Reasons to Stay Alive
Matt Haig’s accessible and life-affirming memoir of his struggle with depression, and how his triumph over the illness taught him to live."Destined to become a modern classic." —Entertainment Weekly Like nearly one in five people, Matt Haig suffers from depression. Reasons to Stay Alive is Matt’s inspiring account of how, minute by minute and day by day, he overcame the disease with the help of reading, writing, and the love of his parents and his girlfriend (and now-wife), Andrea. And eventually, he learned to appreciate life all the more for it.Everyone’s lives are touched by mental illness: if we do not suffer from it ourselves, then we have a friend or loved one who does. Matt’s frankness about his experiences is both inspiring to those who feel daunted by depression and illuminating to those who are mystified by it. Above all, his humor and encouragement never let us lose sight of hope. Speaking as his present self to his former self in the depths of depression, Matt is adamant that the oldest cliché is the truest—there is light at the end of the tunnel. He teaches us to celebrate the small joys and moments of peace that life brings, and reminds us that there are always reasons to stay alive.

Reasons to Stay Alive Details

TitleReasons to Stay Alive
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 23rd, 2016
PublisherPenguin Books
ISBN-139780143128724
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Health, Mental Health, Psychology, Autobiography, Memoir, Self Help

Reasons to Stay Alive Review

  • Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
    January 1, 1970
    FINALLY! A book about depression that makes sense, that those with depression will read and sit nodding their heads and agreeing all the way through it. No psychobabble here (from Psychologists who have never experienced depression) - just real raw telling of Matt Haig's journey with the dreaded black dog. This book should be given or bought by EVERYONE battling depression, or has a loved one battling it. It's everywhere you know. Matt so simply explains how it feels, he is so darn honest and al FINALLY! A book about depression that makes sense, that those with depression will read and sit nodding their heads and agreeing all the way through it. No psychobabble here (from Psychologists who have never experienced depression) - just real raw telling of Matt Haig's journey with the dreaded black dog. This book should be given or bought by EVERYONE battling depression, or has a loved one battling it. It's everywhere you know. Matt so simply explains how it feels, he is so darn honest and all of what he says is true (trust me I know). He breaks it down into simple formats, like lists of what you feel like on a bad day or what you are thinking and it's all stuff that NONE of the other books cover, it's really what is going on in your dark mind.He tackles the issues of suicidal thoughts and tendencies and how scary it can be, nobody wants to talk about that right? But we need to. A bit that resonated with me was about how withdrawn you become from the world, scared to go out on your own, or even with others, you need people but you can't cope with them. It's overwhelming. Matt mentions staring out of a window and watching people go by and thinking he just wants to be normal like them. I have done that, hundreds of times, with my cat by my side, wishing normal was in my scope. It made me laugh in places too, it's gutsy and so freaking RIGHT. Loved this book, I read it in the wee hours of the morning relating to everything Matt has gone through and cheering for his moments of coming out of the darkness that is so devastating. Let's get real about depression, it can hit anyone, it's not a choice, you can't just positive self-talk your way out of it. Just buy this book. 5 paw prints from the Booklover Catlady for this little gem. Nice job Matt, this one will help so many people. It should be given out at every counselling and therapy session for anyone with depression around the world. For more of my reviews, book talk, giveaways and much more go to:www.facebook.com/BookloverCatlady
    more
  • Es Summer
    January 1, 1970
    If you are doubting to read this book, read this quote: "The world is increasingly designed to depress us.Happiness isn't very good for the economy. If we were happy with what we had, why would we need more? How do you sell an anti-ageing moisturizer? You make someone worry about ageing.How do you get people to vote for a political party? You make them worry about immigration.How do you get them to buy insurance? By making them worry about everything. How do you get them to have plastic surgery? If you are doubting to read this book, read this quote: "The world is increasingly designed to depress us.Happiness isn't very good for the economy. If we were happy with what we had, why would we need more? How do you sell an anti-ageing moisturizer? You make someone worry about ageing.How do you get people to vote for a political party? You make them worry about immigration.How do you get them to buy insurance? By making them worry about everything. How do you get them to have plastic surgery?By highlighting their physical flaws.How do you get them to watch a TV show?By making them worry about missing out. " This book is one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. How it touched me.How deeply it made me feel.This is more than a self-help book or a book that teaches you how to get rid of depression.This book makes you live depression. It gets so deep under your skin, that sadness starts to pour into your veins, your emotions are heightened. This author has a way of making you understand not only the sickness, but every aspect of it, as well. I lived his story with him and to be honest, it was not a happy-go-lucky everything-will-be-okay self-help book. It was a straight in your face kinda book. A story that did not sugar coat anything. It had something strangely comforting, though.He is so accepting; of his sadness, his anxiety, the intense emotions. He does not hesitate to make you understand how depression works. It is no fun, but still, the insights were amazing. Reasons to Stay Alive is a very dark non-fiction book, although the light at the end of the tunnel was there eventually. "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."
