Following is a list of books that I found informative and helpful in considering how to address addictive behaviours or just the idea of creating contentment.
The Biology of Desire : Why Addiction Is Not a Disease
Marc Lewis is a neuroscientist and a professor in developmental psychology. He is also a former addict, which makes him an interesting person to read. He takes the view, as I do, that the notion that addiction is a disease is nowhere near nuanced enough a way to describe addictions or addictive behaviours. Taking us on a journey of describing how the brain functions Lewis describes its capacities to learn and unlearn and in doing so offers an understanding of how change happens and is sustained.
The Wise Heart : A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology
The Wise Heart “offers the most accessible, comprehensive, and illuminating guide to Buddhist psychology ever published in the West” (bookdepository.com). For those new to it, it is important to understand that Buddhism is a philosophy not a religion. Whilst this book is written by a well-known Buddhist teacher it will be interesting and practically useful for anyone interested in its objectives, which are to awaken and develop capacities for love, joy, connection with life, and for unshakable freedom.
Lost Connections : Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope
This is Johann Hari’s second book, the first being Chasing the Scream, which is about the war on drugs and also an interesting and accessible read. Lost Connections takes a fresh look at depression reviewing some history and challenging ideas about mental health from a social perspective. It is a straightforward read that offers a number of reasons why we develop depression and puts forth strategies to counter those influences.
In The Realm Of Hungry Ghosts : Close Encounters with Addiction
Gabor Mate is a medical doctor working in Vancouver’s drug district. His years of work leaves him with some conclusions about what addictions are all about, which are that they are influenced by social situation (environment) and early years life experiences.
Buddha’s Brain : The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom
Buddha’s Brain is a few years old now but remains a good way to acquaint oneself with some neuroscience (brains functions) and the connection to happiness, love and wisdom.
Unbroken Brain : A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction
Another more useful analysis of the problem of addiction than the traditional models from someone who has been there.