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How I Rescued My Brain : A psychologist's remarkable recovery from stroke and trauma - David Roland

How I Rescued My Brain

A psychologist's remarkable recovery from stroke and trauma

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Published: 23rd July 2014
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Published: 23rd July 2014
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‘A clear affirmation of the importance of mindfulness and compassion for healing … enlightening and inspiring. Beautifully demonstrates that healing is more than the absence of injury. There is hope for everyone affected by stroke: recovery is possible.’ - Kate Richards, Author of 'Madness'

As a psychologist specialising in court assessments, David Roland often saw the toughest, most heartbreaking cases. The emotional trauma had begun to take its toll — and then the global financial crisis hit, leaving his family facing financial ruin.

So when he found himself in a local emergency ward with little idea of where he was or how he got there, doctors wondered if he had had a nervous breakdown — if the strain of treating individuals with mental-health problems had become too much. Eventually they discovered the truth: David had suffered a stroke, which had resulted in brain injury. He faced two choices: give up or get his brain working again.

Drawing on the principles of neuroplasticity, David set about re-wiring his brain. Embarking on a search that brought him into contact with doctors, neuroscientists, yoga teachers, musicians, and a Buddhist nun, he found the tools to restore his sense of self: psychotherapy, exercise, music, mindfulness, and meditation.

How I Rescued My Brain is the story of David’s neurological difficulties and his remarkable cognitive recovery. It is also an account of a journey to emotional health and wellbeing. In the tradition of Marc Lewis’s Memoirs of an Addicted Brain and Jill Bolte Taylor’s My Stroke of Insight, this is an amazing tale of one man’s resilience, and his determination to overcome one of the most frightening situations imaginable — the fear that he had lost his mind, and might not get it back.

About the Author

David Roland has a PhD in clinical psychology, and has trained in neuropsychological assessment and studied interpersonal neurobiology online with professor Daniel Siegel (author of Mindsight). David is an honorary associate with the School of Medicine at the University of Sydney, a member of the Australian Psychological Society, and a founder of the Australian branch of the Compassionate Mind Foundation. His first book was The Confident Performer (1998).

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
 
4.9

(based on 10 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Deserves multiple readings (8)
  • Easy to read (7)
  • Informative (7)
  • Well written (7)
  • Page-turner (6)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Special needs (6)
    • Reference (5)
    • Gift (4)
    • Older readers (3)
    • Travel reading (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Everyday reader (6), Bookworm (4)

    Reviewed by 10 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-10

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    5.0

    A most inspiring memoir

    By Karen

    from Coffs Harbour NSW Australia

    About Me Everyday Reader

    Pros

    • Deserves Multiple Readings
    • Easy To Read
    • Informative
    • Page-Turner
    • Well Written

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Since reviewing How I Rescued my Brain in August 2014 I have had the privilege of meeting and hearing David Roland speak of his incredible and amazing journey to where he is today. David is inspirational and conveys a sense of serenity in all that he does. David is a man of compassion and strength and his memoir is one of encouragement and reassurance for anyone who has been through or going through difficulties in their life. David's steps to recovery include mindfulness, music and mediation and his story has made a positive difference to my life as I know it will for many others.

        Comment on this review

         
        4.0

        Very informative

        By Nell

        from Sydney

        About Me Everyday Reader

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Read
        • Informative
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Reference
          • Special Needs

          Very informative for anyone with similar problems.

          Comment on this review

           
          5.0

          Wonderfully open, honest and inspiring

          By Social Worker

          from Wagga Wagga

          About Me Everyday Reader

          Pros

          • Deserves Multiple Readings
          • Easy To Read
          • Informative
          • Page-Turner
          • Well Written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Older Readers
            • Special Needs

            I found David's wonderfully open and honest account of his experiences both inspiring and helpful. David's reflections and insight touched me deeply on many occasions. The book confirmed some of my ponderings of the workings of my brain, though gave me many new insights based on science. I found it very easy to relate to what David was going through and particularly enjoyed his story explaining the difference between empathy and compassion. This book is a great read for anyone who has suffered a brain injury and certainly anyone interested in reflecting on their journey through life or anyone in the caring or helping professions.

