World Mental Health Day Reads
World Mental Health Day is an international day for global mental health education, awareness, and advocacy against social stigma. It’s celebrated every year on October 10.
It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries. Each October, thousands of supporters come to celebrate this annual awareness program to bring attention to mental illness and its major effects on peoples’ lives worldwide.
In this list: self care, families, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and addiction.
Help and Crisis Hotlines
Berlin Crisis Hotline: 860-747-8719
National Helpline: 1-800-662-4357
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
Substance Abuse / Mental Health Helpline: 1‑877‑726‑4727
Addiction Help: 1-800-563-4086
8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise
Christina G. Hibbert
In this inspiring book, Christina Hibbert, a clinical psychologist and expert on women’s mental health, grief, and self-esteem, explains the connections between exercise and mental well-being and offers readers step-by-step strategies for sticking to fitness goals, overcoming motivation challenges and roadblocks to working out, and maintaining a physically and emotionally healthy exercise regimen.
Are U Ok?: A Guide to Caring for Your Mental Health: How to Know If You Need Help & Where to Find It
Kati Morton, LMFT
A licensed family therapist and YouTube personality clarifies the difference between mental health and mental illness, answering common questions to reduce stigmas while offering advice on how to pursue beneficial therapy.
The Brain Health Book: Using the Power of Neuroscience to Improve Your Life
Concerns about memory and other thinking skills are common, particularly in middle age and beyond. Due to worries about declining brain health, some seek out dubious products or supplements purportedly designed to improve memory and other cognitive abilities. Fortunately, scientific research has uncovered a clear-cut set of evidence-based activities and lifestyle choices that are inexpensive or free and known to promote brain and cognitive functioning. John Randolph translates this science in an engaging and accessible way, including the brain-boosting effects of exercise, social activity, mental stimulation, task management strategies, nutrition, and positive self-care. Interwoven with lessons from neuroscience, positive psychology, social and clinical psychology, and habit formation research are powerful self-coaching exercises designed to help the reader incorporate lifestyle changes that promote brain health.
Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in A Sometimes Lonely World
Vivek H. Murthy, MD
In Together, the former Surgeon General addresses the overlooked epidemic of loneliness as the underpinning to the current crisis in mental wellness and offers solutions to create connection and stresses the importance of community to counteract the forces driving us to depression and isolation.
Brain Wash: Detox Your Mind for Clearer Thinking, Deeper Relationships, And Lasting Happiness
David Perlmutter, MD, and Austin Perlmutter, MD, with Kristin Loberg
Modern culture is rewiring our brains and damaging our health. We immerse ourselves in foods whenever we want; enter an enticing world of digital media; buy goods and services with voice commands. This life poses serious risks to our physical and mental states, our connections to others, and even to the world at large. The Perlmutters believe our brains are being gravely manipulated, resulting in behaviors that leave us more lonely, anxious, depressed, distrustful, illness-prone, and overweight than ever before. They provide the tools necessary to think more clearly, make better decisions, strengthen bonds with others, and develop healthier habits.
Beyond Beautiful: A Practical Guide to Being Happy, Confident, And You in A Looks-Obsessed World
A prescriptive, empowering, and psychology-driven guide to building confidence in your body, clothes, beauty, and life in the era of toxic social media-driven beauty standards. Between picture-perfect Instagram celebrities, ultra-lean fitness gurus, and effortlessly chic fashion influencers, it’s getting harder and harder to feel good about the way we look. Despite the growing movement toward female empowerment and body positivity, the pressure for women to conform to beauty standards is higher than ever, and the culture of social media has raised the bar. But it’s not too late to break the looks-obsessed cycle and live a happy, confident, authentic life. Beyond Beautiful is a no-fuss, psychology-backed guide to help women develop a healthy attitude toward their bodies, looks, clothing, health, and aging. Filled with proven strategies for proactive self-care, this stylish and essential guide provides sage answers to tricky questions like: * Why do I hate the way I look in pictures? * How can I stop comparing myself to all those beautiful people on social media? * Would I be happier if I lost weight? * Why is everyone else so stylish? Illustrated with full-color spot art, Beyond Beautiful is a much-needed breath of fresh air that will enhance your confidence and joy, and help you live your best life.
