Depression reading list | Cancer Research UK
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Depression reading list

Coping with cancer

This page has information about books and websites that may be useful to you when you have depression. We have divided them into the following sections


General books and leaflets about depression

Understanding Depression
Kwame McKenzie
Family Doctor Publications (in association with the British Medical Association), 2009
ISBN 978-1898205722
This book is a concise and easy to understand way of learning about depression. It explains what depression is, the different types, helping yourself, treatment, medication, physical treatment, what to expect from your GP, women and depression, grief, and how family and friends can help.

A Cancer Patient's Guide to Overcoming Depression & Anxiety: Getting Through Treatment and Getting Back to Your Life
Derek R. Hopko and Carl W. Lejuez
New Harbinger Publications, 2008
ISBN 978 157224504-4
An American book with tips and techniques to help people recovering from cancer to recognise and overcome problems with depression and anxiety. The key to success is to keep focusing on engaging in enjoyable behaviours without getting bogged down by pain, frustration, and worry.

Depression: The Common Sense Approach
Tony Bates
Newleaf publishers, 1999
ISBN 978 0717128600
This practical and easily accessible book explains depression, outlines the common and not so common signs, looks briefly at some of the theories that have been put forward to explain it, and gives tools to help deal with it. The book also covers important issues for partners and families who live with a depressed person.

The Depression Trap: Ten Ways to Set yourself free
Nancy Hine
Red Raft Publishing LLP, 2008
ISBN 978 0955782015
A guide for people suffering with depression. It explores the wide range of approaches to treatment available today, giving information about each one and looking at the information available to suggest that they work. The book summarises current thinking on the causes of depression and provides suggestions for self help. There are personal accounts of living with and overcoming depression as well as further resources.

Leaflets available from Aware

  • Helping you Understand Anxiety, Stress and Depression
  • Depression in Later Life
  • Staying Well, Building Resilience
  • Anxiety Fact Sheet
  • Depression: Keeping Hope Alive – A Guide for Family and Friends
  • Learning to Cope with Depression (Depression Fact Sheet)
  • Supporting a Loved One through Depression (Fact Sheet)

Aware is an Irish voluntary organisation providing support for people with depression. For more information email

Booklets available from Mind

  • Understanding Depression
  • How to Manage Stress
  • How to Cope with Suicidal Feelings
  • Making Sense of Talking Treatments

MIND is an organisation that supports people with mental illness. You can order the booklets by phoning 0845 766 0163, emailing, or writing to
PO Box 277
M60 3XN

Leaflets available from the Royal College of Psychiatrists
The Royal College of Psychiatrists have several helpful booklets, including

  • Depression
  • Depression in Older Adults
  • Men and Depression
  • Physical Illness and Mental Health

You can order booklets by phoning 0207 235 2351 or writing to the
Royal College of Psychiatrists
Leaflets department
17 Belgrave Square

Leaflet available from Macmillan Cancer Support

  • How are You Feeling? The Emotional Effects of Cancer (includes a section on depression)

Audio CDs on depression

Britain’s leading cancer information charities, Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support, are working in partnership to provide a range of audio CDs, based on Macmillan Cancer Support's existing booklets. These cover cancer types, treatments and aspects of living with cancer. Go to the Macmillan website to order the audio CD called How are you Feeling? The Emotional Effects of Cancer.


Books for family, friends and carers

Living with depression: How to Cope When Your Partner Is Depressed (2nd edition)
Caroline Carr
White Ladder Press Ltd, 2009
ISBN 13 9781905410613

A practical, down to earth and personal book about coping with a partner who gradually slid into depression and, eventually, came out of it again. Case studies are used throughout the book and it gives a mass of practical advice to help people living with a partner with depression.

What can I do to help? 75 Practical Ideas for Family and Friends from Cancer's Frontline (2nd edition)
Deborah Hutton
Short Books Ltd, 2010
ISBN 1 906 021566
Deborah Hutton wrote this from her own experience of cancer. She gives example of ways in which family and friends can help including practical advice and ideas of what to say. It includes contributions from celebrities.

Leaflets available from the Royal College of Psychiatrists

  • Depression: A Leaflet for Carers and Professionals Working with People with Depression.

Leaflets available from MIND


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Please contact us on our feedback form if you would like to recommend a book that you have found helpful. It helps us if you include the title, author, publisher's name and year, and ISBN number.

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Updated: 9 July 2014