Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping - Now Revised and Updated

Robert M. Sapolsky

Holt Paperbacks



Trade Paperback

560 Pages



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Robert Sapolsky's acclaimed Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers combines cutting-edge research with a healthy dose of good humor and practical advice to explain how prolonged stress causes or intensifies a range of physical and mental afflictions, including depression, ulcers, colitis, heart disease, and more. When we worry or experiences stress, our body turns on the same physiology responses that an animal's body does, but we usually do not turn off the stress-response in the same way—through fighting, fleeing, or other quick actions. Over time, this chronic activation of the stress-response can make us literally sick.

This thoroughly updated third edition, which features new chapters on sleep disorders and addictions as well as new sections on gender differences, anxiety, weight gain, post-traumatic stress disorder, and stress management, is richer than ever with insights into how the nervous system responds and how stress responses can be controlled.


Praise for Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers

"Robert M. Sapolsky is one of the best science writers of our time."—Oliver Sacks

"[Sapolsky] succeeds in interpreting technical material in a way that leaves readers with an understanding of how the same physiological responses, so well suited for dealing with short-term physical emergencies, can turn into potential disasters when chronically provoked for psychological or other reasons . . . The author has a way with words . . . You will find plenty to intrigue you."—The Washington Post

"Robert Sapolsky wittily dissects the anatomy of human stress-response."—The Wall Street Journal

"This book is a page-turner and is anything but depressing or disheartening."—Natural History

"A delightful little book."—Contemporary Psychology

"Filled with delightful twists and turns, personal anecdotes, and nuggets of odd information—on voodoo death, Peter Pan, and the hunting skills of hyenas . . . First-rate science for the nonscientist."—Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads



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From Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers:

Regardless of how poorly we are getting along with a family member or how incensed we are about losing a parking spot, we rarely settle that sort of thing with a fistfight. Likewise, it is a rare event...

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  • Robert M. Sapolsky

  • Robert M. Sapolsky is a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and a research associate with the Institute of Primate Research, National Museum of Kenya. He is the author of A Primate's Memoir and The Trouble with Testosterone, which was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist. A regular columnist contributor to Discover and The Sciences and a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant, he lives in San Francisco.