Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence
Anna Lembke, MD
Year of issue
What's it about?
Paints a sobering picture of the potentially permanent changes happening to our brains in our tech saturated, “brave new world.” Articulates what the tech companies (who’s share prices increase with the severity of our addictions) knew when they designed the app you can’t stop using. Gives plenty of examples and strategies of reclaiming your brain.
who should read it?
If you’re interested in understanding the science behind why it’s so difficult to quit our modern pleasures and strategies for doing so, whether you’re looking to stop mindlessly scrolling, curb your consumption of pornography or even some of the more addictive substances you might be overindulging in.
how the book changed me
I already had a pretty good idea about what our modern technology was doing to our ability to shoulder difficult tasks, and how we’re being primed by technology compaines to favor impulsivity over control in the interest of growing their share prices.
What I didn’t understand was the pleasure / pain balace that comes with taxing our dopamine receptors; mainly, that pleasure and pain are processed in the same region of the brain. This book affirmed to me the benefits of habits I was already doing, like excercise and cold exposure, and was an integral element in stopping my consumption of pornography. It was a shock to discover that the changes that have been made to my brain from years of porn exposure are likely permanent, but it was also reassuring to know that there are avenues for routing around those damaged neuronal pathways and creating new, healthy ones.