A fascinating, realistic study of pain management and addiction that offers hope to patients and their families.

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Why Can't Johnny Just Quit?

A COMMON SENSE GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING ADDICTION

A physiatrist and pain management specialist analyzes the intricacies of addiction and pain.

In his pain management business, Dr. Oh is vigilant about watching for red flags—signs that a patient may be abusing or becoming addicted to a prescribed medication. He begins his analysis of drug dependence by discussing 10 myths and misconceptions about addiction, citing the misleading and oft-depicted image of an addict in movies or TV, as if the person who is high always “looks inebriated, intoxicated, and half falling asleep.” Oh explains that for most people, the effect of opiates is sedation, though addicts described their initial reactions as “stimulating and energizing.” Oh downplays the idea of an “addictive personality,” feeling that it unfairly blames the victim. “The only thing that predicts whether a person is susceptible to a drug or not is one’s genetics,” he says. “The only way you will know whether you are susceptible to a drug is by the way the drug makes you feel.” Oh explains that it is that initial euphoria that the addict chases—losing jobs, forsaking health, friends and family on the way. Though doctors are aware of the possibility that their patients will become addicted to their pain medications, Oh believes that many doctors choose not to see the signs of addiction. “For most physicians...it is easier to give into the patient’s demand and give him what he wants rather than trying to delve too deep underneath the surface.” The author does a fine job explaining the complex aspects of how the chemistry of the brain is affected by various drugs, including a description of the five known opiate receptors in the brain and the three classes of opiate pain medication. He illustrates his narrative with 20 case studies and synopses of cases of addicts whom Oh treated for pain management, some with positive outcomes, some with negative results. Also included is a helpful glossary as well as information on addiction, which Oh regularly hands out to his own patients.

A fascinating, realistic study of pain management and addiction that offers hope to patients and their families.

Pub Date: June 20, 2014

ISBN: 978-1497446083

Page Count: 304

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2014

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Clever and accessibly conversational, Manson reminds us to chill out, not sweat the small stuff, and keep hope for a better...

EVERYTHING IS F*CKED

A BOOK ABOUT HOPE

The popular blogger and author delivers an entertaining and thought-provoking third book about the importance of being hopeful in terrible times.

“We are a culture and a people in need of hope,” writes Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, 2016, etc.). With an appealing combination of gritty humor and straightforward prose, the author floats the idea of drawing strength and hope from a myriad of sources in order to tolerate the “incomprehensibility of your existence.” He broadens and illuminates his concepts through a series of hypothetical scenarios based in contemporary reality. At the dark heart of Manson’s guide is the “Uncomfortable Truth,” which reiterates our cosmic insignificance and the inevitability of death, whether we blindly ignore or blissfully embrace it. The author establishes this harsh sentiment early on, creating a firm foundation for examining the current crisis of hope, how we got here, and what it means on a larger scale. Manson’s referential text probes the heroism of Auschwitz infiltrator Witold Pilecki and the work of Isaac Newton, Nietzsche, Einstein, and Immanuel Kant, as the author explores the mechanics of how hope is created and maintained through self-control and community. Though Manson takes many serpentine intellectual detours, his dark-humored wit and blunt prose are both informative and engaging. He is at his most convincing in his discussions about the fallibility of religious beliefs, the modern world’s numerous shortcomings, deliberations over the “Feeling Brain” versus the “Thinking Brain,” and the importance of striking a happy medium between overindulging in and repressing emotions. Although we live in a “couch-potato-pundit era of tweetstorms and outrage porn,” writes Manson, hope springs eternal through the magic salves of self-awareness, rational thinking, and even pain, which is “at the heart of all emotion.”

Clever and accessibly conversational, Manson reminds us to chill out, not sweat the small stuff, and keep hope for a better world alive.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-288843-3

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2019

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