INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES and LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER
“Brilliant . . . riveting, scary, cogent, and cleverly argued.”—Beth Macy, author of Dopesick,
as heard on Fresh Air
This book is about pleasure. It’s also about pain. Most important, it’s about how to find the delicate balance between the two, and why now more than ever finding balance is essential. We’re living in a time of unprecedented access to high-reward, high-dopamine stimuli: drugs, food, news, gambling, shopping, gaming, texting, sexting, Facebooking, Instagramming, YouTubing, tweeting . . . The increased numbers, variety, and potency is staggering. The smartphone is the modern-day hypodermic needle, delivering digital dopamine 24/7 for a wired generation. As such we’ve all become vulnerable to compulsive overconsumption.
In Dopamine Nation, Dr. Anna Lembke, psychiatrist and author, explores the exciting new scientific discoveries that explain why the relentless pursuit of pleasure leads to pain . . . and what to do about it. Condensing complex neuroscience into easy-to-understand metaphors, Lembke illustrates how finding contentment and connectedness means keeping dopamine in check. The lived experiences of her patients are the gripping fabric of her narrative. Their riveting stories of suffering and redemption give us all hope for managing our consumption and transforming our lives. In essence, Dopamine Nation shows that the secret to finding balance is combining the science of desire with the wisdom of recovery.
Finding a balance between pain and pleasure is "essential for a life well lived," writes psychiatrist Lembke (Drug Dealer MD) in this eye-opening survey on pleasure-seeking and addiction. Drawing on her experiences treating patients with various addictions, Lembke explains how the human brain's pleasure center works and the effects of feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine, and suggests the brain is "perfectly adapted to a world of scarcity." However, the modern world is one marked by an "overwhelming abundance" ("The smartphone is the modern-day hypodermic needle," she writes, "delivering digital dopamine 24/7") and, as such, those who struggle with addiction "have evolved a wisdom perfectly suited to the age we live in now." To break the cycle of addiction, Lembke recommends beginning with periods of abstinence and reminds readers that chasing pleasure and avoiding suffering leads, in the long run, to more pain. "We must be willing to move forward," she writes, "despite being uncertain of what lies ahead." Readers looking for balance will return to Lembke's informative and fascinating guidance.
Informative and engaging
Through the stories others, the author conveys a clear message of the habit to get hooked to what we find stimulating. It’s an easy read for those without background in psychology or biology. The book talks about why addiction happens (substance abuse or video games, etc) and what can we do to prevent it to lead a better live.
The stories give hope and possibility. Absolutely brilliant.
Insightful! Also the only page turner I’ve read in the “self-help” category
Great book for self discovery. Probably should reread periodically to keep insights fresh.
Informative & helpful
Anna does a great job at choosing how to present her patient’s stories and how they can relate back to our own life’s and choices. I believe we all deal with some amount of over-consumption, so I do think this would be a good read for anybody!