    more
  • JV (semi-hiatus)
    January 1, 1970
    "I hate depression. I am scared of it. Terrified, in fact. But at the same time, it has made me who I am. And if – for me – it is the price of feeling life, it’s a price always worth paying. I am satisfied just to be." 2018 — The demon came. 'Twas the year I lost a part of myself. My soul wept and mourned for that someone I once truly cherished — the previous me. Looking into the mirror, I saw nothing but hopelessness, worthlessness, and sadness in those eyes — bereft of joy and love. The demon "I hate depression. I am scared of it. Terrified, in fact. But at the same time, it has made me who I am. And if – for me – it is the price of feeling life, it’s a price always worth paying. I am satisfied just to be." 2018 — The demon came. 'Twas the year I lost a part of myself. My soul wept and mourned for that someone I once truly cherished — the previous me. Looking into the mirror, I saw nothing but hopelessness, worthlessness, and sadness in those eyes — bereft of joy and love. The demon succeeded — almost. Menacing and taunting, it dragged me helplessly into the insatiable abyss — the unfathomable, frigid depths of the ocean. The agonising pain was consuming every bit of my sanity. And I was left wondering if ever my fall will ever be caught by someone or something. It was definitely my end — as I once saw in my dreams, precognition of my own death, my finality. As the demon plunged me into the murkiest depths, I told myself I needed to go back to where I came from. This is not the coda I was expecting and yet, the proverbial light seemed to be receding. Yes, it was dragging me into its deeper, darker, and suffocating embrace muting and subduing all the prismatic colours that once enveloped me. A part of me died and no one could ever notice because "the weirdest thing about a mind is that you can have the most intense things going on in there but no one else can see them." All hope was nearly lost, yet I clung to that spark of light, saving most parts of myself that are slowly disintegrating and dissipating into that vast expanse of infinite darkness. "If you have ever believed a depressive wants to be happy, you are wrong. They could not care less about the luxury of happiness. They just want to feel an absence of pain. To escape a mind on fire, where thoughts blaze and smoke like old possessions lost to arson. To be normal. Or, as normal is impossible, to be empty." And now, here I am. Not the same and never will be, but now stronger and still keeping the demon at bay. Well, I think "it" is going to be a part of me anyway, being an empath and a highly sensitive individual all my life. Reading this book gave me comfort, offered hope, validated my experience, and made me accept things that I cannot change and still be hopeful and stop "worrying about worrying" and all that. My sincerest gratitude to Matt Haig for sharing his story with such remarkable candour. This is a book that is meant to be read by everyone — for those who wanted to understand what depression/anxiety is, for those whose light has been consumed by the darkness but are still looking for the momentary spark that will truly guide them into the light and out of the blue; and for those who are carers of depressed individuals. "Depression is an illness. Yet it doesn’t come with a rash or a cough. It is hard to see, as it is generally invisible. Even though it is a serious illness it is also surprisingly hard for many sufferers to recognise it at first. Not because it doesn’t feel bad – it does – but because that bad feeling seems unrecognisable, or can be confused with other things." Like Haig, I also write and read to escape, know myself, broaden my perspective, and it's my way of resisting and restraining the demon. "One cliché attached to bookish people is that they are lonely, but for me, books were my way out of being lonely. If you are the type of person who thinks too much about stuff then there is nothing lonelier in the world than being surrounded by a load of people on a different wavelength. [...] Books were about movement. They were about quests and journeys. Beginnings and middles and ends, even if not in that order. They were about new chapters. And leaving old ones behind." You might ask me, what keeps you going? Well, having a fictional hubby like Dean Winchester inspires me, what more if I can find an actual Dean Winchester in this reality called life? At least, that is one of my Reasons to Stay Alive. Life is still full of possibilities even if some are quite implausible. And please remember, whoever is reading this, you are, definitely, not alone! Audiobook rating (narrated by Matt Haig):Narrative voice & style - ★★★½Vocal characterisation - ★★★½Inflexion & intonation - ★★★Voice quality - ★★★½Audiobook verdict - ★★★
    more
  • Lotte
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/5 stars. If you've suffered from depression and/or anxiety yourself at some point in your life or you know someone that has (and it's very likely that you do) this book is an absolute must-read.
  • *Swaroop*
    January 1, 1970
    "Words, just sometimes, can set you free."'But in the end one needs more courage to live than to kill himself.' ~ Albert Camus, A Happy DeathThis book has been an incredible read. I am not sure if there is an ancient saying about this, but this book surely appeared when the reader needed it. Matt Haig's Reasons To Stay Alive is just wonderful. It brought many bright rays of hope and sunshine, at a time when life's become so very uncertain and it seems to be all about getting through one day at a "Words, just sometimes, can set you free."'But in the end one needs more courage to live than to kill himself.' ~ Albert Camus, A Happy DeathThis book has been an incredible read. I am not sure if there is an ancient saying about this, but this book surely appeared when the reader needed it. Matt Haig's Reasons To Stay Alive is just wonderful. It brought many bright rays of hope and sunshine, at a time when life's become so very uncertain and it seems to be all about getting through one day at a time. This is one of those books which I shall be rereading and referring to, during the rest of my life.Thank you, Matt Haig!"The storm ends. Believe me." "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.
    more
  • ☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~ ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
    January 1, 1970
    One of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. Inspiration almost drips off the pages. It's honest and vivid enough to make difference even for people who have done no personal trips to the hellish planet of Depression.And the imagery! Don't get me started on it or I won't get any sleep today! I love when concepts are mixed with guidelines and wisdom of someone who has been there and done all that.I can't imagine why I never knew about this author before! It's a sure must read and a One of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. Inspiration almost drips off the pages. It's honest and vivid enough to make difference even for people who have done no personal trips to the hellish planet of Depression.And the imagery! Don't get me started on it or I won't get any sleep today! I love when concepts are mixed with guidelines and wisdom of someone who has been there and done all that.I can't imagine why I never knew about this author before! It's a sure must read and a must reread and even a must keep copy on my bedside table at all times!NB! Careful if you have the tendency to trigger negaive emotions via empathy as this book is honest about what the author went through regarding his psychological experiences.Inspirational:Q: Maybe love is just about finding the person you can be your weird self with. (c)Q: So every human inhabitant on this freak wonder of a planet shares the same core. 