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The 50 Greatest Self-Help Books

Best Self Help Books





Suicide and Suicide Prevention
Self Help Books

In 2001, 30,622 persons ended their own lives in the United States; in 2002, 248,992 persons were treated at medical facilities after attempting suicide (U.S. Center for Disease Control statistics). It is unknown how many deaths classified as accidental were, in fact, suicides. Continue reading Suicide and Suicide Prevention article»

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The self help books listed below offer insights into the path towards suicide, methods of prevention and understanding, guides to grieving the death of a suicide, and memoirs of loved ones dealing with the legacy of suicide.

See also: Depression; Bipolar Disorder; Grief and Bereavement; Spirituality

Recommended Self Help Books on Suicide and Suicide Prevention

The Angel and the Dragon: A Father's Search for Answers to His Son's Suicide by Jonathan AurthurThe Angel and the Dragon: A Father's Search for Answers to His Son's Suicide
Jonathan Aurthur

This self help book is equal parts tribute to the short life of the author’s son and a guide for parents of troubled children. Aurthur’s son, Charley, committed suicide at age 23 and in this introspective yet educational book, Aurthur explains how parents can heed warning signs from their own children to prevent a fate similar to Charley’s. This is a valuable resource for parents of children with mental illness. 2002, Health Communications


Choosing to Live: How to Defeat Suicide Through Cognitive Therapy by Thomas Ellis and Cory NewmanChoosing to Live: How to Defeat Suicide Through Cognitive Therapy
Thomas Ellis and Cory Newman

In this self help book the authors teach proven therapy techniques while conveying a genuine concern and respect for the person struggling to stay alive. It provides clear and helpful information on the nature of depression and suicidal thinking and suggests strategies for dealing with various cognitive distortions. 1996, New Harbinger


Comprehending Suicide: Landmarks in 20th Century Suicidology by Edwin ShneidmanComprehending Suicide: Landmarks in 20th Century Suicidology
Edwin Shneidman

This self help book is a compendium of suicide research, offering readers a deeper and more practical understanding. Chapters reflect a wide range of points of view including historical, literary, sociological, biological, psychiatric, and psychological. Intended for specialists as well as general readers who have been touched in any way by suicide. 2001, American Psychological Association


Healing After the Suicide of a Loved One by Ann SmolinHealing After the Suicide of a Loved One
Ann Smolin

The survivor of a person who has ended his or her own life is left a painful legacy: grief, depression, guilt, rage, despair. Healing After the Suicide Of a Loved One steers the reader away from the torture of self-blame and points to the path of healing and recovery. Filled with case studies, valuable advice, resources, and a directory of suicide support groups nationwide, this valuable book lends the reader strength and hope to go on living. 1993, Fireside


History of Suicide: Voluntary Death in Western Culture by Georges Minois and Lydia CochraneHistory of Suicide: Voluntary Death in Western Culture
Georges Minois and Lydia Cochrane

Suicide was viewed as an honorable death in ancient times; by the high middle ages, however, the corpses of suicides were mutilated and buried in unconsecrated grounds. This self help book provides a timely chronicle tracing the evolution of societal attitudes toward suicide. 2001, The Johns Hopkins University Press 


In the Wake of Suicide by Victoria AlexanderIn the Wake of Suicide: Stories of the People Left Behind
Victoria Alexander

In this self help book are breathtaking stories of incredible power for anyone struggling to find the meaning in the suicidal death of a loved one. After author Victoria Alexander’s mother took her life, she spent the next ten years collecting these stories from people like herself who have walked through one of life’s most difficult journeys. The result is a beautifully written book of powerful, spell-binding stories told by those who were left behind. 1998, Jossey-Bass


Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide by Kay JamisonNight Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide
Kay R. Jamison

Best selling author Jamison, professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, explores the complex psychology of suicide, why it occurs and how it can be prevented. A courageous discussion of her own struggle with depression and the personal stories of many people who have committed suicide. 2000, Vintage

Pick of the Month Self Help BookThis book was a Pick of the Month Self Help Book! Read David's full Book Review.

 


No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One by Carla FineNo Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One
Carla Fine

In this comprehensive and well-written self help manual for suicide survivors, Fine offers advice for those recovering from the suicide of a marital partner, relative, or close friend. She provides insights into living beyond this tragedy, including dealing with feelings of guilt and anger, the stigma of suicide, and financial and legal problems; and she tells where to get help. She stresses that joining a peer support group is an important coping tool. 1999, Main Street Books


On the Edge of Darkness: America's Most Celebrated Actors, Journalists, and Politicians Chronicle their Most Arduous Journey by Kathy CronkiteOn the Edge of Darkness: America's Most Celebrated Actors, Journalists, and Politicians Chronicle their Most Arduous Journey
Kathy Cronkite

Kathy Cronkite gives voice to dozens celebrated professionals who have endured – and conquered – the hopelessness of chronic depression. This self help book provides an overview of effective new treatments and the latest therapeutic options to lift the burden of depression. 1995, Delta


The Savage God: A Study of Suicide by A. AlvarezThe Savage God: A Study of Suicide
A. Alvarez

In this cultural study Alvarez looks at suicide from the perspective of literature to see how and why “it colors the imaginative world of creative people.” Alvarez brings to his discussion of actual suicides and suicidal tendencies an uncommonly rich level of thinking, understanding, and compassion. 1990, Norton


Suicide and Suicide Prevention Self Help Resources