Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Instant New York Times and Los Angeles Times Best Seller
“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.
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|Listening Length||6 hours and 11 minutes|
|Author||Dr. Anna Lembke|
|Narrator||Dr. Anna Lembke|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||August 24, 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #494 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#1 in Sociological Study of Medicine
#1 in Medical Clinical Psychology
#3 in Biology (Books)
Reviewed in the United States on August 16, 2022
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Top reviews from the United States
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I typically read nonfiction books for the concepts —just give the facts, okay?
This book was different for me. Staring on page one, this book seduced me with the true stories and the author’s vulnerability.
The content is “R” rated in places. Not for kids and not for those who wouldn’t see an “R” rated movie. But I hope that doesn’t stop people from buying this book and and reading it carefully.
That being said, I *definitely* recommend this book.
Is it a little moralistic? Sure. But we could use a few more morals in society. I loved it. It will add perspective and balance to your life!
I especially liked when she talked about shame and some of the shame you can get from churches and faith-based communities. I am Christian and am a part of a really great church and I know a lot of people experience trauma from their church not having enough empathy. Luckily, I have had both good and bad experiences in church which helps me have a little more empathy for people with church trauma. I think faith-based communities should be the places where we are met with unconditional love. I’m glad that her client found that in AA meetings.
Thank you for this book, Dr. Anna Lembke!
Top reviews from other countries
To anyone who wants to learn about the mechanism I’d suggest the Huberman Lab podcast or the book: “The molecule of more”
- We have become all consuming and seeking addiction in a myriad of ways; whether it be shopping, alcohol, drugs, consumerism, spending too long on social media and basically seeking pleasure at all cost. An interesting part that we have learnt recently is that pleasure and pain occur in the same part of the brain. And as we have become a nation of addicts addicted to at least something, particularly seeking distraction from normalised behaviour, we can learn a lot about how society and individuals with addictions can help with understanding everything else around us.
- We're also sociable animals and what we see for example on the Internet has almost normalised values and behaviours that previously we would've found obscene or difficult to handle. This when mixed with dopamine can cause a heady cocktail.
- This is from the book: “Seventy percent of world global deaths are attributable to modifiable behavioural risk factors like smoking, physical inactivity, and diet. The leading global risks for mortality are high blood pressure (13 percent), tobacco use (9 percent), high blood sugar (6 percent), physical inactivity (6 percent), and obesity (5 percent). In 2013, an estimated 2.1 billion adults were overweight, compared with 857 million in 1980. There are now more people worldwide, except in parts of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, who are obese than who are underweight. Rates of addiction are rising the world over. The disease burden attributed to alcohol and illicit drug addiction is 1.5 percent globally, and more than 5 percent in the United States. These data exclude tobacco consumption. Drug of choice varies by country. The US is dominated by illicit drugs, Russia and Eastern Europe by alcohol addiction. Global deaths from addiction have risen in all age groups between 1990 and 2017, with more than half the deaths occurring in people younger than fifty years of age. The poor and undereducated, especially those living in rich nations, are most susceptible to the problem of compulsive overconsumption. They have easy access to high-reward, high-potency, high-novelty drugs at the same time that they lack access to meaningful work, safe housing, quality education, affordable health care, and race and class equality before the law. This creates a dangerous nexus of addiction risk.”
- We've also become more attuned at trying to distract ourselves than wake up to what is actually the human condition. We often are sleep deprived and feel anxious because we put so much pressure on ourselves and our working conditions are bad and where as before we might've said this is just part of the normal human condition of sadness, we have now labelled it a mental health problem and we try to find ways to ease the pain through distraction and addiction featuring highs of pleasure that reward our system by rushes of dopamine.
- There are interesting experiments where you get a dog to associate the ringing of a bell with the reward of food and this in turn is caused by dopamine in the brain to seek pleasure in something that is anticipated. In many people the greater joy is more in the wanting and seeking pleasure for example drug abuse or sexual activity then sometimes in the actual act of sleeping with somebody or taking the drug. We have reward systems that are triggered by dopamine.
- There are also some interesting facts about the percentage of dopamine in the brain of a rat in a box. Give it chocolate and this increases the basal output of dopamine in its brain by 55 percent, sex is 100%, nicotine is 150%, cocaine is 225% and amphetaimne is 1000%.
- The author then goes through a series of approaches to help us work out how we can support and change addictive nature to dopamine. It begins with the acronym DOPAMINE. D stands for data, O stands for objective, P stands for problems, A means abstinence, M is mindfulness, I is for insight, N is for next steps. Mindfulness is where we observe our mind and how it processes things. It's a bit like looking at the Milky Way from far away and trying to make some objective understanding of it near and far and that's the same thing that we do with our mind. By understanding and observing how our mind works and processes information we can then start to change how we feel about whatever addiction
- In experiments carried on rats and mice when they are given abstinence to substances that they have become addicted to, as soon as that substance comes back again, the rats tended to gouge and binge, showing how those who appear to be susceptible to addictions - after a period on the wagon can get really messed up. But the book also looks for things that are in our normal use such as smartphones, TV and food. And how we can manage those.
- The author also talks about the harm that medication is doing in regards to treatment of mental health disorders. We are over prescribing medications for many conditions which are part of the human condition and then we are then seen that actually it doesn't appear to be fixing the problem because there are more people with mental health problems whilst increases in medication for treatment in mental health has also risen.
- The author also talks about the link between pain and pleasure. Interesting research about cold water immersion and people having cold showers that can up dopamine and help people with withdrawal symptoms. Having seen some of the work of Wim Hof (the iceman) this corresponds with some of his treatments in regards to support and people with addiction problems and it's very interesting to consider. I have started having cold showers.
- The book also talks about rational honesty and how we are story generating machines and sometimes we need to have some honesty rather than to live close to others and ourselves as the first part of treatment. There is an interesting link between the frontal cortex which manages emotional regulation and decision-making and that when stimulated by pain seems to work more effectively in managing dopamine. There may also be some evidence that pain can help stimulate the frontal cortex. There is also a link between pain and pleasure and the stimulation of hormones can be related by both pain and pleasure.
- A fascinating book on how we can be ruled by our hormones, particularly dopamine, and by understanding this, we can help ourselves to lead better lives.
It was a page turner for me, and I felt the "pain" associated with our dopamine system when I finished it.
Wonderful, wonderful and I will definitely read it again! Thank you
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on June 3, 2022
Wonderful, wonderful and I will definitely read it again! Thank you