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. (c)Q: How to stop time: kiss.How to travel in time: read.How to escape time: music.How to feel time: write.How to release time: breathe. (c)Q: Your mind is a galaxy. More dark than light. But the light makes it worthwhile. ... Even when the darkness is total. Always know that life is not still. Time is space. You are moving through that galaxy. Wait for the stars. (c)Q: You will one day experience joy that matches this pain. You will cry euphoric tears at the Beach Boys, you will stare down at a baby’s face as she lies asleep in your lap, you will make great friends, you will eat delicious foods you haven’t tried yet, you will be able to look at a view from a high place and not assess the likelihood of dying from falling. There are books you haven’t read yet that will enrich you, films you will watch while eating extra-large buckets of popcorn, and you will dance and laugh and have sex and go for runs by the river and have late-night conversations and laugh until it hurts. Life is waiting for you. You might be stuck here for a while, but the world isn’t going anywhere. Hang on in there if you can. Life is always worth it. (c)Instructional:Q: The key is in accepting your thoughts, all of them, even the bad ones. Accept thoughts, but don’t become them. Understand, for instance, that having a sad thought, even having a continual succession of sad thoughts, is not the same as being a sad person. You can walk through a storm and feel the wind but you know you are not the wind. That is how we must be with our minds. We must allow ourselves to feel their gales and downpours, but all the time knowing this is just necessary weather.When I sink deep, now, and I still do from time to time, I try and understand that there is another, bigger and stronger part of me that is not sinking. It stands unwavering. (c)Q:So, as was often the case, a big fear was beaten by a bigger fear. The best way to beat a monster is to find a scarier one. (c)Q:This isn't a question of strength. Not the stoic, get-on-with-stuff-without-thinking-too-much kind of strength, anyway. It's more of a zooming-in. That sharpening. ... You know, before the age of twenty-four I hadn't realised how bad things could feel, but I hadn't realised how good they could feel either. That shell might be protecting you, but it's also stopping you feeling the full force of that good stuff. Depression might be a hell of a price to pay for waking up to life, ... But it is actually quite therapeutic to know that pleasure doesn't just help compensate for pain, it can actually grow out of it. (c)Q: THE WORLD IS increasingly designed to depress us. Happiness isn’t very good for the economy. If we were happy with what we had, why would we need more? How do you sell an anti-ageing moisturiser? You make someone worry about ageing. How do you get people to vote for a political party? You make them worry about immigration. How do you get them to buy insurance? By making them worry about everything. How do you get them to have plastic surgery? By highlighting their physical flaws. How do you get them to watch a TV show? By making them worry about missing out. How do you get them to buy a new smartphone? By making them feel like they are being left behind. To be calm becomes a kind of revolutionary act. To be happy with your own non-upgraded existence. To be comfortable with our messy, human selves, would not be good for business. (c)Q: You are walking around with your head on fire and no one can see the flames. (c)Q: I’d always considered myself to be a person who liked books. But there is a difference between liking books and needing them. I needed books. They weren’t a luxury good during that time in my life. They were a Class A addictive substance. I’d have gladly got into serious debt to read (indeed, I did). I think I read more books in those six months than I had done during five years of university education, and I’d certainly fallen deeper into the worlds conjured on the page.There is this idea that you either read to escape or you read to find yourself. I don't really see the difference. We find ourselves through the process of escaping. (c)Q:MINDS ARE UNIQUE. They go wrong in unique ways. My mind went wrong in a slightly different way to how other minds go wrong. Our experience overlaps with other people's, but it is never exactly the same experience. (c)Q: Once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about. (c)Q: Talk. Listen. Encourage talking. Encourage listening. Keep adding to the conversation. Stay on the lookout for those wanting to join in the conversation. Keep reiterating, again and again, that depression is not something you ‘admit to’, it is not something you have to blush about, it is a human experience. (c)Q:Things people say to depressives that they don’t say in other life-threatening situations:‘Come on, I know you’ve got tuberculosis, but it could be worse. At least no one’s died.’'Why do you think you got cancer of the stomach?’‘Yes, I know, colon cancer is hard, but you want to try living with someone who has got it. Sheesh. Nightmare.’‘Oh, Alzheimer’s you say? Oh, tell me about it, I get that all the time.’‘Ah, meningitis. Come on, mind over matter.’ ‘Yes, yes, your leg is on fire, but talking about it all the time isn’t going to help things, is it?’‘Okay. Yes. Yes. Maybe your parachute has failed. But chin up. (c)Q:Never say 'pull yourself together' or 'cheer up' unless you're also going to provide detailed, foolproof instructions. (c)Q:We are all echoes of each other. We are all humans and feel both despair and happiness. Our similarities, as a species, are staggering. And our mental fragility is directly tied up with our humanity. We have nothing to be ashamed of in being human, any more than a tree should be ashamed of having branches. Let’s accept our own nature. Let’s be kind to ourselves and to each other. Let’s never add to the pain by blaming ourselves. We are all so weird that, really, none of us are. There are seven billion versions of strange on this freak wonder of a planet. We are all part of that. All freaks. All wonderful. (c)Q:Goals are the source of misery. An unattained goal causes pain, but actually achieving it brings only a brief satisfaction. (c)Q:Life is hard. It may be beautiful and wonderful but it is also hard. ... Life is so infinitely hard. It involves a thousand tasks all at once. And I am a thousand different people, all fleeing away from the centre. (c)Q: That's the odd thing about depression and anxiety. It acts like an intense fear of happiness, even as you yourself consciously want that happiness more than anything. So if it catches you smiling, even fake smiling, then - well, that stuff's just not allowed and you know it, so here comes ten tons of counterbalance. (c)Q: The weirdest thing about a mind is that you can have the most intense things going on in there but no one else can see them. The world shrugs. (c)Q: Where talk exists, so does hope. (c)Q: If you have ever believed a depressive wants to be happy, you are wrong. They could not care less about the luxury of happiness. They just want to feel an absence of pain. To escape a mind on fire, where thoughts blaze and smoke like old possessions lost to arson. To be normal. Or, as normal is impossible, to be empty. And the only way I could be empty was to stop living. One minus one is zero. (c)Q:I wanted to be dead. No. That's not quite right. I didn't want to be dead, I just didn't want to be alive. (c)Q:What doesn't kill you very often makes you weaker. What doesn't kill you can leave you limping for the rest of your days. What doesn't kill you can make you scared to leave your house, or even your bedroom, and have you trembling, or mumbling incoherently, or leaning with your head on a window pane, wishing you could return to the time before the thing that didn't kill you. (c)Q: Forcing yourself to see the world through love's gaze can be healthy. Love is an attitude to life. It can save us.(c)Q: Unlike a book or a film depression doesn’t have to be about something. ...Books were about movement. They were about quests and journeys. Beginnings and middles and ends, even if not in that order. They were about new chapters. And leaving old ones behind. (c)Q: Misery, like yoga, is not a competitive sport. (c)On books and emotions:Q:People place so much value on thought, but feeling is as essential. I want to read books that make me laugh and cry and fear and hope and punch the air in triumph. I want a book to hug me or grab me by the scruff of my neck. I don’t even mind if it punches me in the gut. Because we are here to feel. (c)Q:... we are humans. We are a clandestine species. Unlike other animals we wear clothes and do our procreating behind closed doors. And we are ashamed when things go wrong with us. But we’ll grow out of this, and the way we’ll do it is by speaking about it. And maybe even through reading and writing about it.I believe that. Because it was, in part, through reading and writing that I found a kind of salvation from the dark. (c)Q: I CAN REMEMBER the day the old me died.It started with a thought. (c)Q:I had put off being an adult for as long as I could, and it had loomed like a cloud. A cloud that was now breaking and raining down on me. (c)Q: ... the mind is infinite, and its torments – when they happen – can be equally infinite. (c)Q:But this was illness. This wasn’t having a crazy thought. This wasn’t being a bit wacky. This wasn’t reading Borges or listening to Captain Beefheart or smoking a pipe or hallucinating a giant Mars bar. This was pain. (c)Q:In a world where possibility is endless, the possibilities for pain and loss and permanent separation are also endless. So fear breeds imagination, and vice versa, on and on and on, until there is nothing left to do except go mad. (c)Funny!Q:The woman I wanted to be was not particularly fast at her job. I think she was the slowest person there had ever been at her job. I think she may well have been the incentive for the later move towards self-service checkouts in many shops. ...