How to Break Up with Your Phone
Award-winning journalist Catherine Price presents a practical, hands-on plan to break up—and then make up—with your phone. The goal? A long-term relationship that actually feels good. You’ll discover how phones and apps are designed to be addictive and how the time we spend on them damages our abilities to focus, think deeply, and form new memories. You’ll then make customized changes to your settings, apps, environment, and mindset that will enable you to take back control of your life—both on your phone and off.
The More or Less Definitive Guide to Self-Care
An A to Z, mental health-centric handbook that distills the “self-care internet” to four distinctive realms of self-care: physical, mental, social, and spiritual.
The Self-Care Solution: A Year of Becoming Happier, Healthier, And Fitter—One Month at A Time
Jennifer Ashton, M.D., M.S.
Dr. Jennifer Ashton is at the top of her field as an ob-gyn and news correspondent. But even at the top there’s still room to improve, and with “The Self-Care Solution”, she upends her life one month at a time, using her own experiences to help you improve your health and enhance your life. Dr. Ashton becomes both researcher and subject as she focuses on twelve separate challenges. Beginning with a new area of focus each month, she guides you through the struggles she faces, the benefits she experiences, and the science behind why each month’s challenge—giving up alcohol, doing more push-ups, adopting an earlier bedtime, limiting technology—can lead to better health. Month by month, Dr. Ashton tackles a different area of wellness with the hope that the lessons she learns and the improved health she experiences will motivate her (and you) to make each change permanent. Throughout, she offers easy-to-comprehend health information about the particular challenge to help you understand its benefits and to stick with it. Whether it’s adding cardio or learning how to meditate, Dr. Ashton makes these daily lifestyle choices and changes feel possible—and shows how beneficial a mindful lifestyle can be.
Children, Teens, And Families
Understanding Teenage Anxiety: A Parent’s Guide to Improving Your Teen’s Mental Health
Jennifer Browne and Cody Buchanan
Today’s teens are high-strung and socially overextended. We shrug it off as a millennial problem, but is it? In a world that encourages the quick fix, instant gratification, and real-time feedback, can we really expect our children to cope as we did less than two decades ago, in the land of handshakes, eye contact, elbow grease, and grit? This book is a product of a combination of three very different perspectives: those of the anxious teen, the parent, and the therapist. We need to understand what we’ve created in terms of our current society to gain proper insight on why we’re seeing increasingly rising levels of anxiety in our teenagers. Topics include: physical and emotional symptoms of anxiety, teens and self-harm, anxiety and gut health, sports: concussions and anxiety, natural ways to help your teen cope, and much, much more. Within each chapter, author (and parent) Jennifer Browne and co-author (Jennifer’s teenage son) Cody Buchanan, who struggles with anxiety and depression, will weigh in on what this affliction feels like, physically, mentally, and emotionally. They share personal experiences to help parents better understand their teens and learn a lot along the way.
Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls
Lisa Damour, Ph.D
Though anxiety has risen among young people overall, studies confirm that it has skyrocketed in girls. Research finds that the number of girls who said that they often felt nervous, worried, or fearful jumped 55% from 2009 to 2014 while the comparable number for adolescent boys has remained unchanged. As a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with girls, Lisa Damour, Ph.D., has witnessed this rising tide of stress and anxiety in her own research, private practice, and in the all-girls’ school where she consults, and knew this had to be the topic of her new book. In the same engaging, anecdotal style and reassuring tone that won over thousands of readers of her first book, Untangled, Damour starts by addressing the facts about psychological pressure. Surprisingly, she explains the underappreciated value of stress and anxiety—that stress can helpfully stretch us beyond our comfort zones and anxiety can play a key role in keeping girls safe. When we emphasize the benefits of stress and anxiety we can help our daughters take them in stride. But no one wants their girl to suffer from emotional overload, so Damour then turns to the many facets of their lives where tension takes hold: their interactions at home, pressures at school, social anxiety among other girls and among boys, and on social media. As readers move through the layers of girls’ lives, they’ll learn about the critical steps that adults can take to shield their daughters from the toxic pressures to which our culture—including we, as parents—subjects girls.
