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Reasons to Stay Alive Paperback – 31 Dec 2015
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"Maybe the most important book I've read this year" (SIMON MAYO)
"A life-saving book" (AMANDA CRAIG)
"Warm and engaging, and shot through with humour . . . a valuable contribution to the conversation" (SUNDAY TIMES)
"Brings a difficult and sensitive subject out of the darkness and into the light" (MICHAEL PALIN)
"Full of wisdoms and warmth" (NATHAN FILER)
"A tender, candid, inspiring book about depression" (SUNDAY EXPRESS)
"Matt Haig is astounding" (STEPHEN FRY)
"Reasons to Stay Alive is wonderful. I read it in one sitting. Touching, funny, thought-provoking, with a huge heart. It should be read by anyone who has suffered, or known someone who has suffered (i.e.. everyone)" (S J WATSON)
"Fascinating and beautifully written" (IAN RANKIN)
"Matt Haig uses words like a tin-opener. We are the tin" (JEANETTE WINTERSON)
THE MOST TALKED ABOUT MEMOIR OF 2015 - NOW IN PAPERBACKSee all Product description
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To make sense of my own experience of anxiety and depression I fought this illness with every weapon available to me.
I became a mental health champion trained by the time to talk mental health charity.
I found that talking and writing about my illness to enlighten others helped me recover from my own illness and they're in I found myself and my purpose in life other than being a husband and father.
This book is a monumental piece of work and makes the process of depression and anxiety into something that anyone who can read can understand.
Who would I recommend this book to ? Anyone everyone you me and children anyone I mean it anyone .
Along with Ruby Wax is amazing book frazzled this book mark a new line in the sand for understanding and developing compassion for those with mental health challenges.
Buy this book read it it's essential that you do.
It's fairly obvious that this is a first book, and I found the author's writing style clunky and far too start/stop for my liking. The book is split into awkward chapters, some of which are only a couple of paragraphs in length. He does the same thing with sentences, some of which are constructed from only 2 or 3 words, and this became quite irritating by the middle of the book. Some of the chapters are simply lists of 'Things That Helped Me' or 'Things To Be Wary Of', the latter of which contained amongst its itemised things to avoid, "Tuesdays" and "October". These are clearly an attempt at lightening the tone but simply added to the confusion I found throughout the book, of not knowing when the author was being serious and when he was being funny (or trying to be). Don't get me wrong, laughter and joking about even the most serious of things is a great way to lessen their hold on you, but it just needs to be done better than this.
The problem with 'Reasons to Stay Alive' was the pronounced lack of 'reasons to stay alive'. Yes, it's full of quips about mindfulness, 'insights' about how to connect with yourself, and decidedly new age one-liners which the author seems to think are quite profound (the most profound of which are when he directly quotes the likes of Byron and Schopenhauer). Admittedly, some are thought provoking but most are pretty banal and a few are downright confusing. For example (and this is a direct quote from the book), "I am you and you are me. We are alone, but not alone. We are trapped by time, but also infinite. Made of flesh, but also stars". Sorry, what? This reminds me of a routine the comedian Lee Mack did in one of his London stage performances, where he ridicules how stupid and pretentious TV perfume adverts are: "I am blind yet I am not blind, I have legs but I have no legs, I am a woman yet I am a monkey...I am a blind, dead, disabled monkey. Geurlain for men.”...he ends by asking "What the f*** does it smell like"? By the end of this book, I really wanted to ask the author "What the f*** does it smell like?".
Without taking away the completely awful and world destroying disease that is depression/anxiety disorder, the author seems to think that because he's experienced it, he's expert in its diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. I don't know how much research he did into some of the statements made (which aren't followed up with external references, so the assumption is that they're the author's own conclusions) but it felt like someone trying to be a meteorologist just because they were once caught in a thunder storm. This was the biggest gripe I had with ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’.
One of the 5 star reviews here on Amazon states "The most incredible book I've read about mental health". Well, that person needs to read more books about mental health...this is the only book I've read about mental health and it still isn't the most incredible one I've read.
Overall, it was a disappointment and not really what I expected (many other reviews here state the same thing).
I like the small pointers, the relaxed way he speaks, his openness and frankness about his experiences and how they have changed, it puts into perspective the fight going on within yourself, a fight that can be Won!
Be gentle with yourself x
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Most recent customer reviews
I'm happy & grateful that Matt wrote this.
We need to talk about our experiences in this simple and open way, we're just human.