co-existing conditions

Eating disorders are complex and can sometimes present with other conditions, which may also benefit from treatment, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Anger / aggression
  • Withdrawal / social anxiety
  • Self Harm
  • Psychosis

For more information about OCD and possible overlap with eating disorder symptoms, the following website may be of interest:

Below is a book list covering Eating Disorders and other conditions.

The information on this site is not a substitute for professional advice

With permission from North Essex Partnership NHS Trust, we reproduce here a 'Suggested Book List for Carers'

 Topics include:

  • General Mental Health
  • Aspergers Syndrome
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Caring
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ ME
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Personality Disorders
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Books for Young Carers

"The North Essex Partnership University Foundation NHS Trust is committed to providing advice, information and support to people who use our services, their families and friends. The Trust’s Carer Support Team has created a comprehensive book list which will enable carers and staff who support them to gain a more in-depth understanding of the caring role. This book list can also provide a valuable resource for carers, staff, third sector partners and charitable organisations, regarding various mental health conditions."



Introducing Mental Health: A Practical Guide

Authors: Caroline Kinsella & Connor Kinsella

ISBN: 9781 84310 2601

Description: An easy to read, jargon free introduction to mental health. This guide is full of useful information, practical suggestions and strategies for anyone working with, or providing care for, people experiencing mental illness. (Ref: Jessica Kingsley Publishers)


Mental Health Assessments

 Author: Gwen Howe

 ISBN: 9781 85302 4580

 Description: This book was written with the help of sufferers and carers to give an accurate consumer's perspective of how the mental health services react when a person becomes mentally ill, Mental Health Assessments focuses on the problems that can arise when someone undergoes a formal assessment for compulsory admission to hospital. (Ref: Jessica Kingsley Publishers)


Mental Illness: A Handbook for Carers

Edited by Rosalind Ramsay, Claire Gerada, Sarah Mars and George Szmukler

ISBN: 9781 8530 29349

Description: This is an essential resource for all people caring for family members or friends with mental illness. Written by experts, this book provides basic information on various forms of mental illness, treatment plans, what to do in an emergency, the role of mental health professionals and other agencies, legal issues and confidentiality, housing, work and benefits. (Ref: Jessica Kingsley Publishers)


The Mind: A User’s Guide

Authors: Dr Raj Persaud, The Royal College of Psychiatrists

ISBN: 978 0593 056 356

Description: An excellent handbook from the Royal College of Psychiatrists. This book discusses all of the more common disorders of the mind and many of those less common. The writing is lucid and accessible, unnecessary technical terms are avoided and the focus is on practical assistance. (Ref: The Royal College of Psychiatrists)


Asperger Syndrome

Aspies on Mental Health: Speaking for Ourselves

Edited by: Luke Beardon and Dean Worton

ISBN: 9781 84905 1521

Description: This is essential reading for adults with Asperger Syndrome, and their families and friends, and will be a useful resource for psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health service providers and other professionals who support adults with Asperger Syndrome. (Ref: Amazon Books)

Asperger Syndrome and Social Relationships:Adults Speak Out About Asperger Syndrome

Author: Genevieve Edmonds

ISBN: 978 184 3106 470

Description: This book is essential reading to understand the social abilities of adults with Asperger Syndrome (AS). The contributors each have different personalities and experiences but together they provide a range of strategies to encourage people with Asperger Syndrome to achieve the social relationships they desire.  This is essential reading for adults with AS, their family and friends, as well as service providers and other professionals providing support for people with AS in adult life. (Ref: Amazon Books)

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder: the Ultimate Guide

Authors: Sarah Owen, Amanda Saunders

ISBN: 978 185 168 6049

Description: This book explains things that someone with bipolar disorder and those who provide support for them, need to know about the condition, how to recognise the symptoms and how to deal with stigma within the work place. (Ref: Amazon Books)


The Pits and the Pendulum: A Life with Bipolar Disorder                        

 Author: Brian Adams

ISBN: 9781 84310 1048

Description: Writing a prize-winning play, spending a week doing nothing but building Lego constructions, sinking all his savings into wildly impractical money-making schemes - these are just some results of the periods of intense creative energy Brian Adams has experienced throughout his adult life. This engaging, humorous and sometimes startling account gives rich insight into how it feels to experience bipolar disorder. It is illuminating reading for people with mental illness, their family and professionals involved in their care (Ref: Jessica Kingsley Publishers)


Family Experiences of Bipolar Disorder: The ups, the downs and the Bits in Between