The Kids Are in Bed: Finding Time for Yourself in The Chaos of Parenting
Picture it—it’s 8:30 p.m. You close the door to your child’s room just as you hear your partner closing the dishwasher, and now it’s time for an hour or two of glorious freedom. What do you do? Read the book you’ve been waiting to crack open all day? Chat on the phone with a friend, glass of wine in hand, or go out with pals and share a whole bottle? Or, like many modern parents, do you get caught up in chores, busywork, and social media black holes? In an original survey conducted for this book, 71 percent of parents said their free time didn’t feel free at all, because they were still thinking about all the things they should be doing for their kids, their jobs, and their households. Rachel Bertsche found herself in exactly that bind. After dozens of interviews with scientists and parenting experts, input from moms and dads across the country, and her own experiments with her personal time, Rachel figured out how to transform her patterns and reconnect to her pre-kids life. In The Kids Are in Bed, other parents can learn to do the same, and learn to truly enjoy the time after lights-out.
The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (And Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did)
In this absorbing, clever, and warm book, renowned psychotherapist Philippa Perry tells us what really matters and what behavior it is important to avoid—the vital dos and don’ts of parenting.
Enough as She Is: How to Help Girls Move Beyond Impossible Standards of Success to Live Healthy, Happy, And Fulfilling Lives
Offers advice to help parents guide teenage girls to recognize and reject perfectionist messages that lead to self-doubt, unfulfilling relationships, and fears of failure, and teach them self-compassion, how to take healthy risks, and the importance of finding support.
Helping Your Anxious Teen: Positive Parenting Strategies to Help Your Teen Beat Anxiety, Stress, And Worry
Sheila Achar Josephs
Written by a psychologist and expert on adolescent anxiety, this book is an essential how-to guide for parents, showing how their own behavior can either help or exacerbate their teen’s symptoms, and outlining specific skills parents can use to support their child. Readers will learn that when it comes to anxiety, simple interventions can make a big difference in how teens manage their feelings.
Mindful Games: Sharing Mindfulness and Meditation with Children, Teens, And Families
Susan Kaiser Greenland
Encourages parents to use mindful play to help their children develop focusing skills while learning to regulate their emotions and respond to any situation calmly, with kindness and compassion.
The Stressed Years of Their Lives: Helping Your Kid Survive and Thrive During Their College Years
B. Janet Hibbs, Ph.D., M.F.T. and Anthony Rostain, M.D., M.A
From two leading child and adolescent mental health experts comes a guide for the parents of every college and college-bound student who want to know what’s normal mental health and behavior, what’s not, and how to intervene before it’s too late. All parenting is in preparation for letting go. However, the paradox of parenting is that the more we learn about late adolescent development and risk, the more frightened we become for our children, and the more we want to stay involved in their lives. This becomes particularly necessary, and also particularly challenging, in mid- to late adolescence, the years just before and after students head off to college. These years coincide with the emergence of many mood disorders and other mental health issues. When family psychologist Dr. B. Hibbs’s own son came home from college mired in a dangerous depressive spiral, she turned to Dr. Anthony Rostain. Dr. Rostain has a secret superpower: he understands the arcane rules governing privacy and parental involvement in students’ mental health care on college campuses, the same rules that sometimes hold parents back from getting good care for their kids. Now, these two doctors have combined their expertise to corral the crucial emotional skills and lessons that every parent and student can learn for a successful launch from home to college.
Outsmart Your Anxious Brain: 10 Simple Ways to Beat the Worry Trick
David A. Carbonell, PhD
Anxiety is the ultimate trickster, trying to convince us we’re in danger when we’re not. It can cause us to question our decisions, doubt ourselves, or worry incessantly about the future. And, worst of all, it keeps us from living joyfully in the present moment. Fortunately, there are ways to outsmart your worry. This go-to guide will show you how to outwit your anxiety—freeing and empowering you to live the life you wanted before anxiety started heckling and intimdating you.
Love Poems (For Anxious People)
In the spirit of his New York Times bestseller Love Poems for Married People and Love Poems for People with Children, as well as his wildly popular New Yorker pieces, Thurber Prize-winner John Kenney presents a hilarious new collection of poetry for anxious people.
