Top 5 Books for Chronic Illness Sufferers

Among our good days, we all have to suffer through a few bad days. One morning, you may wake up and find that your symptoms are particularly tough or you’re too tired to get out of bed. A new treatment option may make you feel like you’ve been herxing with The Rock. On these days, all you want is to escape your chronic illness. When you find yourself having a bad day, curling up with a good book can be a welcome form of distraction or inspiration. You can read about the experiences of others living with a chronic illness, or escape to another world that doesn’t exist. Therefore, we’ve rounded up the top 5 books for chronic illness sufferers (and no, we’re not talking about The Fault in Our Stars).

1How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers by Toni Bernhard

Author Toni Bernhard writes an honest account of life with a chronic illness and doesn’t sugarcoat any aspect. Writing from her experiences, she offers helpful advice for managing all of the ups and downs, and still manages to infuse a little bit of humor!

2Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic by Pamela Weintraub

As we’ve discussed, finding accurate Lyme Disease information is painstakingly difficult. After her entire family contracted the condition, Pamela Weintraub compiled together the definitive book on Lyme Disease.

3. How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for chronic illness sufferers to live for several years before receiving a definitive diagnosis. From a patient and physician’s perspective, Dr. Goopman tries to explain why these fundamental errors occur, and how they could be avoided.

4Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired: Living with Invisible Chronic Illness by Paul J. Donoghue and Mary E. Seigel

One of the most difficult aspects of living with chronic illness is constantly having to justify said chronic illness. Often dismissive and negative reactions from others are received. And, this books offers hope and coping mechanisms to those who constantly feel as though they are defending their chronic illness.

5. Your Favorite Book

Sometimes, you need a break from the chronic illness world and a book is the best way to do this. Whether or not you choose to read Harry Potter for the 1000th time or start a new series, diving into a book completely unrelated to chronic illness may give your mind and body just the break it needs.

Do you have any favorite books on days when you’re feeling down? Share with us in the comments below!

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*Peer Health has not been asked or paid to promote any of these books – completely our own opinion!

4 Comments Add yours

  1. tallyhomare says:

    “It’s Not All in Your Head: Anxiety, Depression, Mood Swings, and MS,” by Dr. Patricia Farrell. I don’t have MS, but I picked up this book on Amazon because I met Dr. Farrell while we both worked at WebMD, and I had seen her help a lot of people. As a person with fibromyalgia, I found this book immensely helpful. It has helped me stay mentally tough, positive, and engaged in my own health care, which is important for any chronic disease, but especially so for one people tell you is made up.


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