Author: Cara Aiken

ISBN: 9781 8431 09358

Description: This is a personal and honest account of bipolar disorder. This moving and insightful book will provide an invaluable source of guidance, advice and support to people with bipolar disorder, their families, friends and professionals that work with the family. (Ref: Jessica Kingsley Publishers)


When Someone You Love Is Bipolar: Help and Support for You and Your Partner

Author: Cynthia G. Last

ISBN: 978 1593 8560 83

Description: What happens when "in sickness and in health" meets the turbulent challenges of bipolar disorder? In this wise, candid, and compassionate book, written expressly for the spouse or partner, Dr. Cynthia Last shares her heartfelt insights as a highly regarded therapist/researcher and a bipolar sufferer. Readers learn how to help their loved one come to terms with a bipolar diagnosis and find effective treatment, how to work together to get control over the mood swings and live life to the fullest.


Caring and Coping-3rd Edition:A guide for people caring for someone with mental illness

Produced by Rethink

Description: Answers the questions most commonly asked when someone is diagnosed as seriously mentally ill.  Designed to provide a wide range of information in an easily accessible format, it offers strategies to deal with some of the more practical day to day challenges which are thrown up when a diagnosis of mental illness is made. (Ref: Rethink)

The Selfish Pig's Guide to Caring: How to Cope with the Emotional and Practical Aspects of Caring for Someone

Author: Hugh Marriott

ISBN: 095 442 3313  

Description: This is a must-read book for all carers. Marriott tells it like it is - he rolls up his sleeves and gets right down to it, even the stuff  other people daren't even whisper about. His style is reassuring and full of good humour. There are lots of good general practical tips, and where he's unable to give specific details, he explains how you can follow up lines of enquiry on your own. (Ref: Jessica Kingsley Publishers)


The Nearest Relative Handbook: Second edition

Author: David Hewitt

ISBN: 978 184 3109 716

Description: This very accessible book explains how the nearest relative is identified and what the role can involve. It contains a wealth of case examples and illustrative scenarios.  The book provides a succinct discussion of each significant case and it incorporates all the very latest changes to the Mental Health Act and looks at areas where further changes might be made. (Ref: Jessica Kingsley Publishers)


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ ME

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ ME: Support for Family and Friends

Author: Elizabeth Turp

 ISBN: 9781 84905 1415

 Description: This book provides families and friends of people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME with an accessible introduction to the condition, and explains what can be done to support those who have it. It offers useful advice on how to help a loved one cope with the illness, and suggests ways to help them with everyday issues such as personal hygiene, nutrition, finances, and relationships. (Ref: Jessica Kingsley Publishers)



Dementia:Support for Family and Friends

Authors: Dave Pulsford and Rachel Thompson

ISBN: 9781 84905 2436

Description: This book was written specifically for family members, friends and carers of people with dementia. It explores each stage of the journey with dementia and explains not only how it will affect the person with the condition, but also those around them, how best to offer support and where to get professional and informal assistance.

A comprehensive and practical introduction to the condition, this book is essential reading for anyone who has a friend or relative with dementia. (Ref: Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

Dancing with Dementia: My Story of Living Positively with Dementia

Author: Christine Bryden

ISBN: 9781 84310 3325

Description: Christine Bryden was a top civil servant and single mother of three children when she was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 46. Since then she has gone on to challenge almost every stereotype of people with dementia by campaigning for self-advocacy, writing articles and speaking at national conferences. (Ref: Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

Can I Tell You About Dementia?: A Guide for Family, Friends and Carers

Author: Jude Welton

ISBN: 978-1849052979

Description: Meet Jack - an older man with dementia. Jack invites readers to learn about dementia from his perspective, helping them to understand the challenges faced by someone with dementia and the changes it causes to memory, communication and behaviour. He also gives advice on how to help someone with dementia stay as mentally and physically active as possible, keep safe and continue to feel cared for and valued. (Ref: Amazon Books)


Loving Someone Who Has Dementia: How to Find Hope While Coping with Stress and Grief

Author: Pauline Boss

ISBN: 9781 11800 2292

Description: Written for anyone touched by the epidemic of dementia, caregivers, family members, friends, neighbours, as well as educators and professionals. Written in easy to understand conversational language, this vital resource is based on solid research and years of clinical practice. (Ref: Amazon Books)