Tame Your Anxiety: Rewiring Your Brain for Happiness
Loretta Graziano Breuning
Anxiety is natural. Calm is learned. If you didn’t learn yesterday, you can learn today. It’s not easy, of course. Once your natural alarm system is triggered, it’s hard to find the off switch. Indeed, you don’t have an off switch until you build one. Tame Your Anxiety shows you how. Readers learn about the brain chemicals that make us feel threatened and the chemicals that make us feel safe. You’ll see how your brain turns on these chemicals with neural pathways built from past experience, and, most important, you discover your power to build new pathways, to enjoy more happy chemicals, and reduce threat chemicals.
Everything Isn’t Terrible: Conquer Your Insecurities, Interrupt Your Anxiety, And Finally Calm Down
Dr. Kathleen Smith
Licensed therapist and mental health writer Dr. Kathleen Smith offers the antidote to our increasingly anxious times in this smart, practical guide. Want to become a beacon of calm to your family, to your friends, at work, and in this all-around anxiety-inducing world? This book will help you to: confront your anxious self; choose how you respond to anxiety; live a more thoughtful and less fearful life. In short chapters filled with anecdotal examples from Smith’s work with her clients, along with engaging, actionable exercises and a healthy dose of humor, this book gives you all the tools you need to get a handle on your anxiety and finally . . . calm . . . down.
Anxiety Happens: 52 Ways to Find Peace of Mind
John P. Forsyth, PhD, and Georg H. Eifert, PhD
Break free from anxiety—once and for all! From the authors of The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety, this powerful yet portable guide offers fifty-two in-the-moment mindfulness strategies you can use anytime, anywhere to cultivate calm and radically transform your life.
Okay Fine Whatever: The Year I Went from Being Afraid of Everything to Only Being Afraid of Most Things
The veteran host and head writer of “Live Wire” traces her lifelong battle with anxiety and the year she spent challenging herself to face her fears in remarkable ways, with hilarious results.
Hack Your Anxiety: How to Make Anxiety Work for You in Life, Love, And All That You Do
Alicia H. Clark, PsyD with Jon Sternfeld
What if the way we’re thinking about anxiety is off base? What if there’s something about anxiety that can be used for you instead of against you? In this revolutionary new book, Dr. Alicia H. Clark recognizes anxiety as an unsung hero in the path to success and well-being. Anxiety is a powerful motivating force that can be harnessed to create a better you, if you’ve got the right tools. Hack Your Anxiety provides a road map to approach anxiety in a new—and empowering—light. Weaving together modern neuroscience, case studies, interviews, and personal anecdotes, Hack Your Anxiety demonstrates how anxiety can be reclaimed as a potent force for living our best lives.
First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Journey Through Anxiety
In First, We Make the Beast Beautiful, Wilson directs her intense focus and fierce investigating skills onto her lifetime companion, looking at the triggers and treatments, the fashions and fads. She reads widely and interviews fellow sufferers, mental health experts, philosophers, and even the Dalai Lama, processing all she learns through the prism of her own experiences.
Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me: Depression in The First Person
Anna Mehler Paperny
Depression is a havoc-wreaking illness that masquerades as personal failing and hijacks your life. After a major suicide attempt in her early twenties, Paperny set off on a journey to understand her condition, the dizzying array of medical treatments on offer, and a medical profession in search of answers. She maps competing schools of therapy, pharmacology, cutting-edge medicine; the pill-popping pitfalls of long-term treatment; the glaring unknowns and the institutional shortcomings that both patients and practitioners are up against.
Building A Life Worth Living
Marsha M. Linehan
Over the years, DBT had saved the lives of countless people fighting depression and suicidal thoughts, but Linehan had never revealed that her pioneering work was inspired by her own desperate struggles as a young woman. Only when she received this question did she finally decide to tell her story. In this remarkable and inspiring memoir, Linehan describes how, when she was eighteen years old, she began an abrupt downward spiral from popular teenager to suicidal young woman. After several miserable years in a psychiatric institute, Linehan made a vow that if she could get out of emotional hell, she would try to find a way to help others get out of hell too, and to build a life worth living. She went on to put herself through night school and college, living at the YWCA and often scraping together spare change to buy food. She went on to get her PhD in psychology, specializing in behavior therapy. In the 1980s, she achieved a breakthrough when she developed Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, a therapeutic approach that combines acceptance of the self and ways to change. Linehan included mindfulness as a key component in therapy treatment, along with original and specific life-skill techniques.
