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Mental Health Awareness Month

Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During May, the Santa Ana Public Library joins the national movement to raise awareness about mental health.

Books for Adults

This Is Your Brain on Food: An Indispensible Guide to the Surprising Foods that Fight Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and More

by Naidoo, Uma

Did you know that blueberries can help you cope with the aftereffects of trauma? That salami can cause depression, or that boosting Vitamin D intake can help treat anxiety? When it comes to diet, most people's concerns involve weight loss, fitness, cardiac health, and longevity. But what we eat affects more than our bodies; it also affects our brains. And recent studies have shown that diet can have a profound impact on mental health conditions ranging from ADHD to depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, OCD, dementia and beyond. A triple threat in the food space, Dr. Uma Naidoo is a board-certified psychiatrist, nutrition specialist, and professionally trained chef. In This Is Your Brain on Food, she draws on cutting-edge research to explain the many ways in which food contributes to our mental health, and shows how a sound diet can help treat and prevent a wide range of psychological and cognitive health issues. Packed with fascinating science, actionable nutritional recommendations, and 40 delicious, brain-healthy recipes, This Is Your Brain on Food is the go-to guide to optimizing your mental health with food.

Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?

By Smith, Julie Ann

Filled with secrets from a therapist's toolkit, Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before teaches you how to fortify and maintain your mental health, even in the most trying of times. Dr Julie Smith's expert advice and powerful coping techniques will help you stay resilient, whether you want to manage anxiety, deal with criticism, cope with depression, build self-confidence, find motivation, or learn to forgive yourself. Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before tackles everyday issues and offers practical solutions in bite-sized, easy-to-digest entries which make it easy to quickly find specific information and guidance.

What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma

By Foo, Stephanie

By age thirty, Stephanie Foo was successful on paper: She had her dream job as an award-winning radio producer at This American Life and a loving boyfriend. But behind her office door, she was having panic attacks and sobbing at her desk every morning. After years of questioning what was wrong with herself, she was diagnosed with complex PTSD--a condition that occurs when trauma happens continuously, over the course of years.

Losing Our Minds: The Challenge of Defining Mental Illness

By Foulkes, Lucy

Public awareness of mental illness has been transformed in recent years, but our understanding of how to define it has yet to catch up. Too often, psychiatric disorders are confused with the inherent stresses and challenges of human experience. A narrative has taken hold that a mental health crisis has been building among young people. In this profoundly sensitive and constructive book, psychologist Lucy Foulkes argues that the crisis is one of ignorance as much as illness. Have we raised a 'snowflake' generation? Or are today's young people subjected to greater stress, exacerbated by social media, than ever before? Foulkes shows that both perspectives are useful but limited. The real question in need of answering is: how should we distinguish between 'normal' suffering and actual illness?

In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss

by Bloom, Amy

Amy Bloom began to notice changes in her husband, Brian: He retired early from a new job he loved; he withdrew from close friendships; he talked mostly about the past. Suddenly, it seemed there was a glass wall between them, and their long walks and talks stopped. Their world was altered forever when an MRI confirmed what they could no longer ignore: Brian had Alzheimer's disease.

Cerebro óptimo, ágil y sin pérdida de memoria: Cómo revertir la resistencia a la insulina del cerebro, mejorar la función cognitiva y prevenir la pérdida de memoria a cualquier edad

by Masley, Steven

Hoy en día, la mayoría de nosotros conocemos el efecto negativo que tiene un elevado nivel de azúcar en sangre para la salud cardiovascular, sin embargo, muy pocos saben que la resistencia a la insulina daña gravemente el cerebro. Las investigaciones han demostrado que esta condición, que puede conducirnos a la diabetes, también puede provocar pérdida de memoria y demencia, e incluso ser el origen de la enfermedad de Alzheimer. En Cerebro óptimo, ágil y sin pérdida de memoria, el doctor Masley ofrece las herramientas necesarias para revertir esta resistencia y detener el deterioro cerebral antes de que sea demasiado tarde. Un manual paso a paso para mejorar la función cognitiva y luchar contra la pérdida de memoria, e incluso reestablecerla, en el que nos propone la dieta y el estilo de vida que pueden conducirnos a la verdadera salud neurológica. Además, encontrarás cincuenta deliciosas recetas, diseñadas para conseguir una salud física y mental óptima, ejercicios para evaluar tu función cognitiva, y mucho más.

