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.
Anna Lembke is the medical director of Stanford Addiction Medicine, program director for the Stanford Addiction Medicine Fellowship, and chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic. She is the recipient of numerous awards for outstanding research in mental illness, for excellence in teaching, and for clinical innovation in treatment. A clinician scholar, she has published more than a hundred peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and commentaries in prestigious outlets such as The New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA. She sits on the board of several state and national addiction-focused organizations, has testified before various committees in the United States House of Representatives and Senate, keeps an active speaking calendar, and maintains a thriving clinical practice.
“Anna Lembke deeply understands an experience I hear about often in the therapy room at the nexus between our modern addictions and our primal brains. Her stories of guiding people to find a healthy balance between pleasure and pain have the power to transform your life.”
—Lori Gottlieb, “Dear Therapist” columnist at The Atlantic, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
“Just when you thought you knew all you needed to know about the addiction crisis, along comes Dr. Anna Lembke with her second brilliant book on the topic—this one not about a drug but about the most powerful chemical of all: the dopamine that rules the pain and pleasure centers of our minds. In an era of overconsumption and instant gratification, Dopamine Nation
explains the personal and societal price of being ruled by the next fix—and how to manage it. No matter what you might find yourself over-indulging in—from the internet to food to work to sex—you’ll find this book riveting, scary, cogent, and cleverly argued. Lembke weaves patient stories with research, in a voice that’s as empathetic as it is clear-eyed.”
—Beth Macy, author of Washington Post Best Book of the Year, New York Times Notable Book of 2018 and bestseller Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America
“We all desire a break from our routines and those parts of life that upset us. What if, instead of trying to escape these things, we learn to turn toward them, to reach a peaceful harmony with our selves and the people we share our lives with? Lembke has written a book that radically changes the way we think about mental illness, pleasure, pain, reward, and stress. Turn toward it. You’ll be happy you did.”
—Daniel Levitin, New York Times bestselling author of The Organized Mind and Successful Aging
“Explore[s] the dichotomy between seeking a readily accessible hit of dopamine—from our phones, gambling, or a bag of Fritos—and maintaining healthy, productive, stable lives.”
—The New York Times, Inside the Best-Seller List
“[An] eye-opening survey on pleasure-seeking and addiction… Readers looking for balance will return to Lembke’s informative and fascinating guidance.” —Publishers Weekly starred review
“… fascinating case histories, and a sensible formula for treatment.”