers the same thing: hope and the knowledge that whatever it is that is dragging them down, there is a way to cut the ropes and be ultimately free from the heaviness within.


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    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Depression seems to affect many people in today's society. These books look very interesting and also substantial being authored by mental health professionals.

    • misslong123 profile image

      Michele Kelsey 

      8 years ago from Edmond, Oklahoma

      I admire your book choices. I love books that acknowledge Mindfulness. It is a powerful tool. May I use your hub in reference in my upcoming Depression hub? I'd love to give you more readers and to allow my readers a chance to see great products that may help them.

    • Susana S profile imageAUTHOR

      Susana Smith 

      8 years ago from UK

      If the thought of buying online is overwhelming, then you might find a bookstore suits you better :) If you are going to buy just one of the books then I'd recommend "Manage your Mood" - it will help you get on top of things like brushing teeth and eating :) Best of luck!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      great, impossible to buy with one click. i can barely brush my teeth or eat and you want me to figure out how to buy these books? great job guys.

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 

      9 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      This informative and compassionate hub had me at the title, Susana. Beautifully written. What really caught my attention was the inclusion of men. My 23 year old son is, I believe, severely depressed. And it manifests itself as frightening rage and constant anxiety. I opened a forum thread which is called "How do you honestly feel about your grown children?" I hope you've a chance to check it out, since it took me quite a while to admit this publicly-but I am glad I did. Hubbers are amazingly supportive and helpful.

      I am also prone to depression and think I'll look into your suggestion of the book, "The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself From Chronic Unhappiness." I am a devotee of combining the Eastern and Western philosophies, they can be incredible enlightening.

      Thanks so very much for this marvelous work.

    • Susana S profile imageAUTHOR

      Susana Smith 

      9 years ago from UK

      Thank you for your insightful comment Chris. I 100% agree with everything you've said. In my own struggles with long term depression I've found that sometimes I can move forward by absorbing certain bits of information from books, but it's always temporary for me. For instance while reading Overcoming Depression for the first time, I was able to separate my self from my depressive thoughts and behaviours. This idea was liberating and truly helped for around 6 months. Manage Your Mood has also helped me get out of negative spirals several times, simply by giving myself small tasks to accomplish which I could then feel good about. Unfortunately I seem to forget these things I've "learned" and end up back at square one or in fact, square minus one.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      My 40 years of living with major depression have been unbearable to the nth degree. There is nothing good or healthy or transformative about depression. I have read, "I don't want to talk about it", and found it to be informative and helpful (I am a male). But the belief that someone can 'overcome' recurrent major depression through a self-help book is more than unrealistic. I am also a psychotherapist (MSW) and working with others, along with my own depression, has taught me that depression attempts to kill and destroy everything in it's path. Oftentimes the best we can do is attempt to keep our heads above the drowning point. Depression removes the ability to connect to self and others and therefore it's almost impossible to develop any type of, or nuture, intimate relationships. You lose everything - your motivaton, your drive, your energy, your self-esteem, your confidence, your sensual/sexual abilities, etal. One lives only to hold on until the unbearable pain and suffering subsides and then constantly worries when, not if, the pain and suffering will return. People do not know how horrible this illness is and how utterly destructive it is. Various media strongly suggest that depression is a condition that can oftentimes be easily remedied, or, that the right medication with a 'short-term' course of cognitive-behavioral therapy will eventually get you back to your old self. If this does occur it happens in a minority of depression cases. The truth is that there really isn't any one type of medication or counseling that will 'cure' someone of depression, especially recurrent depression. I suggest that if you are suffering from depression, or you have a family member or close friend suffering from depression, that you should gather all of the pertinent facts about the illness, the treatments and the possible course of the illness. I would pay particular attention to what may occur as a result of the illness so that you can be prepared if the depressive person's functioning deteriorates to such an extent that they are unable to work or socialize, or even need to be hospitalized. Luckily, I have been blessed with a loving and supportive spouse along with a very loving and compassionate daughter (age 18 now). In my darkest hours I have had them as the last threads to hold onto; without them, I would not be alive. Do not hide depression from the world, regardless of how others' might view it and you (without trying to sound harsh, they are ignorant of the illness and it's impact). Try always to access the truth and find supportive people (including therapists and psychiatrists). If you try to lie to, or deceive, yourself, the illness will only grow and your suffering could well reach epic proportions. This last sentence is also written for those who live with, or that are close to, the depressed individual.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      10 years ago from London, UK

      Depression is an awful illness. I have seen two of my friends with it. I admire anybody who is able to control it and eventually eliminate it. Well written hub about a very sensitive topic.

    • LadyWriter profile image


      10 years ago from UK

      Very informative - thanks

    • brandrocker profile image


      10 years ago

      Good information again. Thanks for the suggestions.

    • SteveoMc profile image


      10 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Depression is one of the most successfully treated mental health issues. I think that these suggestions have the propensity to help. Thanks for the suggestions.


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