The Hilarious World of Depression
For years John Moe, critically-acclaimed public radio personality and host of The Hilarious World of Depression podcast, struggled with depression; it plagued his family and claimed the life of his brother in 2007. As Moe came to terms with his own illness, he began to see similar patterns of behavior and coping mechanisms surfacing in conversations with others, including high-profile comedians who’d struggled with the disease. Moe saw that there was tremendous comfort and community in open dialogue about these shared experiences and that humor had a unique power. Thus was born the podcast The Hilarious World of Depression. Inspired by the immediate success of the podcast, Moe has written a remarkable investigation of the disease, part memoir of his own journey, part treasure trove of laugh-out-loud stories and insights drawn from years of interviews with some of the most brilliant minds facing similar challenges. Throughout the course of this powerful narrative, depression’s universal themes come to light, among them, struggles with identity, lack of understanding of the symptoms, the challenges of work-life, self-medicating, the fallout of the disease in the lives of our loved ones, the tragedy of suicide, and the hereditary aspects of the disease. The Hilarious World of Depression illuminates depression in an entirely fresh and inspiring way.
Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression—And the Unexpected Solutions
The best-selling author of Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs outlines revelatory arguments against common misperceptions about depression and anxiety, drawing on the work of social scientists who believe that the disorders are less related to brain chemical imbalances than to stressful factors in how people live today.
Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn’t Teach You and Medication Can’t Give You
Richard O’Connor, a psychotherapist, provides information about depression and skills that can help people learn how to replace depressive patterns of thinking, relating, and behaving with more effective set of skills.
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things
In Furiously Happy, a humor memoir tinged with just enough tragedy and pathos to make it worthwhile, Jenny Lawson examines her own experience with severe depression and a host of other conditions, and explains how it has led her to live life to the fullest: “I’ve often thought that people with severe depression have developed such a well for experiencing extreme emotion that they might be able to experience extreme joy in a way that ‘normal people’ also might never understand. And that’s what Furiously Happy is all about.
The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness
In The Mindful Way through Depression, four uniquely qualified experts explain why our usual attempts to “think” our way out of a bad mood or just “snap out of it” lead us deeper into the downward spiral. Through insightful lessons drawn from both Eastern meditative traditions and cognitive therapy, they demonstrate how to sidestep the mental habits that lead to despair, including rumination and self-blame, so you can face life’s challenges with greater resilience. Jon Kabat-Zinn gently and encouragingly narrates the accompanying CD of guided meditations, making this a complete package for anyone seeking to regain a sense of hope and well-being.
The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking
Self-help books don’t seem to work. Few of the many advantages of modern life seem capable of lifting our collective mood. Wealth―even if you can get it―doesn’t necessarily lead to happiness. Romance, family life, and work often bring as much stress as joy. We can’t even agree on what “happiness” means. So are we engaged in a futile pursuit? Or are we just going about it the wrong way?
The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression
The Noonday Demon examines depression in personal, cultural, and scientific terms. Drawing on his own struggles with the illness and interviews with fellow sufferers, doctors and scientists, policy makers and politicians, drug designers, and philosophers, Andrew Solomon reveals the subtle complexities and sheer agony of the disease as well as the reasons for hope. He confronts the challenge of defining the illness and describes the vast range of available medications and treatments, and the impact the malady has on various demographic populations—around the world and throughout history. He also explores the thorny patch of moral and ethical questions posed by biological explanations for mental illness. With uncommon humanity, candor, wit and erudition, award-winning author Solomon takes readers on a journey of incomparable range and resonance into the most pervasive of family secrets. His contribution to our understanding not only of mental illness but also of the human condition is truly stunning.
The Unspeakable Mind: Stories of Trauma and Healing from The Frontlines of PTSD Science
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a challenging condition with a collection of possible symptoms: nightmares, relentless harmful emotions (anger, fear, guilt), hypervigilance, flashbacks, and an amplified startle response. PTSD patients are at greater risk of suicide. About 80-percent of the afflicted also suffer from other psychiatric problems (depression, alcoholism, drug abuse). Some causes of PTSD are rape, combat exposure, child abuse, accidents, and fire. Psychiatrist Jain (the daughter of immigrants from India with a family history of trauma) incorporates anecdotes of her patients to help explain the etiologies, diagnoses, and treatments of PTSD. A sampling includes a woman who is sexually assaulted as a teenager and later endures her baby’s SIDS death, a marine who served in Iraq and witnessed a street bombing that maimed or killed many civilians, and an individual badly injured in a car accident. The best treatment remains talk therapy (cognitive behavioral therapy), and medication (chiefly SSRI antidepressants) can be beneficial. Jain asserts that the importance of accessible treatment and early intervention for PTSD cannot be overstated, while also emphasizing the genuine healing value of empathy and simply listening.
