adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $24.50

Buy for $24.50

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Instant New York Times and Los Angeles Times Best Seller

“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.

©2021 Dr. Anna Lembke (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"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 best-selling 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 best seller 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 best-selling 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)

More from the same

What listeners say about Dopamine Nation

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,257
  • 4 Stars
    213
  • 3 Stars
    68
  • 2 Stars
    19
  • 1 Stars
    5
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,088
  • 4 Stars
    176
  • 3 Stars
    61
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    5
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,064
  • 4 Stars
    186
  • 3 Stars
    60
  • 2 Stars
    18
  • 1 Stars
    7

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very informative and comprehensive

I got this after hearing Lembke on Rich Roll. As an AA "old timer" I was curious to see how in depth she goes into the entire concept of 'recovery' in a world where quick fixes of dopamine are ubiquitous.

Anna is a very good speaker IMJ and the narration is excellent.

I can say that I did not 100% agree with everything presented here, but the self-imposed 'fences' and the like that addicts put up in order to try to wrestle control are interesting.

The basic premise is that pain and pleasure exists along the same neural pathway...so that too much of one will make the other stronger in a natural effort to stay in balance. I can definitely relate to that from my own experiences.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

exceptional

I enjoyed every chapter of this book in a way I have never felt I could when trying to understand the pain of my addiction. It is hard to find a more informative and thought-provoking publication that also helps reinforce and re-think my own experiences. Thank you.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting but feels incomplete

Dopamine Nation has a good balance of science and practical advice illustrated with interesting clinical anecdotes attempting to provide a picture of addictive behavior in modern society, I don't think it makes the best case for the proposition that "age of indulgence" behaviors are addictive in the same way as well-established addictive behaviors. Also, the plan of how to address this proposed problem is incomplete and it ends up presenting as doom-saying with very little in the way of solutions.

The connection between the well-accepted addictive behaviors which the anecdotes concern and the modern behaviors which are potentially addictive "age of indulgence" behaviors is a bit tenuous. We have really great stories of the recovery of a sex addict and two drug addicts, as well as the author's own short-live compulsive reading of romance novels. The romance novel thing illustrates how ostensibly mundane things are like addictions or potentially addictive. But, I think the book would have been helped by an anecdote of someone who has really suffered negative consequences due to video game addiction or social media addiction would have lent credibility to this idea. I'm still pretty unconvinced that the "age of indulgence" addictions are really that analogous to drug or sex addiction.

It would appear that the state of the science doesn't provide a complete recipe for recovery from addictive behavior and Dr. Lembke's obviously not to blame for that. But, to be complete, the book really needs anecdotal information and advice to fill-in the how recovery works gap. Instead, there's lengthy, detailed exploration of unconnected or contradictory ideas that ultimately don't go anywhere. For instance, the science indicates many people don't need the strictness of the 12-step model, but the 12-step model is strict to discourage free-riders to the benefit of the 12-step programs. But, that doesn't help recovery, so why would the reader care about the institutional advantage of 12-step to the disadvantage of addicts? Another example, ice baths or other pain-based quasi-ascetic practices may be useful as a treatment for addiction, but maybe they are also addictive actually. What does the reader do with that uncertain stance? And then, the exploration of recovery sort of peters out and many of the stories of the addicts don't really end conclusively with a point.

Having said all that, I don't see many books exploring these ideas and this is a decent book. I waffled on a 3 or a 4 for overall, as well as a 4 or 5 for story. The author's voice is real nice and I liked her narration.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Unbelievably Candid — A Great Book

I heard about this book on Dr. Andrew Huberman’s podcast last week. I was eager to read the book after Dr. Huberman’s conversation with Dr. Lembke. The book absolutely exceeded my expectations. For starters, the book is a quick read and/or listen— I did a bit of both on this one. Dopamine Nation is full of valuable scientific and medical content (at least for a layperson), which is explained in a clear and concise manner. Valuable context is also given with the use of various real world examples. The author does an outstanding job of blending her personal experiences as a physician with the overwhelming, and in some cases unimaginable, trials of her patients. The author’s confessions about her personal failings, mistakes, feelings, and challenges are incredibly forthcoming and utterly refreshing. To see such an accomplished and credentialed person, who is an active professional in the medical field and academia, candidly share her experiences for the benefit of readers is almost unheard of lately. Few in such esteemed positions would have the courage to be so vulnerable. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in health and wellness—particularly brain health.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great listen, push thru the 1st chapter & u won't

You wont regret it.