‘Do you need a bag?’I sort of did need a bag, but I couldn’t risk slowing her down any more. (c)Q:So, annoyingly, scientists aren’t all singing from the same hymn sheet. Some don’t even believe there is a hymn sheet. Others have burnt the hymn sheet and written their own songs. (c)Q:THE DEMON SAT next to me in the back of the car. He was real and false all at once. ... This is weird. Mum is talking about Matthew Bourne and her friends who have seen this production and there is a happy demon on the back seat licking my face. (c)How to liveQ:   2. Sip, don't gulp. (c)Q:10. Wherever you are, at any moment, try and find something beautiful. A face, a line out of a poem, the clouds out of a window, some graffiti, a wind farm. Beauty cleans the mind. (c)Q:14. Look at the sky. Remind yourself of the cosmos. Seek vastness at every opportunity, in order to see the smallness of yourself. (c)Q:17. Do not watch TV aimlessly. Do not go on social media aimlessly. Always be aware of what you are doing, and why you are doing it. Don’t value TV less. Value it more. Then you will watch it less. Unchecked distractions will lead you to distraction. (c)Q: 18. Sit down. Lie down. Be still. Do nothing. Observe. Listen to your mind. Let it do what it does without judging it. Let it go, like the Snow Queen... (c)Q:22. Live. Love. Let go. The three Ls. (c)Q: 21. ... walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet. (c)Q:25. Read a book without thinking about finishing it. Just read it. Enjoy every word, sentence, and paragraph. Don't wish for it to end, or for it to never end. (c)Q: 24. Beware of the gap. The gap between where you are and where you want to be. Simply thinking of the gap widens it. And you end up falling through. (c)Q:30. Jules Verne wrote of the 'Living Infinite'. This is the world of love and emotion that is like a 'sea'. If we can submerge ourselves in it, we find infinity in ourselves, and the space we need to survive. (c)Q:31. Three in the morning is never the time to try and sort out your life. (c)Q:32. Remember that there is nothing weird about you. You are just a human, and everything you do and feel is a natural thing, because we are natural animals. You are nature. You are a hominid ape. You are in the world and the world is in you. Everything cconnects. (c)Q:39. Just when you feel you have no time to relax, know that this is the moment you most need to make time to relax. (c)Q:40. Be brave. Be strong. Breathe, and keep going. You will thank yourself later. (c)Things to engoy!SUNRISES, SUNSETS, THE thousand suns and worlds that aren’t ours but shine in the night sky. Books. Cold beer. Fresh air. Dogs. Horses. Yellowing paperbacks. Skin against skin at one in the morning. Long, deep, meaningful kisses. Short, shallow, polite kisses. (All kisses.) Cold swimming pools. Oceans. Seas. Rivers. Lakes. Fjords. Ponds. Puddles. Roaring fires. Pub meals. Sitting outside and eating olives. The lights fading in the cinema, with a bucket of warm popcorn in your lap. Music. Love. Unabashed emotion. Rock pools. Swimming pools. Peanut butter sandwiches. The scent of pine on a warm evening in Italy. Drinking water after a long run. Getting the all-clear after a health scare. Getting the phone call. ... Cities twinkling at night as you drive past them, as if they are fallen constellations of stars.
    more
  • April (Aprilius Maximus)
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful. Informative. Powerful.Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge Notes:- 34. A book about mental illness
  • Imane
    January 1, 1970
    “How to stop time: kiss.How to travel in time: read.How to escape time: music.How to feel time: write.How to release time: breathe.” ― Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay AliveThis was OK ! There were some bits i related to, others not so much. However, the writing style was simple and accessible, the paragraphs; short and concise. This is a good read if you're beginning your journey of learning about depression :)
    more
  • Hattie Grünewald
    January 1, 1970
    I won this proof on twitter from Matt and though I don't often review books here, I thought that probably I owed him that. Not just for giving me a free copy, but for writing the book in the first place.Let me be honest, I started reading this and thought "This book isn't written for me". But then I thought "There are people I would like to read this, because it feels so familiar to me." I would like to give it to people who are close to people with depression and anxiety, but don't really under I won this proof on twitter from Matt and though I don't often review books here, I thought that probably I owed him that. Not just for giving me a free copy, but for writing the book in the first place.Let me be honest, I started reading this and thought "This book isn't written for me". But then I thought "There are people I would like to read this, because it feels so familiar to me." I would like to give it to people who are close to people with depression and anxiety, but don't really understand it. I would like every depressed person to have an unlimited supply of copies to hand out to anyone who tells them to pull themselves together. I would like to just leave it on tube seats and cafe tables because I just think, if a few more people could understand how depression and anxiety felt, then maybe the world would be better.And then I think it became a book for me. Because if you've ever felt otherwise, it's always good to collect more reasons to stay alive. More ways to stay alive. Because there will come a time again when you need them. So I think, maybe, this is a book for everyone. Required reading.
    more
  • Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    "Now, listen. If you have ever believed a depressive wants to be happy, you are wrong. They could not care less about the luxury of happiness. They just want to feel an absence of pain. To escape a mind on fire, where thoughts blaze and smoke like old possessions lost to arson. To be normal."A meaningful book about depression, anxiety, and creating reasons to stay alive. Like a modern day William Styron, Matt Haig shares his experience with depression and anxiety and how he fought to overcome su "Now, listen. If you have ever believed a depressive wants to be happy, you are wrong. They could not care less about the luxury of happiness. They just want to feel an absence of pain. To escape a mind on fire, where thoughts blaze and smoke like old possessions lost to arson. To be normal."A meaningful book about depression, anxiety, and creating reasons to stay alive. Like a modern day William Styron, Matt Haig shares his experience with depression and anxiety and how he fought to overcome suicidal thinking. He discloses how his mental illness has affected his work, his relationships, and his perception of life overall. The greatest part: he frames his mental illness not as a weakness or a strength, but just as another part of himself, a facet that provides both pros and cons as all traits do. Another great quote from the same page as the first one in this review:"But actually, it wasn't easy. The weird thing about depression is that, even though you might have more suicidal thoughts, the fear of death remains the same. The only difference is that the pain of life has rapidly increased. So when you hear about someone killing themselves it's important to know that death wasn't any less scary for them. It wasn't a 'choice' in the moral sense. To be moralistic about it is to misunderstand." I loved the insight Haig shared about depression. His view on resisting medication while seeking treatment resonated with me: of course you would use medication if you have to, but you can also learn to breathe on your own - depending on your condition - without the influence of pharmaceutical companies. I also appreciated his emphasis on mindfulness and breathing. We live in such a fast-paced world that feelings of aloneness and worry about emails, meetings, and deadlines seem natural. Haig encourages us to take a step back and give ourselves time for self-care.Though I enjoyed Reasons to Stay Alive, I wanted more in certain areas. The short length of each chapter made the book easy to get through, but that same brevity prevented more thorough and developed trains of thought/arguments. From a memoir perspective, I also desired more of a consistent narrative, as I felt that the book jumped from idea to idea a lot. Still, I would recommend Reasons to Stay Alive, in particular to those interested in mental illness who have not already read too much about it. A final, hopeful quote:"I stood there for a while. Summoning the courage to die, and then summoning the courage to live. To be. Not to be. Right there, death was so close. An ounce more terror and the scales would have tipped. There may be a universe in which I took that step but it isn't this one."