Thriving After Trauma: Stories of Living and Healing
Thriving After Trauma deals with overcoming trauma including physical and sexual abuse, war-related injury, loss due to tragedy or illness, and natural disasters. Real stories and practical tools shed light on how to let go of shame, guilt, anger, and despair after a traumatic experience. It is possible to grieve, move beyond, and fully live again.
They’ll Never Be the Same: A Parent’s Guide to PTSD In Youth
Michael S. Scheeringa
Despite advances in understanding and treatment for trauma-related problems, PTSD still goes undetected in most individuals who have it. Clinicians who consider themselves experts miss the diagnosis the vast majority of the time. Parents are being inappropriately blamed for their children’s problems because of misinterpretations of the research data. Patients are being told extraordinary stories that trauma has damaged their brains. And treatments that work are being ignored by clinicians. Dr. Scheeringa understands the desperation many parents feel and explains the impact of trauma, simplifies the science into layman’s terms, debunks the myths, and provides direction on navigating the confusing maze of the mental health world to find appropriate care. He offers rational, evidence-based solutions to counter the current distortions found with many PTSD diagnoses.
The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity
Nadine Burke Harris, M.D
A pioneering physician reveals how childhood stress leads to lifelong health problems and what we can do to break the cycle. For anyone who has faced a difficult childhood, or who cares about the millions of children who do, the innovative and acclaimed health interventions outlined in this book will represent vitally important hope for change. Print run 75,000.
Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction
Explores the science of drug addiction and argues that a “cure” for addiction will not be found in the individual brain, but in changing the way people interact with their communities.
In Pain: A Bioethicist’s Personal Struggle with Opioids
A bioethicist’s memoir of opioid dependence and withdrawal exposes the American health care system’s failures at managing the use of opioids for pain relief and reveals the lack of resources and structures to handle the nationwide epidemic of opioid addiction.
Drug Dealer, MD: How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, And Why It’s So Hard to Stop
Anna Lembke, MD
Three out of four people addicted to heroin probably started on a prescription opioid, according to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the United States alone, 16,000 people die each year as a result of prescription opioid overdose. But perhaps the most frightening aspect of the prescription drug epidemic is that it’s built on well-meaning doctors treating patients with real problems.
Unhooked: How to Quit Anything
Frederick Woolverton and Susan Shapiro
A specialist in treating addictions and a former patient outline a method of controlling any kind of addiction—including substance abuse and other compulsive behaviors that mask emotional pain—by understanding the underlying pain.
Raising the Bottom: Making Mindful Choices in A Drinking Culture
Presents a discussion of addiction as experienced by women, and the difficult road to recovery. Features essays from mothers, daughters, health professionals, and young women who share their stories of why they drank, how they stopped, and the joys and rewards of being present in their lives once they kicked alcohol to the curb.
The Thirteenth Step: Addiction in The Age of Brain Science
The past twenty-five years have witnessed a revolution in the science of addiction, yet we still rely upon sorely outdated methods of treatment. Expensive new programs for managing addiction are also flourishing, but since they are not based in science, they offer little benefit to people who cannot afford to lose money or faith in their recovery. Clarifying the cutting-edge science of addiction for practitioners and general readers, The Thirteenth Step pairs stories of real patients with explanations of key concepts relating to their illness. A police chief who disappears on the job illustrates the process through which a drug can trigger the brain circuits mediating relapse. One person’s effort to find a burrito shack in a foreign city illuminates the reward prediction error signaled by the brain chemical dopamine. With these examples and more, this volume paints a vivid, relatable portrait of drug seeking, escalation, and other aspects of addiction and suggests science-based treatments that promise to improve troubling relapse rates. Merging science and human experience, The Thirteenth Step offers compassionate, valuable answers to anyone who hopes for a better handle on a pernicious and confounding disease.