How I Rescued My Brain by David Roland

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A psychologist’s remarkable recovery from stroke and trauma

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.

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A psychologist’s remarkable recovery from stroke and trauma

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.

‘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

‘David Roland describes the breakdown of his mental world, a world he slowly pieces back together, with the candor of a man observing his brain from the inside. The narrative style is studded with rich descriptions of emotion and intuition unbounded by the constraints we normally take for granted. The result is an intimate portrayal of a brain uniquely injured and the courage and resilience we all require to make the best of what we have.’

MARC LEWIS, AUTHOR OF MEMOIRS OF AN ADDICTED BRAIN

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