I always ask my clients how much they know about their diagnoses, and commonly, I hear, “Not much,” beyond the fact that they are living it, of course. I find that having just a little information can go a long way in helping people understand their illness and jumpstart their recovery. Everyone likes to know they are not alone in their struggles.

For loved ones of those with a mental illness, it’s just as important that you understand what your loved one is dealing with too. While you can’t have the actual experience of the illness, knowledge about it can help you figure out what needs to be done and how to best do it.

The bloggers here on PsychologyToday.com are experts in their respective mental health fields, many of whom are also book authors like myself, and I recommend you read their blogs for information about your loved ones' illness.

The following is a brief list of recommended books, websites, and organizations with educational material for various adult mental illnesses. Please note: I am not recommending these resources as a substitute for professional mental health treatment, for you or your loved one - they are strictly recommended for informational purposes. It is also not an exhaustive list, as I know there are many other excellent resources you may know about or will discover.

**I am not affiliated with any of the resources recommended, unless otherwise noted.**

For any mental health issue

When Someone You Love Has a Mental Illness by Rebecca Woolis

I Am Not Sick, I Don't Need Help!: How to Help Someone with Mental Illness Accept Treatment by Xavier Armadour

You Need Help!: A Step-by-Step Plan to Convince a Loved One to Get Counseling by Mark Komrad

The Family Guide to Mental Health Care by Lloyd Sederer

The Burden of Sympathy: How Families Cope with Mental Illness by David Karp

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Institute of Mental Health

Treatment Advocacy Center



How You Can Survive When They're Depressed: Living and Coping with Depression Fallout by Anne Sheffield

Talking to Depression: Simple Ways You Can Connect When Someone in Your Life is Depressed by Claudia Strauss

All About Depression

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Erika's Lighthouse (for parents of adolescents with depression)

Depression Marathon

Daisies and Bruises

Beyond Blue

Bipolar Disorder

The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide: What You and Your Family Need to Know by David J. Miklowitz

Living With Someone Who's Living with Bipolar Disorder by Chelsea Lowe

An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison

Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder: A 4-Step Plan for You and Your Loved Ones to Manage the Illness and Create Lasting Stability and Loving Someone With Bipolar Disorder by Julie A Fast

Welcome to the Jungle: Everything You Wanted to Know About Bipolar Disorder But Were Too Freaked Out to Ask by Hilary Smith

When Someone You Love is Bipolar by Cynthia Last

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

International Bipolar Foundation

Bipolar Caregivers

Anxiety and Related Disorders (including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, hoarding, and OCD)

Loving Someone with Anxiety by Kate Thieda (my book)

Loving Someone with OCD by Karen Landsman, Kathleen Rupertus, and Cherry Pedrick

Anxious in Love by Carolyn Daitch

Digging Out: Helping Your Loved One Manage Clutter, Hoarding & Compulsive Acquiring by Michael Tompkins amd Tamara Hart

Children of Hoarders: How to Minimize Conflict, Reduce the Clutter, and Improve Your Relationship by Fugen Neziroglu

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Social Phobia/Social Anxiety Association

International OCD Foundation (also includes information about hoarding for families)


Borderline Personality Disorder

Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder by Paul T. Mason and Randi Kreger

The Buddha and the Borderline: My Recovery From Borderline Personality Disorder Through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Buddhism and Online Dating by Kiera Van Gelder

I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality by Jerold J. Kreisman and Hal Straus

The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder: New Tools and Techniques to Stop Walking on Eggshells by Randi Kreger

Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder by Shari Manning

BPD Central

National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder Resource Center

TARA National Association for Personality Disorder

Loving Someone with PTSD by Aphrodite Matsakis

When Someone You Love Suffers from Posttraumatic Stress: What to Expect and What You Can Do by Claudia Zayfert and Jason DeViva

Shock Waves: A Practical Guide to Living with a Loved One's PTSD by Cynthia Orange

PTSD: National Center for PTSD (military)

Coping with PTSD in Family Members

Gift from Within


Surviving Schizophrenia, Sixth Edition: A Family Manual by E. Fuller Torrey

The Complete Family Guide to Schizophrenia: Helping Your Loved One Get the Most Out of Life by Kim Muesser and Susan Gingerich

Diagnosis: Schizophrenia by Rachel Miller and Susan Mason


Schiz Life

Schizophrenia: Help for Families

Asperger Syndrome (now known as mild Autism Spectrum Disorder)

Loving Someone with Asperger's Syndrome by Cindy Ariel and Stephen Shore

22 Things a Woman Must Know If She Loves a Man with Asperger's Syndrome by Rudy Simone

Alone Together: Making an Asperger's Marriage Work by Katrin Bentley

The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to be a Better Husband by David Finch

The Asperger Couple's Workbook: Practical Advice for Couples and Counsellors by Maxine Aston

Asperger Syndrome and Long-Term Relationships by Ashley Stanford

Families of Adults Affected by Asperger's Syndrome

Adults with Asperger's: What Other Family Members Need to Know

Musings of an Aspie



The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps by Melissa Orlov

Married to Distraction: How to Restore Intimacy and Strengthen Your Relationship in an Age of Interruption by Edward Hallowell

Is It You, Me, or Adult ADD?: Stopping the Roller Coaster When Someone You Love Has Attention Deficit Disorder by Gina Pera

Loving Someone with Attention Deficit Disorder by Susan Tschudi



Attention Deficit Disorder Association

ADHD and Marriage

About the Author

Kate Thieda

Kate Thieda works as a therapist in private practice in Durham, North Carolina.

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