    more
  • Joanne Harris
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book from Canongate. My usual technique, when reading an ARC, is to read 5 pages, then take a view as to whether I'm going to actually read the book. With REASONS TO STAY ALIVE, I'd passed the 50-page mark before I remembered to take a view, and by then I was down the rabbit-hole. Matt Haig is a marvellous writer: limpid; tender; passionate. In this memoir (and it's short, barely 200 pages long), he manages to articulate, both the bleakness of depression and the means o I received an ARC of this book from Canongate. My usual technique, when reading an ARC, is to read 5 pages, then take a view as to whether I'm going to actually read the book. With REASONS TO STAY ALIVE, I'd passed the 50-page mark before I remembered to take a view, and by then I was down the rabbit-hole. Matt Haig is a marvellous writer: limpid; tender; passionate. In this memoir (and it's short, barely 200 pages long), he manages to articulate, both the bleakness of depression and the means of dealing with it, little by little, day by day, without ever sounding maudlin, or self-indulgent, or preachy. For everyone who has ever felt the snap of the black dog's teeth, this book is wise, funny, affirming and redemptive. Sometimes depression can be like falling into a wordless pit. Matt Haig finds the words. And he says them for all of us.
    more
  • Whitney Atkinson
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsIf you’re easily triggered by descriptions of other people’s mental illnesses, I would advice against reading this during low points. There’s some very in-depth descriptions of his dark thoughts and the panic and depression he felt, and it was really uncomfortable to confront. I think the title misled me because I picked this book up on a bad night hoping it would be uplifting, but I almost immediately had to put it back down when I realized it wasn’t going to help at all, just add to m 4.5 starsIf you’re easily triggered by descriptions of other people’s mental illnesses, I would advice against reading this during low points. There’s some very in-depth descriptions of his dark thoughts and the panic and depression he felt, and it was really uncomfortable to confront. I think the title misled me because I picked this book up on a bad night hoping it would be uplifting, but I almost immediately had to put it back down when I realized it wasn’t going to help at all, just add to my spiraling. So definitely pick this up when you feel emotionally stable enough to confront very real descriptions of mental illness.Matt talks several times about how he doesn’t take medication and it scares him and he doesn’t want to, which is a personal choice and that’s fine, but there are so many people that do take meds and it works for them, and if I would have read this before getting on my anxiety medication, it probably would have scared me away from it even further than I already was. The way that Matt phrased a lot of things was just spot-on. I don’t suffer from depression, but when my anxiety is bad, it can be debilitating. I related to all his descriptions of the fear and the agoraphobia and almost everything else he touched on. Parts of this book were so powerful they brought tears to my eyes. He truly is a brilliantly talented writer, and i'm tempted to pick up some of his other books just because he had that much of a knack with words. But more than that, he just put the experience of living with debilitating mental illness into words. There were a few "solutions" to anxiety that I disagreed with (such as his telling the audience to avoid distractions because they're unhealthy, when I use distractions almost every day as a coping mechanism), but overall, I did tab several parts of this book to return to in the future.
    more
  • Nicola
    January 1, 1970
    Anyone who suffers from anxiety and depression will understand just how horrific and truly debilitating it can be . This book is excellent for anyone who has no idea how a family member or partner suffers. Hope you are still doing well Matt and what an absolutely fantastic supportive wife you have.
    more
  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    So good that it should be required reading. In schools. For GPs. Everyone. Haig says that each mind breaks differently, but I think his heartfelt words will say/mean something to anyone who has felt anxiety or depression. Some sections were so real that I had to put the book aside for a while. It's brilliant and hopeful. My thanks to Matt Haig for sharing so much of himself. It's not something most of us are able to do.
    more
  • Nat K
    January 1, 1970
    5**** plus.”You are going to go mad. Like Van Gogh. You might cut off your ear.”Whether you have a large black dog lumbering behind you, or a playful puppy bounding by you side, your mental health is one of your greatest assets. It is more delicate than the most intricate Swiss watch. We often don’t think of it too much, until things go skewiff. It’s something we take for granted, like the sun rising and setting.”Life is hard. It may be beautiful and wonderful, but it is also hard. The way peopl 5**** plus.”You are going to go mad. Like Van Gogh. You might cut off your ear.”Whether you have a large black dog lumbering behind you, or a playful puppy bounding by you side, your mental health is one of your greatest assets. It is more delicate than the most intricate Swiss watch. We often don’t think of it too much, until things go skewiff. It’s something we take for granted, like the sun rising and setting.”Life is hard. It may be beautiful and wonderful, but it is also hard. The way people seem to cope is by not thinking about it too much. But some people are not going to be able to do that. And besides, it is the human condition. We think therefore we are.”I adore Matt Haig’s writing. He is empathetic. He doesn’t preach. He is real. And he’s darn amusing (whether intentional throughout this book or not…I guess that’s where the phrase “black humour” comes from).There are so many “ah-ha” moments in the book, that I could relate to. From minor niggles to major problems, Matt Haig discusses the insidiousness of mental health. How because it can’t be seen, it can be difficult to diagnose the fine line of having “one of those days” to actually having deeper issues which need resolving.”I just sat there looking at the pink blossom and the branches. Wishing my thoughts could float away from my head as easily as the blossom floated from the tree. I started to cry. In public. Wishing I was a cherry tree.”A fabulous book. It spoke to me on so many levels. It had my mind racing in a thousand different directions reading it. And it brought a lump to my throat more than once. This is more profound than most of the “esteemed” self-help books out there.I'll end this review with some more words from Matt Haig about depression, which are utterly beautiful.”It may be a dark cloud passing across the sky, but - if that is the metaphor - you are the sky.You were there before it. And the cloud can't exist without the sky, but the sky can exist without the cloud."Here’s to wellness – mind, body & soul 🍃
    more
  • Vanessa
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. Wow. Wow. What an absorbing and powerful read. This was a book I purposefully set out to read slowly and in snippets mainly because many of the books themes took me to places too familiar and disturbing but I also couldn’t look away instead I devoured this in almost one sitting. Like a tragic car accident you can’t help staring at, I couldn’t stop reading. There’s times this book felt suffocating and uncomfortable like reliving a past nightmare. I even felt while reading this book a resurfa Wow. Wow. Wow. What an absorbing and powerful read. This was a book I purposefully set out to read slowly and in snippets mainly because many of the books themes took me to places too familiar and disturbing but I also couldn’t look away instead I devoured this in almost one sitting. Like a tragic car accident you can’t help staring at, I couldn’t stop reading. There’s times this book felt suffocating and uncomfortable like reliving a past nightmare. I even felt while reading this book a resurfacing of old feelings a sense of heightened anxiety...transference much? A lack of sleep was inevitable. Learning about someone’s pain and suffering is not fun but it was comforting. I commend Matt Haig for his brutal honesty in depicting the agonising realities of anxiety/depression. The descriptions almost gave me a twist in the stomach so gut wrenchingly real and awful. Being a lifelong anxiety sufferer the words on these pages were unbelievably accurate and insightful. I only wish this book was around when I was gripped in the worst periods of my life, how reassuring it would have been to know I didn’t suffer alone. I won’t forget this book. If I could hug it I would. 5 life affirming and enlightening stars.
