Books and Wellbeing Part 3

Posted on by Lara Murray
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In my previous post we explored some booklists and how dyslexic people might use them to self manage mental health conditions.  In this final post, we’re going to look at how we might adapt the lists to help us self manage dyslexia and mental health conditions.  As I am writing from a dyslexic perspective, when I say ‘we’ I mean ‘dyslexic people’.

Adapting the ‘Books on Prescription’ model for dyslexia

List of books on dyslexia

As well as the ‘Books on Prescription’ list for common mental health conditions, there is also one for dementia. Using the dementia list as a model, we could collate our own collaborative booklist to self manage dyslexia, using categories, such as:

  1. Self-help books on dyslexia;
  2. Personal stories of dyslexia; and
  3. Fiction that features dyslexic characters

The following existing lists could serve as a starting point for each of these 3 categories:

  1. ‘Self-help books for Dyslexic Adults’;
  2. ‘Dyslexia: Personal Stories’; and
  3. ‘Adult fiction featuring characters with dyslexia and visual stress’

List of dyslexia-friendly resources on dyslexia

To complement the list of books on dyslexia, we could also create a list of self-help resources on dyslexia in alternative formats, such as videos and podcasts. These 2 resources could serve as a starting point for that:

  1. The Codpast interviews; and
  2. Klaire de Lys’ ‘My Dyslexia Story’ video.

Adapting the ‘Books on Prescription’ model for common mental health conditions

List of dyslexia-friendly books on mental health

Similarly, we could compile a list of self-help books on common mental health conditions that we’ve found accessible, to complement the existing ‘Books on Prescription’ and ‘Healthy Reading’ lists. We could categorise our list by condition to make it user-friendly.

List of dyslexia-friendly resources on mental health

In addition, we could also create a list of self-help resources in alternative formats, such as workbooks and graphic novels, on common mental health conditions. And yes, we could categorise it too!

This existing list could serve as a starting point for both our booklist and our resources list:

‘Books and resources on common mental health conditions recommended to dyslexic adults’

Adapting the ‘Mood-boosting Books’ model

List of mood-boosting books for dyslexic adults

  • We could compile our own list of written material that we have found accessible and that has boosted our mood. Using Reading Well’s list as a model, we could include novels, poetry and non-fiction. But we could also include any other forms we enjoy e.g. graphic novels, novellas and blogs. For more dyslexia-friendly forms, see ‘Accessing Books – A Guide for Dyslexic Adults’ sections G4.3 – G6.5
  • This list could serve as a starting point: ‘Mood-boosting books for dyslexic adults

List of books that have not boosted our mood (‘negative recommendations’)

Negative recommendations can be helpful too, i.e. books that we’ve found gloomy, because then we know to avoid them if we are looking for a book that will cheer us up. So we could also compile our own list of written material that has not boosted our mood.

This list could serve as a starting point: ‘Books and short stories that have not boosted my mood

Conclusion

In this blog post we’ve identified several lists that we could compile to help ourselves self manage dyslexia and mental health conditions.  I’m not saying that engaging with books and other resources is a panacea for us.  But booklists help other groups.  So creating our own dyslexia-friendly lists by adapting the existing models could help us to self manage dyslexia and mental health conditions.

How about you?

  • Do books enhance your life or help you? If so, how?
  • Which self-help books and resources in alternative formats would you contribute to our lists?
  • Which books have lifted or dampened your spirits?

See also:

Books and Wellbeing Part 1: The benefits books can have on an individual’s wellbeing

Books and Welbeing Part 2: The effect an absence of books can have on an individual’s life

Reading, Writing and Your Health – Journeys in Self Management

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