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 new scientific discoveries that explain why the relentless pursuit of pleasure leads to pain...and what to do about it.
Writing in plain English, Lembke devotes much of her book to explaining how the brain processes pleasure and pain ... Authoritative, compassionate, and valuable, this book provides a fresh understanding of the many dangers of addiction in our 'hyper-medicated, overstimulated, pleasure-saturated world.'
Most readers will find it reasonable, and the author does not trumpet its success rate. Some of the most insightful passages involve lying, a malignant process in a cooperative society but essential to maintaining addictive behavior. Many people believe that honesty—unmasking our flaws—will drive people away, but it does the opposite. A good education on addiction, fascinating case histories, and a sensible formula for treatment.