Thoughtfully written & provides many perspectives.

Helped withmy current addiction.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow! Great book

Fantastic! Great book from start to finish. It was both interesting and also practical. Highly recommend for anyone who wants to change any addictive habit/behavior. I already started by deleting several apps on my phone.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful, subtle, powerful!!

Absolutely loved the narration, content and the authenticity of the author. The stories shared are amazing. So much so that at times I kept getting pulled towards wanting the author to finish a recovery story instead of building to a lesson or an insight, further deepening it with another branch of a recovery story. And everytime I noticed I was missing the lesson for the curiosity of the story. Beautifully written, heartfelt authentic work.

All stories do come to a closure by the end. Had me tearing up in the parts of the book. The courage of the author and the stories moved me and the insights are amazing . Highly recommended!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating, honest and an eye opener

Thank you Dr. Lembke,
Your book has given a name to symptoms I was unaware existed bringing clarity to the world we live in. I feel better prepared to help myself and help others as we navigate through emotions and behaviors in our Dopamine Nation. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing!!!

I devoured the book over three evening walks. scientific and personal, intimate and open. vulnerable and raw. And I allowed me to step I to foreign worlds of other people and yet with a self recognition. This book will make waves because it allows people to recognize themselves in the book; Just like the first step in healing is recognizing and admitting to the problem. The piece on telling the truth and how we all lie a little was very eye opening. Fantastic writing. Thank you, Dr. Lembke.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This book saves lives

Are you struggling with addiction? Lacking human connection? Have you lost your sense of self? Dr. Lembke masterfully guides the reader through the perils of addiction and subsequent recovery from addiction by sharing stories of her patients. She also provides a unique perspective using her own struggles, as well as scientific data to help the reader understand the fundamental root causes of addiction and other related mental illnesses. This truly is a book of hope for people who struggle with addiction. It has forever changed my perspective on addiction and provided me the necessary tools to better myself and move forward.

5 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-18-21

Great listen.

This was a very interesting and informative book. I got a lot out of it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for SV
  • SV
  • 10-11-21

Outstanding

One of the most interesting books I've read recently. Its way of blending personal stories with scientific evidence was especially effective. And the tone of reading was just right. I'd recommend without hesitation.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for monty2012
  • monty2012
  • 10-01-21

Everyone needs to read this

You don’t have to consider yourself an addict to understand the value and important of this book. In our modern world, everyone needs to read this. It is groundbreaking.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-26-21

Massively thought provoking

This book sheds light on our work of over consumption and contains excellent case studies to help us as the reader reflect on our own experience. The author also shares her own experiences with a refreshing candour. I highly recommend this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for WJ CARCARY
  • WJ CARCARY
  • 09-20-21

Exceptional

I really enjoyed this. The personal stories demonstrated and helped to explain the concepts within the book very well. I will listen to this again for certain.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 09-05-21

Excellent & thought provoking

Excellent book, I was gripped.
I learnt new information/facts/studies about addiction, dopamine & recovery that I didn’t already know which was very compelling & motivating. Plus the case studies of her real patients and their experiences was a brilliant way to bring the topics to life and made it more engaging and relatable.
I have an addiction to screens which I have tried to overcome for years and this gave me fresh hope & approach.
Thank you

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mohamed
  • Mohamed
  • 09-05-21

Fascinating book !

This book is about both pleasure and pain. I have always looked for sources to understand how pain works and stumbled upon this book originally to read about depression. As you listen to chapter after the other you start understanding the construct of the hormonal balancing tool in the brain, habits that may be helpful as well as some interesting real life stories that support the concept so it makes more sense than just reading theory.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 08-30-21

Simply wonderful

The author of this book opened my eyes even further on the workings of dopamine. The basics are there, like rewards and wanting, but there is so much more. How good and bad feelings are on a scale, influencing one another and the effect of social groups, and much more than that.