    more
  • Hamad
    January 1, 1970
    This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription“There is no standard normal. Normal is subjective. There are seven billion versions of normal on this planet.” 🌟 I am glad that I am reading more non-fiction books, because while fiction relieves stress and entertains me, I have found through trial that non-fiction does stay with me more. I find my brain retaining most of the things I read in non-fiction!!🌟 While I have heard mostly good things about this book, I see This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription“There is no standard normal. Normal is subjective. There are seven billion versions of normal on this planet.” 🌟 I am glad that I am reading more non-fiction books, because while fiction relieves stress and entertains me, I have found through trial that non-fiction does stay with me more. I find my brain retaining most of the things I read in non-fiction!!🌟 While I have heard mostly good things about this book, I seem to have a bit of a criticism. This was like a double edged weapon for me. While it dealt with stress and anxiety and depression and it was relatable while doing so, I couldn’t help but think that I am heading towards a worse place –mentally speaking-. The author describes how his life was kind of normal but there were some mild signs that I can reflect on myself.🌟 I am absolutely sure the author wants to help people but for some reason it made me a bit uncomfortable. If my anxiety ever gets worse, I will know it is not the end because I have read this and will recall the good parts as mentioned earlier.🌟 I also expected a bit more fascinating writing, not that there was something wrong with the current style, but the hype made me expect more.🌟 Prescription: So all in all, I can say that this is a good book but must be approached with the right mentality. I read it with a friend who also felt the same. I should have lowered my expectations but I can still see myself recommending this to other readers!
    more
  • Amy | shoutame
    January 1, 1970
    Not too long ago I was approached by Canongate about this book. They had seen that I made a recommendation video on my YouTube channel for books relating to mental health and because of this they thought I would enjoy this book. Mental health awareness is something I consider to be of the utmost importance - having suffered with depression and anxiety from a young age this is definitely a topic I hold dear to my heart.Now I have to be honest - I'm not one for reading non-fiction, in fact last ye Not too long ago I was approached by Canongate about this book. They had seen that I made a recommendation video on my YouTube channel for books relating to mental health and because of this they thought I would enjoy this book. Mental health awareness is something I consider to be of the utmost importance - having suffered with depression and anxiety from a young age this is definitely a topic I hold dear to my heart.Now I have to be honest - I'm not one for reading non-fiction, in fact last year I think I only read one biography and possibly a 'making of The Hobbit' book, so this is definitely out of my comfort zone! Because of this I was very hesitant to accept the novel for review but on hearing some very positive things from people I trust I decided to throw caution to the wind and accept! Wow long intro...now on to my thoughts:- Where do I begin?! This book was simply wonderful, heart-breaking and a real thought provoker. I don't think I can even efficiently describe this book to get across the beauty and significance of it.- So this is a biographical novel written by the author Matt Haig; Matt is telling us the story of his descent into depression and anxiety at the age of twenty four. We learn of how Matt contemplated suicide and how he could barely leave the house due to the anxiety, a lot of this resonated with me and I found myself nodding along with various anecdotes from Haig's childhood that I also had very similar experiences of. I think this is a book that will mean a lot of things to a lot of people. Either you can see this in yourself or you can see it in someone you love - I believe this book could be of great help to sufferers and supports alike.- I think this book will definitely be an eye opener to anyone who sees depression and anxiety as just being 'a little bit sad' or just 'over-worried' - Haig is wonderfully articulate in the way he describes the despair and panic that comes along with these mental illnesses and I commend him on sharing his extremely personal story. Mental health is a difficult topic to discuss, especially when you are in the midst of it - in myself I can see that when I look back now I have a much greater understanding of my state of mind and have learnt how to cope with similar feelings in the future.- There are so many things I could say about this book, I plan to go back through and underline all of the things I absolutely loved - I read this book on a train journey to London and only had my phone so just took pictures of the quotes that really resonated with me. - I would highly recommend this book to all, if you are a sufferer or if you know someone who has or is suffering (and I'm willing to bet you do) then this book is for you. Truly eye-opening and something that I think would bring hope to those who are currently feeling lost - I think if I had read something like this during my darkest times I would have really benefitted from the hope that radiates from this story.- 5 out of 5 stars and a definite reread for the coming months! Straight into my favourites!
    more
  • Annika
    January 1, 1970
    I'm so conflicted, and I feel really bad rating this two stars. Maybe it's more like a 2.5 for me?I do genuinely appreciate a lot of things about this, but at the same time I just couldn't connect. Honestly, if you're planning to read this - my lack of enjoyment over this book is probably a 'me-problem' and you should just go for it. I'm just not one of the people who 'get' this book, I guess.Just to jot things down quickly(ish):Things I enjoyed about this:- Matt Haig brought up books a lot. I u I'm so conflicted, and I feel really bad rating this two stars. Maybe it's more like a 2.5 for me?I do genuinely appreciate a lot of things about this, but at the same time I just couldn't connect. Honestly, if you're planning to read this - my lack of enjoyment over this book is probably a 'me-problem' and you should just go for it. I'm just not one of the people who 'get' this book, I guess.Just to jot things down quickly(ish):Things I enjoyed about this:- Matt Haig brought up books a lot. I understand this, and books help me cope so these were the moments where I went "yes! I know what you're talking about, I understand you, this is nice."- There's a section about seeking help at the end of the book. It's a lovely addition.- The chapter on 'Being a Man.' I feel so strongly about this, because a lot of men feel that it's a weakness to talk about things, or to admit to having depression, or to ask for help. I'm so happy this was brought up. [quick side note: this is why men need feminism too! Because we, as a society, make them feel that they can't be 'weak and feminine' and show their emotions or talk about them. It makes me so angry and upset!]Things I didn't enjoy quite as much (please don't hate me for being honest about how I feel!):- I don't know how he got better. I feel like that's the most important thing - because we all know (kind of) how we got to that lowest point - it's getting out of that ravine that makes me interested in a person's story. So yeah. I want to know how.- The talk about antidepressants. They help so many people, and I realise Matt said that the fact that they didn't work for him doesn't mean that they won't work for other people. BUT all of this is so stigmatised, and I felt like he was downplaying the importance of medication, I guess?- Also... there were just a lot of little things that irked me.I'm going to stop listing things, because it makes me feel mean. I'm really critical about these things, and I'll probably end up discussing this on my blog at some point because this is such an important issue to me.But in conclusion: I'm sure this book will help a lot of people, I'm just not one of those people. But - I would thank Matt Haig for writing about this and putting himself out there - I realise and appreciate how hard that is to do.
    more
  • Julie Eilén
    January 1, 1970
    I feel like this book is a friend I very much needed.
