Darkness Visible was written back in 1989 by William Styron, the same author who wrote Sophie's Choice. It's a firsthand account of Mr Styron's struggle with depression. I read it again the other week twelve years after reading it the first time, and I came away even more impressed with its description of the despair and pain that depression brings. Maybe because of that realism, the book is one of hope as Mr Styron manages to emerge from his depression. In a similar vein, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) has a nice feature on its website where people suffering from different emotional disorders share their own stories (https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/personal-stories).
Reading these types of stories can help remind people dealing with mental illness they are not alone. All sorts of people are walking around dealing with a seemingly unyielding anxiety or overbearing depression. In addition, all sorts of people have survived such trying times and have learned to manage or even overcome such powerful negative emotions. The stories can stir up hope and help someone suffering start on the path toward healing.
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a therapeutic approach focused on helping people identify irrational thoughts that lead to unhealthy emotions and unproductive behaviors. Irrational thoughts in REBT take the form of dogmatic statements such as "I have to do well all the time to be considered a success," or "Others must treat me exactly as I want to be treated." These statements qualify as irrational, because they leave no room for the ambiguities of life. No matter how competent we are, we'll still make mistakes. No matter what, at times, people are going to let us down, not meet our expectations, etc.