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The Aids Memorial

Book clinic

Par - 1 mn

A weekly series answering readers’ questions

Q: I’ve recently finished a course of counselling to help me deal with depression and anxiety. What books will help me keep feeling positive and exploring my issues, without being too “self-help-y”? Anonymous, 39, Bristol

Matt Haig, author and mental health campaigner, writes : Reading is a very subjective thing, and depression and anxiety equally so, and there is never one right answer to this question.

When I was recovering from panic disorder and depression, reading of all kinds helped me. Reading children’s books (everything from Winnie-the-Pooh to Bridge to Terabithia ) gave me the comfort only stories can give. I think fiction of all kinds can be beneficial when you’re ill, because for a story to be a story something has to change and change is what you want when you are trapped inside an unending bad moment.

I know you said nothing too “self-help-y”, but Self-Help for Your Nerves by Dr Claire Weekes is great . It was first pub...