The narration by the author was excellent. Clear with a good pace.

Thank you voor sharing these stories and the knowledge to understand them better.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 09-05-21

Great book on Dopamine!

I finished this book faster than any book I've ever had on audible, not even joking! I have spread the word already to family and friends about how good this is. It starts off quite unusually but that's what hooks you and then it gets better and better! I heard the author, Dr Anna Lembke, speaking about this on radio station triple j while I was reading it. This made me love it even more because I could hear how genuine and caring the author is. I strongly recommend!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Steve
  • Steve
  • 08-31-21

Exceptional

This is an exceptional book for so many reasons. I heard the podcast with Andrew Huberman and pre-ordered immediately. I could tell from that interview, that there was something very special about both Anna, and this book. Andrew knew what he was talking about when he recommended it.
It is a must-read for everyone that knows they have an unhelpful behaviour or habit, and for those that think they don't have any unhelpful behaviours.
Thank you so much Anna for what you have produced. It is brilliant.
Steve.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for david
  • david
  • 08-27-21

Fascinating, Informative, Helpful, Shocking.

Some disclaimers to this review.
1. I had only peripheral knowledge of dopamine, psychology and brain chemistry before reading this book.
2. I'm a recovering addict

Firstly the "Shocking" as this is how the book begins in Chapter 1. Anna relates the experience of a man with sex addiction, which sets the stage for a couple of points, namely that: 1. Addiction to a behaviour can become shockingly dark, destructive and with time; ever more-so, and 2. This man's experience could be any of us. Perhaps for me that realisation was more shocking than the behaviour described, as I myself struggled with pornography addiction. Even still I was so disconcerted by his experience I struggled to get through the first chapter and considered not listening to the rest. If you can make it through this stage setter, its absolutely worth it.

Fascinating: to understand the connection between pleasure and pain in Chapters 2 and 3; how the body attempts to achieve homeostasis between the two, and how addiction connects to create a feedback loop between them. As someone who has dealt with addiction, I can immediately connect different parts of this process to different phases of my addictive behaviours.

Informative: I found the discussion of the effects of prescription drugs on addiction very informative and sobering. Anna plainly discusses the benefits an drawbacks in an empathetic way. She shares her knowledge of the biochemistry of clinical pharmacology and also practical experience of what short term and long term effects prescription drugs have on the brain, and also the cycle of addiction.

Helpful: Anna's review of pain, radical honesty, and prosocial shame in Part 3 reinforced some home truths and conventional /theological wisdom for me, but backed with her clinical approach, she explains the mechanisms behind why that wisdom works to avoid relapse into addiction. I felt greatly motivated to put these important concepts into practice in my life after listening, which I think may be Anna's greatest success with this book.

As a note on Anna herself, she sounds like a friend we'd all like to have, and is a lovely companion for 6 hours. As a man of faith, I was pleasantly surprised that Anna treats the topic of faith and religion elegantly, reasonably and with compassion (both for its successes and failures). As a man also of science, I was quite satisfied with her explanations of various behavioural and biological processes, and the studies that underpin our present understanding. I can't state enough how much I appreciated the intellectual honesty that governed the communication of scientific concepts in Anna's book. When she was being simplistic in an explanation, she made it plain. When she made certain statements regarding behavioural theories, she elucidated on the origins of that understanding, rather than stating it as a matter of fact. When she made conclusions that were not based on scientific studies (or lacked extensive support from studies), or were based on personal observation through her career, she made it plain.

Perhaps those with training and knowledge in brain chemistry or behavioural psychology may not find the book quite as enjoyable or profound. However from my perspective as a novice in these areas, while having personal experience of addiction, it was time and credit very well spent. Thank you Anna, for all the effort you've put in to this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sara
  • Sara
  • 08-25-21

Highly recommend to absolutely anyone!

This book hit the trifecta - great writing style, informative and useful information and enjoyable emotional stories.