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars.I enjoyed reading this. It was such an honest and personal account of what Matt Haig went through. I could really relate to this but reading some parts were hard because of that. I kind of wish I read this when I was in a better mental space because I might have gotten more out of it but I think he did a really good job. I especially liked a passage that I have highlighted below about depression (I marked it with a * to differentiate it from the other quotes). I hope more people come f 3.5 stars.I enjoyed reading this. It was such an honest and personal account of what Matt Haig went through. I could really relate to this but reading some parts were hard because of that. I kind of wish I read this when I was in a better mental space because I might have gotten more out of it but I think he did a really good job. I especially liked a passage that I have highlighted below about depression (I marked it with a * to differentiate it from the other quotes). I hope more people come forward and feel brave enough and safe enough to share their stories of what it is like to have depression, OCD, bipolar disorder, anxiety, etc because I would love to read more books like this one. I would recommend it but I think you should be in a good headspace at that moment. I would also read more by Haig. --------------------------------------------"One of the key symptoms of depression is to see no hope. No future. Far from the tunnel having light at the end of it, it seems like it is blocked at both ends, and you are inside it.""'But in the end one needs more courage to live that to kill himself.' - Albert Camus, A Happy Death""I was a failure. A quitter. I had nothing at all on the horizon. I was sliding down, becoming vulnerable to an illness that was waiting in the wings. But I didn't realise it. Or I didn't care. I was just thinking of escape.""The main thing is the intensity of it. It does not fit within the normal spectrum of emotions. When you are in it, you are really in it. You cant step outside it without stepping outside of life, because it is life. It is your life. Every single thing you experience is filtered through it. Consequently, it magnifies everything. At its most extreme, things that an everyday normal person would hardly notice have overwhelming effects.""What doesn't kill you can make you scared to leave your house, or even your bedroom, and have you trembling, or mumbling incoherently, or leaning with your head on a window pane, wishing you could return to the time before the thing that didn't kill you.""And my life - and my mess of a mind - needed shape. I had 'lost the plot'. There was no linear narrative of me. There was just mess and chaos.""If you are the type of person who thinks too much about stuff then there is nothing lonelier in the world than being surrounded by a load of people on a different wavelength.""Derealisation. It is a very real symptom that makes you feel, well, not real. You don't feel fully inside yourself. You feel like you are controlling your body from somewhere else."*"Depression is also... smaller than you. Always, it is smaller than you, even when it feels vast. It operates within you, you do not operate within it. It may be a dark cloud passing across the sky, but - if that is the metaphor - you are the sky. You were there before it. And the cloud can't exist without the sky, but the sky can exist without the cloud."*"Of course, it is never easy walking into a room full of people. There is that awkward moment of hovering around, like a serious lonely molecule, while everyone else is in their tight little circles, all laughter and conversation."
    more
  • Coffee&Quasars
    January 1, 1970
    A thoughtful, witty and comforting approach to depression. I would've liked a little more hard science in this, but the author's right to say that our understanding of the brain is in the early stages, and to a sensible degree, we have to find what works for us. Throughout the book, we're offered avenues to explore that.I'd particularly recommend this book to family and friends of the sufferer, as it explains depression very well, but there's plenty in here for veterans of the struggle.
    more
  • Liz Barnsley
    January 1, 1970
    A fuller review MAY follow but my initial reactions to this book, just after finishing it, you can find here.It is ironic (is that the right word I wonder?) that the author who gave me my first reason to stay alive, at a time when I struggled to find one - with his previous novel, The Humans - then went on to write openly, elegantly and with no holds barred, about his own experiences of depression and anxiety. And called it "Reasons to Stay Alive" If I was better with words myself I could probab A fuller review MAY follow but my initial reactions to this book, just after finishing it, you can find here.It is ironic (is that the right word I wonder?) that the author who gave me my first reason to stay alive, at a time when I struggled to find one - with his previous novel, The Humans - then went on to write openly, elegantly and with no holds barred, about his own experiences of depression and anxiety. And called it "Reasons to Stay Alive" If I was better with words myself I could probably find a better one than Ironic. But it will have to do.I would normally at this point I guess, wax lyrical about how beautifully Mr Haig writes and how he gets me every time. Which is true of course, but not what this book needs. I've read a lot of non fiction about Depression and related issues during the time that I have been trying to understand my own mindset, my own experience, but what Matt has done is simply talk about it honestly. In the end, if you want to try and understand it, this is what you need - open, frank and truthful words that paint a picture and allow you in.I shall be keeping a copy of it close by for sure, for the next 3am where I think perhaps dying would be better.I've given it 5 stars obviously, but this is not a book to be rated. It is one to be read - by anyone who suffers, has suffered, lives with someone who suffers and ALL the people in between - one of the most important books you may ever read about the human condition.Brave, sincere, genuine and inspirational. That is all.
    more
  • Johann (jobis89)
    January 1, 1970
    “There is this idea that you either read to escape or you read to find yourself. I don’t really see the difference. We find ourselves through the process of escaping.”The story of how Matt Haig came through crisis, triumphed over a mental illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again.I wouldn’t say this book was revolutionary in any way, nor did it teach me anything I didn’t already know about depression and anxiety. However, Matt Haig writes in such an inspiring and hopeful way th “There is this idea that you either read to escape or you read to find yourself. I don’t really see the difference. We find ourselves through the process of escaping.”The story of how Matt Haig came through crisis, triumphed over a mental illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again.I wouldn’t say this book was revolutionary in any way, nor did it teach me anything I didn’t already know about depression and anxiety. However, Matt Haig writes in such an inspiring and hopeful way that I still thoroughly enjoyed this book.These “self-help” or memoir books can begin to become boring or feel tedious if they are written in a certain way - if there’s walls and walls of texts for example. But Haig has laid his book out in a really easy to read format, he flits back and forth between his past and present and there’s sections that simply consist of lists of things like “ways to live” or “things that make me feel worse” to tweets from different people describing what depression feels like to them. It keeps the book fresh and interesting, and very easy to devour.He also refers to Stephen King on a number of occasions which obviously made me very happy! You can tell Haig loves reading and there’s some really beautifully written sections where he talks about the influence books can have on our lives and mental health. He even includes a list of books that he turns to on his darker days.The book focuses a lot more on depression than anxiety, and as someone who has (fortunately) never suffered from depression, I couldn’t personally relate to large chunks, however I could certainly understand and empathise. I would therefore strongly recommend this to those who are battling depression - or even to those who love someone battling depression. The more we try to understand each other, the more we can tackle the stigma surrounding mental health.Thanks for gifting me this and the buddy read Madalina @thereaderswardrobe! 4 stars!
