Review of Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig


Published: 31st December 2015
Pages: 272


Aged 24, Matt Haig’s world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again.


This is not fiction. This is real life. This is Matt Haig’s own encounter with Mental Health and in particular, depression. It is a book which I have wanted to read since the publication date but never seemed to, until now. I wish I had though. I wish I had read it when I was in my own world of panic attacks and anxious thoughts. Matt discusses how his life changed at the age of 24 when living in Ibiza with his girlfriend, about how that horrible breathing sensation took over and due to Mental Health never being spoken about, he didn’t have a clue what is was.
“A drop of ink falls into a clear glass of water and clouds the whole thing.”
Everything I’ve ever felt about my own anxiety is on these pages. It’s like he’s in my head, writing it down and explaining it to me like no doctor possibly can. It’s genius. He’s the medication I should have taken. This book ought to be given out to teenagers/adults if they go to a doctor struggling with anxiety. I found it fascinating that Matt included a list of celebrities who have battled with depression (and still are) and it hit me like a ton of bricks: they’re ridiculously rich but they still suffer and as horrible as that is, it made me feel better about my own Mental Health – knowing full well that I’m not alone.
This is the most important book I have ever read. I’ve told my friends to read it – those who also suffer and those who are happily unaware of the pain others go through on a daily basis. Matt Haig, I have a lot of respect for you my friend.