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  • Dopamine Nation

  • Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence
  • By: Dr Anna Lembke
  • Narrated by: Dr Anna Lembke
  • Length: 6 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (435 ratings)

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Dopamine Nation

By: Dr Anna Lembke
Narrated by: Dr Anna Lembke
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Publisher's Summary

All around us people are looking at their phones too much, eating too much, drinking too much. Our world is addicted to fleeting distracting pleasures that get us nowhere. Dr Anna Lembke provides a clear way back to a balanced life.

This audiobook is about pleasure. It's also about pain. Most importantly, 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 are 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.

©2021 Anna Lembke (P)2021 Penguin Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Dr Anna Lembke is a whiz on why we get hooked on things - and how we can enjoy pleasurable things in healthier doses." (The Guardian)

What listeners say about Dopamine Nation

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

meh

She is talking about a really interesting topic but I can help but think some parts are really dramatised and can't really get behind her supporting the war on drugs.

Probably good for beginners on the topic but as a health professional myself and friends with two recovering drug addicts this book doesn't nearly hit the spot for me.

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15 people found this helpful

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  • JB
  • 23-11-2021

Somewhat biased view of addiction

Unfortunately, I felt like the book was biased - it comes across as a collection of research and anecdotes that support the author's perception of addictions. The author came across as a heavy proponent of self-agency and free will while disregarding the effects of personal histories. Also, her arguments felt unbalanced, There was a heavy reliance on the biological - psychological (to be precise the notion of personal responsibility) dichotomy, while the social aspects have been somewhat disregarded.

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11 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Avoid this absolute garbage

The author is an up-herself, judgemental, moralistic, elitist moron. She is harsh and rude about her clients and comes across as stuck-up and unlikable. Worst of all, she lies in certain sections (she obviously doesn’t understand how the law and court systems work). Don’t be like me and think that surely there has to be something of use in here… the only thing here is a waste of your time and unnerving frustration.

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8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting

A good book for anyone who finds themselves with addictions, not only hard drugs but seemingly simpler things in life like sugar and caffeine.
Also for people interested in psychology and personal development.
The chapters about the equilibrium between pain and pleasure are particularly informative.
My only complaint would be that when the author/narrator puts on a male’s voice to do a reenactment it’s always in the wimpiest tone possible.
I do recommend the book. It’s a very good listen.

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5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I would recommend this book

I liked this book the only reason I am giving it 3 stars is because she mentions cruel animal tests ALOT and these tests are inconclusive so I don't like hearing about needless animal torture every 5 minutes. I skipped past quite a bit of that especially the dog electric shock part was particularly disturbing and she even mentioned that it was disturbing but still felt the need to include it.

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4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Immensely interesting, and complimenting narration

I was first exposed to Anna Lembke on the Andrew Huberman podcast, which was a fascinating episode. This increased my appetite for more of Anna's work and Dopamine Nation quickly filled that void.
This book contains such incredible insights into her research into dopamine, enhanced by the unique offerings through the first hand accounts of her clients. As well as some of Anna's own odd addictions, increased my awareness to the realm of dopamine. The accounts and research relating to drugs was confronting, and understanding these unknown outcomes relating to drugs, alcohol and a unique set of other addictions, was immensely interesting. However, the applied mechanisms by the clients in their efforts to overcome their various addictions, were positive and pleasing to understand.
This was an immensely informative, well written, and in this case, well narrated book and I think anyone with, or effected closely by people with addictions, will find numerous insights from this book and Anna's research.
One standout component was the theme of time. This was how time underpins and dramatically effects those with substance and addiction problems. Consequently, inhibiting their ability to delay gratification, by being not interested in long term rewards, but a desire to take a short term, less beneficial ones. This was relatable but also hugely alarming, and similar style anecdotes are peppered throughout to ensure a compelling read
More than likely, I will return for another listen in 2022, but I loved being exposed intially on the Huberman podcast, and this book really was the showpiece from that episode.
Some standout highlights:
'The internet promotes compulsive over consumption not merely by providing increased access to drugs old and new but also suggesting behaviours that otherwise may never have occurred to us.'
'Human beings are social animals when we see others acting in certain ways online those behaviours seem normal because other people are doing them.'
'One form of self binding is to create literal physical barriers, and or geographical distance between ourselves and our drug of choice. This
allows your current self to “bind” your future self to the course you want, and prevents you from losing your way when your willpower wanes.'

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4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting read!

Anna does a great job of narrating her book. It is obvious that she is passionate about her work, patients and just humans in general. I learnt a lot, however, there were still some topics I didn't fully understand (not surprising considering I'm no psychologist). Despite this, I really enjoyed the book. Worth the read!

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4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gets better as you listen

I found this book incredible relatable and eye opening. Anna does an amazing job getting her message across in empathetic and fun stories. I’ve found Anna through the Huberman Podcasts and am so glad I purchased this book - it has been life changing in how I view the world. Thank you Anna.

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3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Wasn’t an enjoyable read

I felt as though the author was judgmental and very closed minded. Personally I would not go to her as a patient. The book was dragged on for a long time and I felt it only really pointed out everyone’s problems and did not provide any helpful advice.

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What a great book

A must read for anyone starting to figure out how we live isn’t that good for us. It’s answered some burning questions I had.

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2 people found this helpful

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