The author on being known for his depression memoir, the dangers of social media, and Winnie-the-Pooh

Matt Haig is a writer of novels and nonfiction books for children and adults, including The Humans and How To Stop Time. He is also the author of Reasons to Stay Alive, a bestselling memoir about his descent into depression, aged 24, and his subsequent efforts to climb out of it. His new book, Notes on a Nervous Planet (Canongate, £12.99), explores how to stay sane in our fast-moving, anxiety-inducing world.

Why did you decide to return to the subject of depression in Notes on a Nervous Planet?
Not wanting to be nauseatingly name-dropping, Stephen Fry warned me after Reasons to Stay Alive not to become Mr Depression, and I thought he must know what he was talking about. So I wrote a book about Father Christmas [A Boy Called Christmas] and a novel, How to Stop Time, and tried to concentrate on other stuff. But the subject kept coming up at readers’ events. What struck me really strongly was, while we acknowledge things like alcohol or drugs can be bad for our mental health, we don’t really understand how more day-to-day stuff affects us. So I thought it might be useful to write a...


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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".

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