Publication Date: 25/01/2024 ISBN: 9780241008355 Category:

How We Break

Vincent Deary

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publication Date: 25/01/2024 ISBN: 9780241008355 Category:


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‘Exhilarating… Wise and compassionate’ New Statesman

An expert, empathetic guide to the science, psychology and physiology of breaking, from the acclaimed author of How We Are

What happens when our minds and bodies are pushed beyond their limits? Vincent Deary is a health psychologist who has spent years helping his patients cope with whatever life has thrown at them. In How We Break, he has written a book for all of us who sometimes feel we have reached our breaking point.

Drawing on clinical case studies, cutting-edge scientific research, intimate personal stories and references from philosophy, literature and film, How We Break offers a consoling new vision of everyday human struggle. The big traumas in life, Deary points out, are relatively rare. More common is when too many things go wrong at once, or we are exposed to prolonged periods of difficulty or precarity. When the world shrinks to nothing but our daily coping, we become unhappy, worried, hopeless, exhausted. In other words, we break. Breaking, he shows us, happens when the same systems that enable us to navigate through life become dysregulated. But if we understand how the wear and tear of life affects us, then we have a better chance of navigating through times of burnout, stress, fatigue and despair.

By equipping us with a better understanding of what happens to us when we’re struggling to cope, and making a bold case for the power of rest and recuperation, How We Break helps chart a path through difficult times.

Publisher Review

Drawing on a wide range of sources about the human experience, Vincent Deary has written a warm and compassionate book about how we hurt and how we heal. A rich and humane work -- Gwen Adshead, forensic psychiatrist and author of THE DEVIL YOU KNOW From a deep mine of science, philosophy, art and personal experience, Vincent Deary has produced a treasure of a book. Every page of How We Break gleams with wisdom and insight. Nobody could fail to be enriched by it -- Matt Rowland Hill, author of ORIGINAL SINS Exhilarating... a lyrical, consoling exploration... It takes guts to recognise that change is called for, and more to follow it through. This book - so long as you don't read it on autopilot - should help -- Review for 'How We Are' * Guardian * Fascinating, profound, wonderfully well-observed... [How We Are] could change lives -- Review for 'How We Are' * Daily Mail * This is a book that gets your mind whizzing off in lots of directions... It's crammed with ideas. It makes your head spin, in a good way -- Review for 'How We Are' * Spectator * An extraordinary book... There are so many insights and moments of poetry along the way... The book is all the more useful because it is uncomfortable and disturbing; it makes you re-examine your priorities and habits -- The Guardian (Paperback of the Week) * Nick Lezard *

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