            Comment on this review

             
            5.0

            I couldn't put this book down

            By lesleych

            from Sydney

            About Me Bookworm

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Deserves Multiple Readings
            • Easy To Read
            • Engaging characters
            • Informative
            • Lyrical
            • Page-Turner
            • Well Written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Gift
              • Older Readers
              • Psychology
              • Reference
              • Special Needs
              • Stroke Victims
              • Travel Reading

              "How I Rescued my Brain", is a fascinating book. Beautifully written, with at times an almost child-like candour, David Roland writes on how an undetected stroke almost shattered his life. We learn of his battles with doctors and hospitals to get the right treatment for his brain injury, his mind-numbing meetings with lawyers and insurance companies to ward off financial ruin, the emotionally painful experiences he and his family had to endure, as well as the strategies and treatments he followed to ameliorate the effects of his stroke.

              I also found "How I Rescued my Brain" to be more than just a memoir of triumph over adversity- in many ways it is also a thriller. David lets us into his life then captures us with suspense- how will his story end? I was moved to tears by a number of passages, inspired by others, and made envious by the lyricism of his writing. "How I Rescued my Brain" is an enthralling read.

              Comment on this review

               
              5.0

              I couldn't put this book down

              By lesleych

              from Sydney

              About Me Bookworm

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • A Thriller
              • Deserves Multiple Readings
              • Easy To Read
              • Engaging characters
              • Informative
              • Lyrical
              • Page-Turner
              • Well Written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Gift
                • Medical
                • Older Readers
                • Reference
                • Special Needs
                • Stroke Victims
                • Travel Reading

                "How I Rescued my Brain", is a fascinating book. Beautifully written, with at times an almost child-like candour, David Roland writes on how an undetected stroke almost shattered his life. We learn of his battles with doctors and hospitals to get the right treatment for his brain injury, his mind-numbing meetings with lawyers and insurance companies to ward off financial ruin, the emotionally painful experiences he and his family had to endure, as well as the strategies and treatments he followed to ameliorate the effects of his stroke.

                I also found "How I Rescued my Brain" to be more than just a memoir of triumph over adversity- in many ways it is also a thriller. David lets us into his life then captures us with suspense- how will his story end? I was moved to tears by a number of passages, inspired by others, and made envious by the lyricism of his writing. "How I Rescued my Brain" is an enthralling read.

                Comment on this review

                 
                5.0

                A Personal Story with Universal Appeal

                By Sharon

                from Northern Rivers, NSW

                About Me Bookworm

                Pros

                • Deserves Multiple Readings
                • Easy To Read
                • Engaging characters
                • Informative
                • Page-Turner
                • Well Written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Gift
                  • Reference
                  • Special Needs
                  • Travel Reading

                  Allow me to declare at the outset that I'm a friend of the author. And one of the things I value most about my friendship with David is how calm and inspired I feel while in his company. 'How I Rescued My Brain' should have a similar effect on readers; spending time with David on the page will leave you emotionally, intellectually and spiritually nourished. Brimming with clarity, compassion and gentle humour, the book is a skilfully researched and beautifully paced account of a forensic psychologist's quest to heal his brain from stroke and trauma. It's a deeply personal story but there's nothing self-indulgent about the telling. As David writes in the book's acknowledgements: "Sometimes, when I was in a pit of despair and searching for a reason to make the effort to keep going, I would tell myself, I have to get out of this and write about it, and perhaps in doing so give hope to others going through a similar experience." I have no doubt this is exactly what David has achieved. But 'How I Rescued My Brain' is far more than an invaluable resource for those affected by brain injury, it will also appeal to anyone who wants to live a more mindful and connected life.