    more
  • Gabby
    January 1, 1970
    Matt Haig is an amazing writer. This is the first nonfiction book I’ve read from him, he wrote my favorite book I read last year: The Humans. But this book is really great and really important. It’s a book about his depression and anxiety and it’s partly the story of how he tried to kill himself and how he overcame that, but there’s also some really insightful facts about depression and anxiety and metaphors and lists of reasons to stay alive, and just a lot of really inspiring hopeful things in Matt Haig is an amazing writer. This is the first nonfiction book I’ve read from him, he wrote my favorite book I read last year: The Humans. But this book is really great and really important. It’s a book about his depression and anxiety and it’s partly the story of how he tried to kill himself and how he overcame that, but there’s also some really insightful facts about depression and anxiety and metaphors and lists of reasons to stay alive, and just a lot of really inspiring hopeful things in this book. Not going to lie, I totally cried while reading this towards the end. I’m kind of going through a rough time right now and some of those inspiring quotes hit a little close to home and I just lost it. But huge thanks to Matt Haig for making me feel a bit more hopeful about the future and things. 💕
    more
  • Sonya Serial Reader
    January 1, 1970
    Wait about my video about mental illness, this book made me decide to do it, to come out and dare to say it outloud, yes I have depression and anxiety disorder, I am fighting them everyday, and I relate to every single thing in this book (even though there are some differences). Gonna talk to you soon about it all. till then, keep fighting, keep hoping. Life is not as bad as it may seem some days!
    more
  • Antonia
    January 1, 1970
    “Wherever you are, at any moment, try and find something beautiful. A face, a line out of a poem, the clouds out of a window, some graffiti, a wind farm. Beauty cleans the mind.” This was really good. I almost read it in one sitting, every time a 'chapter' ended, I wanted to continue. I got this for christmas and, as I am dealing with an anxiety disorder and depressive episodes, I wanted to read this for quite some time but I didn't know what to expect. And even now after reading it, I can't pro “Wherever you are, at any moment, try and find something beautiful. A face, a line out of a poem, the clouds out of a window, some graffiti, a wind farm. Beauty cleans the mind.” This was really good. I almost read it in one sitting, every time a 'chapter' ended, I wanted to continue. I got this for christmas and, as I am dealing with an anxiety disorder and depressive episodes, I wanted to read this for quite some time but I didn't know what to expect. And even now after reading it, I can't properly tell you what it's 'about'. For me, this was an explanation of depression, a help for those who are suffering from it but also to those who are close to someone with a depression, and an homage to life really. Matt Haig gives you a little hope how life can really get better, even if it really doesn't seem like it sometimes. He is also quoting quite a lot of other authors, which I found interesting.It's a guide but not in an annoying 'here I'll tell ya what to do with your disorder" way, more in a 'hey, I know every mental disease is different but I got through it and so will you' way. He never really says how exactly he came over his worst depressive episode, but that didn't bother me in the slightest way. Just like a depression happens to you, healing can also just happen to you.I think if you suffer from a mental disorder, you should absolutely give this a go! (Obviously also if you're just interested in mental disorders in any way!)
    more
  • da AL
    January 1, 1970
    Finally, mental challenges discussed from the POV of someone who's survived and continues to surmount. It's also a sort of 'behind-the-scenes' to my most recent fave novel, "The Humans." The author does a fine job of performing the audiobook.
  • Leilah Skelton
    January 1, 1970
    Reasons to read this book: 1) You have suffered/ are suffering depression and/or anxiety.2) You know someone who has suffered/ is suffering depression and/or anxiety.If you’re asking the question “Is this book for me?”, then the answer is simply, statistically speaking, that this book is for everybody. There isn’t a single person who wouldn’t benefit from the candid insights and sincerity it contains. Matt Haig has given us a book that is half memoir, half life raft, spoken with a voice that com Reasons to read this book: 1) You have suffered/ are suffering depression and/or anxiety.2) You know someone who has suffered/ is suffering depression and/or anxiety.If you’re asking the question “Is this book for me?”, then the answer is simply, statistically speaking, that this book is for everybody. There isn’t a single person who wouldn’t benefit from the candid insights and sincerity it contains. Matt Haig has given us a book that is half memoir, half life raft, spoken with a voice that combines honesty with wit, humour and tenderness. ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ is far from maudlin, or pontificating. It’s not ‘heavy’, or overly-academic. It is short, matter-of-fact, a lot of which is constructed so that it can be digested just one single page at a time. This book doesn’t set out to define anxiety and depression, but Matt Haig has a way of articulating his own experience that will resonate deeply. ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ will make you laugh and cry. It’ll make you wish for more Andreas in the world. It is, without doubt a Very Important Book.I intend to press this into the hands of family, friends, colleagues and strangers. It’s a book that speaks clearly and eloquently for those who find that words escape them. As Joanne Harris said, ‘Sometimes depression can be like falling into a wordless pit. Matt Haig finds the words. And he says them for all of us.’ Indeed, he does. And thank you.
    more
  • BookwormDH
    January 1, 1970
    This is a fantastic book. I've been meaning to read it for a long time, but it was certainly worth the wait! I suffer from the illness myself, and this book is so much better than most self-help books.Travelling through, Matt Haig's journey and experience with severe anxiety and depression, this account manages to portray an understandable and readable insight into the illness. If you suffer from this or know someone who does, this book is an essential read. Even if you don't, it still makes for This is a fantastic book. I've been meaning to read it for a long time, but it was certainly worth the wait! I suffer from the illness myself, and this book is so much better than most self-help books.Travelling through, Matt Haig's journey and experience with severe anxiety and depression, this account manages to portray an understandable and readable insight into the illness. If you suffer from this or know someone who does, this book is an essential read. Even if you don't, it still makes for brilliant reading.Short and sweet review, but absolutely outstanding! Highly recommended.BIG 5*
    more
Write a review