The Simplicity of Dementia: A Guide for Family and Carers

Author: Huub Buijssen

 ISBN: 9781 84310 321 9

Description: This book offers an accessible and sympathetic introduction for relatives, carers and professionals looking after or training to work with people with dementia. Drawing on the two 'laws of dementia', the author explains the causes of communication problems, mood disturbances and 'deviant' behaviours, with particular emphasis on how these are experienced by dementia sufferers themselves. (Ref: Jessica Kingsley Publishers)


10 Helpful Hints for Carers:Practical solutions for carers living with people with dementia

Authors: Professor June Andrews, Professor Allan House

ISBN: 9781 85769 2365

Description: This book is an easy-to-read guide for carers living with people with dementia. It provides simple, practical solutions to the everyday problems family carers can face when looking after a person with dementia. (Ref: Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling)


Losing Clive to Younger Onset Dementia: One family’s story

Author: Helen Beaumont

ISB: 9781 8431 04803

Description: This book tells the story of Clive Beaumont who was diagnosed with Younger Onset Dementia at age 45, when his children were aged 3 and 4. This story is for the family and friends of people with the condition, for the people themselves, and for the professionals working with them. (Ref: Jessica Kingsley Publishers)


Telling Tales about Dementia: Experiences of caring

Edited by: Lucy Whitman

ISBN: 9781 8431 09419

Description: Thirty carers from different backgrounds and in different circumstances share their experiences of caring for a parent, partner or friend with dementia. (Ref: Jessica Kingsley Publishers)


Living with Depression: How to Cope When Your Partner is depressed (previously called Living with the Black Dog)

Author: Caroline Carr

ISBN: 978 1 90541 061 3

Description:  A book well worth buying if you know or live with somebody who is suffering from depression. (Ref: Amazon Books)


How You Can Survive When They're Depressed: Living and coping with depression fallout

Author: Ann Sheffield

ISBN: 0609 804 154

Description: This is an insightful and helpful book for those who have ever lived with a depressed person. Through case studies and research, Sheffield shares the pain of many who have suffered at the hands of depressed people. This book helps one to understand the guilt and horror one feels when living and coping with a depressed loved one. (Ref: Amazon Books)


Taming the Black Dog: How to Beat Depression A Practical Manual for Sufferers, Their Relatives and Colleagues

  Author: Patrick Ellverton

  ISBN: 978 18570 39993

Description: This self-help manual is for those for whom depression arises from the impact of exceptional circumstances such as childbirth and menopause, commercial and professional failure, accident, grief, divorce or debt as well as for those more permanent owners of the Black Dog (Ref: Amazon Books).


Eating Disorders

Anorexia Nervosa: A Recovery Guide for Sufferers Families, and Friends (2nd Edition)

Authors: Janet Treasure, June Alexandra

ISBN: 9780 8637 77608

Description: The highly respected and widely known Anorexia Nervosa: A Survival Guide for Sufferers and Friends was written in 1997. This long-awaited new edition builds on the work of the first book, providing essential new and updated research outcomes on anorexia nervosa. It offers a unique insight and guidance into the recovery process for those who suffer from an eating disorder as well as advice and information for their loved ones. Written collaboratively by both an expert in the field and someone with personal experience of eating disorders, this book offers exceptional understanding of the issues surrounding the illness. (Ref: Amazon Books)


Beating Your Eating Disorder: A Cognitive-Behavioural Self-Help Guide for Adult Sufferers and Their Carers

Authors: Glenn Waller, Victoria Mountford, Rachel Lawson and Emma Gray

ISBN: 978 0521 7390 47

Description: This book presents a highly effective self-help cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) programme for all eating disorders, in an accessible format. It teaches skills to sufferers and carers alike. (Ref: Amazon Books)


Ed says U said: Eating Disorder Translator

Authors; June Alexander, Cate Sangster

ISBN: 9781 84905 3310

Description: This book aims to improve communication between someone with an eating disorder, their family and friends by revealing the eating disorder mind set and decoding language choices. Using examples of real-life, everyday conversations, ED says U said translates the highly charged language of anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder and unravels the emotional chaos that can surround sufferers and those who care for them. (Ref: Jessica Kingsley Publishers)


 Skills-based Learning for Caring for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder: The New Maudsley Method

Authors: Janet Treasure, Anna Crane, Gráinne Smith

ISBN: 0415 431 581

Description: Equips Carers with the skills and knowledge needed to support and encourage those suffering from an eating disorder, and to help them to break free from the traps that prevent recovery.


Learning Disabilities

A Guide to Mental Health for Families and Carers of People with Intellectual Disabilities

Edited by: Geraldine Holt, Anastasia Gratsa, Nick Bouras, Theresa Joyce, Mary Jane Spiller and Steve Hardy 

ISBN: 9781 8431 027 79.