                  Comment on this review

                   
                  5.0

                  A Deeply Personal Story Generously Told

                  By Sharon

                  from Northern Rivers, NSW

                  About Me Bookworm

                  Pros

                  • Deserves Multiple Readings
                  • Easy To Read
                  • Engaging characters
                  • Informative
                  • Page-Turner
                  • Well Written

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Gift
                    • Reference
                    • Special Needs

                    Allow me to declare at the outset that I'm a friend of the author. And one of the things I value most about my friendship with David is how calm and inspired I feel while in his company. How I Rescued My Brain should have a similar effect on readers; hanging out with David on the page will leave you emotionally, intellectually and spiritually nourished. Brimming with clarity, compassion and gentle humour, the book is a skilfully researched and beautifully paced account of a forensic psychologist's quest to heal his brain from stroke and trauma. It's a deeply personal story but there's nothing self-indulgent about the telling. As David writes in the book's acknowledgements section: "Sometimes, when I was in a pit of despair and searching for a reason to make the effort to keep going, I would tell myself, I have to get out of this and write about it, and perhaps in doing so give hope to others going through a similar experience." I have no doubt this is exactly what David has achieved. But How I Rescued My Brain is far more than an invaluable resource for those affected by brain injury, it will also appeal to anyone who wants to live a more mindful and connected life.

                    Comment on this review

                     
                    5.0

                    An essential read

                    By Karen

                    from Coffs Harbour NSW Australia

                    About Me Everyday Reader

                    Pros

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • A Special Book

                        'How I Rescued My Brain' is an essential read for anyone who has had a stroke or knows someone who has. David Roland has put into words what I am currently struggling to do having had a stroke earlier this year. David's book has given me encouragement in moving forward in regaining the functionality of my own brain. The detail that David has provided in relation to neuroplasticity and the way he approached and overcome his own stroke is exceptional. To me finding David's book in a local bookshop was like finding gold as it was the first publication I had come across where the author had a realistic knowledge of what one goes through in recovery. This book also provides details of other resources that can be followed up to assist in the rehabilitation process and is currently my bible to success in achievement of my objective.
                        Karen

                        Comment on this review

                         
                        5.0

                        An essential read

                        By Karen

                        from Coffs Harbour NSW Australia

                        About Me Everyday Reader

                        Pros

                        • Deserves Multiple Readings

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Essential Reading

                          'How I Rescuced My Brain' is an essential read for anyone who has had a stroke or knows someone who has. David Roland has put into words what I am currently struggling to do having had a stroke earlier this year. David's book has given me encouragement in moving forward in regaining the functionality of my own brain. The detail that David has provided in relation to neuroplasticity and the way he approached and overcome his own stroke is exceptional. To me finding David's book in a local bookshop was like finding gold as it was the first publication I had come across where the author had a realistic knowledge of what one goes through in recovery. This book also provides details of other resources that can be followed up to assist in the rehabilitation process and is currently my bible to success in achievement of my objective.
                          Karen

                          Comment on this review

                           
                          5.0

                          This book is an essential read

                          By Karen

                          from Coffs Harbour NSW Australia

                          About Me Everyday Reader

                          Pros

                          • Deserves Multiple Readings
                          • Essential Reading

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Delight To Read

                            'How I Resuced My Brain' is an essential read for anyone who has had a stroke or knows someone who has. David Roland has put into words what I am currently struggling to do having had a stroke earlier this year. David's book has given me encouragement in moving forward in regaining the functionality of my own brain. The detail that David has provided in relation to neuroplasticity and the way he approached and overcome his own stroke is exceptional. To me finding David's book in a local bookshop was like finding gold as it was the first publication I had come across where the author had a realistic knowledge of what one goes through in recovery. This book also provides details of other resources that can be followed up to assist in the rehabilitation process and is currently my bible to success in achievement of my objective.

                            Comment on this review

                            Displaying reviews 1-10

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                            ISBN: 9781925106008
                            ISBN-10: 1925106004
                            Audience: General
                            Format: Paperback
                            Language: English
                            Published: 23rd July 2014
                            Publisher: Scribe Publications
                            Dimensions (cm): 21.1 x 13.6  x 2.2
                            Weight (kg): 21.1
                            Edition Number: 1