Books for Teens

The Astonishing Color of After

by Pan, Emily X. R.

    Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird. Leigh, who is half-Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life. Alternating between real and magic past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a stunning and heartbreaking novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and loved.

    (Don’t) Call Me Crazy

    by Jensen, Kelly

      Essays, lists, poems, and art explore the ways in which 33 contributors cope--and thrive--with mental illness including actress Kristen Bell, figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, and bestselling YA authors like Libba Bray, Adam Silvera, and Victoria Schwab.

      Anxiety is Really Strange

      by Haines, Steve

        The science behind anxiety is explained in this engaging and highly original graphic medicine book, with in-depth analysis of where anxiety comes from, what it means for your body, and how to turn it into something positive. The artwork simply and humorously depicts how to alleviate anxiety and take control of its negative symptoms.

        Rainbow in the Dark

        by McGinty, Sean

        High school senior Rainbow is trapped with three other teens in a game-like world that may or may not be real. Together, they must complete quests and gain experience in order to access their own forgotten memories, decode what has happened to them, and find a portal home. As Rainbow's memories slowly return, the story of a lonely teen facing senior year as the new kid in a small town emerges. Surreal, absurdist humor balances sensitively handled themes of suicide, depression, and the search for identity in an unpredictable and ultimately hopeful page-turner.

        Finding Audrey

        by Kinsella, Sophie

          An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family."

          Lights, Camera, Disaster

          by Dionne, Erin

            Eighth-grader and budding filmmaker Hester Greene suffers from executive function disorder (think extreme ADHD plus anxiety). Written partially in script form, this laugh-out-loud story follows Hester as she figures out how to become the director of her own life.

            Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn't Over

            by Bleuel, Amy

              For fans of PostSecret, Humans of New York, and If You Feel Too Much, this collection from suicide-awareness organization Project Semicolon features stories and photos from those struggling with mental illness. Project Semicolon began in 2013 to spread a message of hope: No one struggling with a mental illness is alone; you, too, can survive and live a life filled with joy and love. In support of the project and its message, thousands of people all over the world have gotten semicolon tattoos and shared photos of them, often alongside stories of hardship, growth, and rebirth.Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn't Over reveals dozens of new portraits and stories from people of all ages talking about what they have endured and what they want for their futures. This represents a new step in the movement and a new awareness around those who struggle with mental illness and those who support them. At once heartfelt, unflinchingly honest, and eternally hopeful, this collection tells a story of choice: every day you choose to live and let your story continue on.

              Find Your Fierce: How to Put Social Anxiety

              by Sperling, Jacqueline

                Teens will become their bravest and fiercest self and overcome social anxiety disorder with this helpful, upbeat book written by an expert in the field. Social anxiety is tough, but teens don't have to figure it out alone. This empowering book will walk them through strategies that work.

                Slaying Digital Dragons: Tips and tools for protecting your body, brain, psyche, and thumbs from the digital dark side

                by Packer, Alex J.

                  Challenge Big Tech and Slay Its Digital Dragons, This book gives you the tools to take charge of your life online and be victorious against Big Tech in the battle for your clicks, cash, attention, and data. Inside are challenges, quizzes, and ideas to help you: Reflect on your screen scene and all the ways (positive and negative) the digital world affects you, Resist the digital dark side and protect your body, brain, relationships, and privacy, Reset your online-offline balance and use your screens to do good in the world, You may not be able to control what Big Tech does, but you can control what you do. This book shows you how-without asking you to give up your screens, sacrifice your social life, or swear off the internet. What about swearing on the internet? I won't ask you to do that, either.

                  Baby & Solo

                  by Posthuma, Lisabeth

                    Seventeen-year-old Joel Teague has a new prescription from his therapist--a part-time job--the first step toward the elusive Normal life he's been so desperate to live ever since The Bad Thing happened. Lucky for Joel, ROYO Video is hiring. It's the perfect fresh start--Joel even gets a new name. Dubbed "Solo" after his favorite Star Wars character, Joel works his way up the not-so-corporate ladder without anyone suspecting What Was Wrong With Him. That is, until he befriends Nicole "Baby" Palmer, a smart-mouthed coworker with a chip on her shoulder about . . . well, everything, and the two quickly develop the kind of friendship movie montages are made of. However, when Joel's past inevitably catches up with him, he's forced to choose between preserving his new blank slate persona and coming clean--and either way, he risks losing the first real friend he's ever had.

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