Reasons to Stay Alive

Reasons to Stay Alive

Book - 2016
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Penguin Putnam
Matt Haig’s accessible and life-affirming memoir of his struggle with depression, and how his triumph over the illness taught him to live.

From the author of How To Stop Time, coming February 2018 from Viking.

"Destined to become a modern classic." —Entertainment Weekly

Like nearly one in five people, Matt Haig suffers from depression. Reasons to Stay Alive is Matt’s inspiring account of how, minute by minute and day by day, he overcame the disease with the help of reading, writing, and the love of his parents and his girlfriend (and now-wife), Andrea. And eventually, he learned to appreciate life all the more for it.
Everyone’s lives are touched by mental illness: if we do not suffer from it ourselves, then we have a friend or loved one who does. Matt’s frankness about his experiences is both inspiring to those who feel daunted by depression and illuminating to those who are mystified by it. Above all, his humor and encouragement never let us lose sight of hope. Speaking as his present self to his former self in the depths of depression, Matt is adamant that the oldest cliché is the truest—there is light at the end of the tunnel. He teaches us to celebrate the small joys and moments of peace that life brings, and reminds us that there are always reasons to stay alive.

Baker & Taylor
An internationally best-selling author shares his struggle with depression and, helping those who are confused or daunted by the illness, reveals how he was able to triumph over the disease in order to live again.

& Taylor

In a moving and entirely relatable account, an internationally best-selling author shares his struggle with depression and, helping those who are confused or daunted by the illness, reveals how he was able to triumph over the disease on order to live again. Original.

Publisher: New York, New York :, Penguin Books,, 2016
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780143128724
Characteristics: 256 pages ; 18 cm


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Apr 15, 2017

"Reasons to Stay Alive" is a very personal and honest reflection on the author's experience with depression and anxiety. Written in short chapters with lists and quotations scattered throughout, the book can be read in brief sittings - very appropriate for the subject matter.

As Haig says, every mind is unique and so every experience of depression will be different, but this was an accessible way for those of us who haven't experienced mental illness for ourselves to begin to understand what it might be like to live with depression and anxiety.

ArapahoeKati Jan 29, 2017

I was blown away by this book. It's perfect if you or someone you know has anxiety or depression because this guy UNDERSTANDS. Please read this when the darkness is too close for comfort.

Aug 20, 2016

This is an incredible book, that comes as close as anything I've read to the experience of anxiety and depression. Everyone who has been through this or is going through it or knows someone who is going through it needs to read it. It saves people.

Cynthia_N Jul 13, 2016

Fantastic!! It's a biography in the sense that Haig is writing of his experiences with depression and anxiety but it is more of a guide book. This is the first book I have read that seems to perfectly capture living with depression and anxiety. It would be a great read for those suffering from depression( written in short chapters with lots of lists so not an overwhelming read), those who want to understand depression from an insider's point of view, and also for caretakers. Very quick read!

Jun 09, 2016

From the distance of fourteen years, Haig recounts the experience of suffering a mental breakdown, and the slow road back to mental and physical health. Presented in a variety of essays, lists, and anecdotes, it offers small, accessible pieces to help digest a difficult topic. Full review available at:

Jun 06, 2016

A modern day William Styron.


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Jun 09, 2016

"If you have ever believed a depressive wants to be happy, you are wrong. They could not care less about the luxury of happiness. They just want to feel an absence of pain.”

Jun 09, 2016

“Read anything you want. Just read. Books are possibilities. They are escape routes. They give you options when you have none. Each one can be a home for an uprooted mind.”


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Jun 09, 2016

Matt Haig and his girlfriend Andrea were spending the summer in Ibiza, working at one of the island’s biggest party destinations when the otherwise reasonably healthy twenty-four year old suffered a mental breakdown, consisting of depression, panic attacks, and suicidal thoughts. He had perhaps been drinking too much, and sleeping too little, but the severity of the breakdown seemed out of all proportion to anything that had gone before. After a few very intense days, he found himself standing on the edge of a cliff, contemplating ending his life. In retrospect, there were a few warning signs, but nothing that would have stuck out without the breakdown. From the distance of fourteen years, Haig recounts the experience, and the slow road back to mental and physical health.

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