Description:A practical and comprehensive introduction for carers to mental health problems, this accessible guide outlines a range of signs and symptoms of mental health problems that can affect people with intellectual disabilities.  The guide explains why mental health problems develop, and advises on what can be done to help people with intellectual disabilities and carers themselves. (Ref: Jessica Kingsley Publishers)


Bereavement, Loss and Learning Disabilities: A Guide for Professionals and Carers

Author: Robin Grey

 ISBN: 9781 8490 50 203

 Description: Losing a loved one and coping with the subsequent adjustments that follow are a difficult fact of life but people with learning disabilities face specific difficulties in processing and managing these changes. Adopting an integrative approach, this book acknowledges the importance of helping relationships in supporting this vulnerable group through periods of loss and bereavement.


Down’s syndrome and Dementia: A resource for carers and support staff

Authors: Karen Dodd, Vicky Turk and Michelle Christmas

 ISBN: 9781 9052 180 8 0

 Description: A resource for family carers, staff and other professionals to help them provide care in a more effective way for people with Down’s syndrome and dementia

(Ref: British Institute of Learning Disabilities) 


No Fighting, No Biting, No Screaming: How to Make Behaving Positively Possible for People with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities

Author: Bo Hejlskov Elvén

ISBN: 9781 8490 512 62

Description: This practical book explains how to reassess difficult situations and offers easy and effective strategies for eliciting positive responses without resorting to restraint and punishment. Helpful examples covering a wide range of developmental disabilities from autism to Down's syndrome illustrate the positive changes that can be achieved.

This empowering book will be invaluable to anyone attempting to deal with unproductive behaviour in individuals with developmental disabilities, whether at home or in a professional environment. (Ref: Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

 Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Can I tell you about OCD? A guide for friends, family and professionals

 Author: Amita Jassi

 ISBN: 9781 84905 3815

 Description: Katie is a teenager with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). She invites readers to learn about OCD from her perspective, helping them to understand what it is, how her obsessions and compulsions affect her daily life, and how people around her can help.

With illustrations throughout, this will be an ideal introduction to OCD for both young people and older readers. It shows family, friends and teachers how they can support someone with the condition. (Ref: Jessica Kingsley Publishers)


Loving Someone with OCD: Help for You and Your Family

Author: Kathleen Rupertus

ISBN: 978 1572 243 293  

Description: This is the first book written specifically for the loved ones of people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). It helps readers examine how OCD affects their lives and offers a straightforward system for building a healthier, more constructive relationship with OCD sufferers. (Ref: Amazon Books)


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: The Essential Guide

Author: Joanna Jast

ISBN: 978 1861 440 846

Description: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is often a misunderstood condition, however, it is a medical disorder and several treatments are available to sufferers. Packed with expert advice and practical information, this guide aims to help sufferers, their family, and friends to identify OCD, get the condition diagnosed and find the correct treatments for the individual affected. (Ref: Jessica Kingsley Publishers)


Personality Disorders

Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder

Authors: Paul T. Mason, Randi Kreger

ISBN: 978 1572 246 904

Description: This is a book about helping family and friends of those with borderline personality disorder (BPD) gain a better understanding of the disorder, learn how to cope with the disorder and take care of themselves. (Ref: Amazon Books)


Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder: A Family Guide for Healing and Change

Author: Valerie Porr M.A.

ISBN: 9780 195 379 587

Description: The book teaches concerned family members effective coping behaviours and interpersonal skills, such as new ways of talking about emotions, building awareness of nonverbal communication, and validating difficult experiences. (Ref: Amazon Books)



The First Episode of Psychosis: A Guide for Patients and Their Families

Authors: Michael T Compton, Beth Broussard

ISBN: 9780 1953 724 96

Description: This book covers a range of disorders, focusing on primary psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and schizophreniform disorder, clearly describing symptoms, early warning signs, and treatment. The First Episode of Psychosis will help patients and their families to take an active, informed role in their care to ensure the best possible prognosis. (Ref: Amazon Books)


A Casebook of Family Interventions for Psychosis

Authors: Fiona Lobban, Christine Barrowclough

ISBN: 9780 4700 27080

Description: A practical guide to implementing family interventions for psychosis, which discusses different family needs and illustrates different approaches to offering the interventions. (Ref: Amazon Books)


