Monday, 14 March 2016

Review: Reasons to Stay Alive - Matt Haig

Reasons to Stay Alive was another book that went straight on my list of books to read when we were away travelling. Not only was I trying to branch out and read more non-fiction, but I had seen the book recommended all over the place, and was particularly keen to give it a read after seeing Kayleigh from Very Berry Cosmo mention it.

Reasons to Stay Alive is a book about Matt Haig’s struggles with depression, centring around the day he almost killed himself. The rest of the book maps out his mental health leading up to this moment, tracking his subsequent recovery and discussing depression in wider terms. The book balances itself really effectively somewhere between memoir and self-help.

Haig generally presents what he has to say chronologically, offering a mixture of his own experiences, lists of advice and common misconceptions about mental health and depression. This structure works really well, as it allows him to expand on issues he has had, by reflecting on and analysing his own struggles and consequently offering support for others.

Reasons to Stay Alive is more than just one man’s inspiring journey; it’s a book that makes you think about life, reflect on your own experiences and develop your understanding of the ways in which mental illness consumes individuals and taints their view of themselves, those around them and their ability to live.

I would thoroughly recommend Reasons to Stay Alive to anyone and everyone, as regardless of your own situation, it is a book that will challenge your thoughts and opinions and undoubtedly offer new ways to think about things. More than anything it gives hope to current sufferers, comfort and reflection to those who have previously suffered, and understanding and awareness to those who know someone who is suffering or even those who have had no exposure of experience of mental illness whatsoever. 

Have you read Reasons to Stay Alive? If you have any recommendations of similar books, I would love to know – leave any suggestions in the comments!


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