Coping with Schizophrenia: A Guide for Patients, Families and Caregivers

Authors: Steven Jones and Peter Hayward

ISBN: 1851 6834 45

Description: This book is primarily for people with schizophrenia and their families and gives an overview of the disorder, its treatment (pharmacotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy) and the role of the family in management. It contains many case studies, is comprehensive, comprehensible and very well laid out, and the notes at the end of each chapter complement the clear style. (Ref: The Royal College of Psychiatrists)


The Complete Family Guide to Schizophrenia

Produced by Rethink

ISBN: 9781 5938 518 04

Description: Individual chapters highlight special issues for parents, siblings, and partners, while other sections provide tips for dealing with problems including cognitive difficulties, substance abuse, and psychosis. Families learn to help their loved ones manage day-to-day tasks, develop friendships, and set personal life goals. (Ref: Rethink)


Me, Myself and Them: A first-hand account of one young person’s experience with Schizophrenia

Authors: Kurt Snyder, Raquel E. Gur M.D. and Linda Wasmer Andrews

ISBN: 9780 19531 1228

Description: Me, Myself, and Them is Kurt Snyder's own account of living with schizophrenia, an experience that began for him at the age of 18. This book is primarily aimed at schizophrenia sufferers and their families, but it is also invaluable for anyone who wants to get away from popular misconceptions and gain a better-informed understanding of what schizophrenia is. (Ref: Amazon Books)


Young Carers

Can I Catch It Like A Cold: Coping with a Parent’s Depression

Author: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

ISBN: 9780 8877 69566

Description: A young boy is concerned about his father's depression but with the help of his mother, soccer coach, and the school counsellor, he is able to get the information and support that he needs. (Ref: Amazon Books)


My Parent has an Autism Spectrum Disorder:A Workbook for Children and Teens

Author: Barbara R. Lester

ISBN: 9781 8490 583 53

Description: This workbook is an essential tool for any family with a parent on the autism spectrum and is suitable for children and teens of all ages, whether or not they are on the autism spectrum. It will also be a useful resource for professionals who work with such families. (Ref: Jessica Kinsley Publishers)

When I visit Granny Jean (age 5-6)

Author: Elizabeth Maltman

ISBN: 9781903490587

Description: The book is beautifully illustrated and tells the story of a family going to a residential home to visit Granny Jean. The story describes Granny and other people with dementia at the home, and explains that she has forgotten their names and does not say very much, but likes walking all the time. It illustrates that there can still be a loving relationship between them all. (Ref: Dementia UK)


Mile High Apple Pie

Author: Laura Langston

ISBN: 9780 0994 438 89

Description: This book is a wonderful tale about a small girl and her grandmother who has dementia. The illustrations are brilliant. This would be a good book for any child who is going through a similar situation. (Ref: Amazon Books)


Minds, Myths and Me (age 12 plus)

Description: A fact pack for young people who live with someone with a mental illness. This A5 booklet was designed and produced by four Gloucestershire young carers, using their own personal experiences to help others in the same situation. To order a copy contact:

 Tel: 020 7235 2351



My Mum's from Planet Pluto

 Author: Gwyneth Rees

 ISBN: 9780 3304 37288

 Description: Daniel knows that his mum was very ill once - mentally ill. She's fine now, and she's even landed a big new job as a head teacher. With his father abroad, his mum stops taking the medication that prevents her illness coming back. As she starts behaving more and more weirdly, Daniel realizes that something is terribly wrong. And that he is the only person who can help her. (Ref: Amazon Books)


The Illustrated Mum (age 10 plus)

Author: Jacqueline Wilson

 ISBN: 9780 3854 088 82

 Description: A brilliantly insightful story of two sisters who live with their mum who has bipolar disorder. A great read for young people and adults. (Ref: Amazon Books)



The Wise Mouse (age 5-11)

 Author: Virginia Ironside

 ISBN: 9780 9545 12309

 Description: Maria is a little girl who’s very worried about her mother: why does she behave so oddly at times? This book aims to help 5 to 11 year-olds understand what is happening to a family member who may be experiencing mental illness. (Ref: Amazon Books)


Mental Illness in your family (age 13 plus)

Young Minds have produced this 24 page booklet. It explains mental illness and how it affects family members. To order a copy contact:

 Tel: 020 7089 5050



MyCare: Caring for a parent with a mental health problem

 This 20 page booklet was produced jointly by The Mental Health Foundation and The Carers Trust formally (The Princess Royal Trust for Carers). This booklet is a part of their MyCare investigation and it is for all children and young people who are caring for a parent who experiences mental ill health. To order a copy contact:

 Tel: 020 7803 1101



 (Book List last updated May 2015)