Lost Connections

Lost Connections

Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression-- and the Unexpected Solutions

Book - 2018
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"What really causes depression and anxiety, and how can we really solve them? Journalist Johann Hari suffered from depression since he was a child and started taking anti-depressants when he was a teenager. He was told that his problems were caused by a chemical imbalance in his brain. As an adult, trained in the social sciences, he began to investigate whether this was true, and he learned that almost everything we have been told about depression and anxiety is wrong. Social scientists are uncovering evidence that depression and anxiety are not caused by a chemical imbalance in our brains. In fact, they are largely caused by key problems with the way we live today. From a mind-blowing series of experiments in Baltimore, to an Amish community in Indiana, to an uprising in Berlin. The author uncovered nine real causes of depression and anxiety, leading him to scientists who are discovering seven very different solutions - ones that work. Things like reconnecting to people, meaningful work, overcoming childhood trauma and a guaranteed basic income for everybody. This is a journey that will change how we think about one of the biggest crises in our culture today. His TED talk 'Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong' revolutionized the global debate. This book will do the same"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury, 2018
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781632868305
Branch Call Number: 616.8527 HAR 2018
Characteristics: 321 pages ; 25 cm

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"And while this is a fantastic read if you have depression, it’s just as an important read if you don’t!" - Marnie

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SurreyLibrarian Mar 28, 2019

-Submitted by Marnie-
This non-fiction book discusses such a prominent topic of depression. I love that the author is not actually a doctor or psychologist, but an investigative reporter who researches studies on depression and travels the world to interview all the “who’s who” in this realm. ... Read More »


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d
diannehildebrand
Jun 23, 2019

An "incisive analysis" (from book cover) of depression and what to do about it. The startling thing is his debunking of the myths that anti-depressant medications help very much and that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. His bottom line is that depression is caused by loneliness, because we live in such an individualistic society. Solution: seek out and nurture community. I was most fascinated by his finding that meditation (and LSD for that matter) takes us out of ourselves, reduces our ego, leaves us less obsessed with our own feelings and helps us to care more about other people and be more a part of the whole world. It's not as flaky as it sounds. He's a journalist but has experienced his own severe depression, has successfully practised nurturing community in his life and has done some very rigorous analysis of the research to write this book. Highly recommended.

b
bronteside
Jun 18, 2019

Every so often ,a book comes along that
turns ‘heads’.
This is one of them.
Johann Hari’s treatise on depression and it’s causes
Is so well polished in presentation and research it almost
Seems glib.
But it’s not.
It gives boot to the common belief that despair is all in one’s head..
literally.
The answers , he writes lie elsewhere :not in the contents of a plastic pill bottle.
Such a pleasure to read a work so provocatively original.

SurreyLibrarian Mar 28, 2019

-Submitted by Marnie-
This non-fiction book discusses such a prominent topic of depression. I love that the author is not actually a doctor or psychologist, but an investigative reporter who researches studies on depression and travels the world to interview all the “who’s who” in this realm. It’s written in a “journalistic” style with many anecdotal stories and personal accounts which makes it short-story like, while keeping facts, research, and breakthroughs in science as a top priority and maintains validity on every point. Personally, I feel that Hari (the author) is spot on about his reasons why today’s world has such a high rate of depression. And while this is a fantastic read if you have depression, it’s just as an important read if you don’t! I feel the main component – Connections – is useful for personal growth, medical science, but also in business. A focus on re-connecting in every aspect of our lives could be the positive change in our humanity and businesses that can incorporate this philosophy into their plan and vision, will ultimately keep customers happy, coming back, and CONNECTED!

OPL_BreanneS Mar 23, 2019

Lost Connections by Johann Hari is a devastating indictment of how depression is treated globally. It begins with the debunking of the "serotonin story"--the theory that depression is caused by low serotonin levels and can be fixed simply by taking a pill manufactured by Big Pharma--and then goes onto argue that depression is a sort of grief response that happens when our basic human need for connection (to nature, other people, meaningful work and values, status and respect, a hopeful and secure future) is not being met. It's a desperately needed paradigm-shift approach to treating depression, but if I'm being honest, it's also quite a depressing read that forces you to contemplate how deeply screwed up society is, and in turn how deeply damaging it is to our emotional health.

s
scottav_0
Jan 30, 2019

This is one of the most compelling and necessary books of our time. It describes an integrated understanding of the mental and emotional challenges Americans (and Westerners at large) confront. As anxiety and depression become increasingly wide-spread, we find ourselves casting about for answers. Is it because of social media? Our politics? Is it merely generational? Are our treatment approaches (e.g. medicating) working?

This book provides ample research and a compelling narrative to understand not only what we are experiencing in our contemporary society, but also, how to climb out.

I gave out over a dozen copies of this book last year to friends and family. Every one of them who finished it (which was all but two), not only loved it, but passed it forward. Read it and bring a new understanding to yourself and how our world impacts our mental and emotional lives.

s
stuhaas
Jan 24, 2019

An interesting and valuable book. It's on firmer ground at beginning as it debunks chemical treatment of (most) depression and the value of interpersonal connection in our various societal roles (parent, child, worker, etc.). He offers many citations and studies to support. Gets a bit less useful as he posits his solutions to disconnection, unnecessarily introducing his personal politics and less empirically-based arguments (e.g. universal basic income).

Two quibbles - while i suspect he is right about chemical imbalance depression being a rarity, for fairness he should have interviewed psychologists who support it and (gasp!) Big Pharma companies that claim it is scientifically proven.

Second, as Christianity (religion) stresses the need for many of the connections the author agrees are needed to address depression (meditation, getting beyond the self, finding meaning in life, etc), it seems short-sighted not to explore the benefits/shortcomings of this area in a scientific manner (e.g. are members of x religion less prone to depression?). To dismiss it with the offhand "I'm an atheist, so that's not on the table for me" was disappointing. Presumably he wouldn't say "I'm a Pfizer shareholder, so challenges to drug efficacy in treating depression aren't on the table for me."

But overall a worthwhile read, and one would hope additional work in this area is continuing.

n
NTAT
Nov 25, 2018

The topic and content of the book is very important though i think the public has known that for years- that antidepressants, as well as many drugs pushed into the market by the greedy pharmaceutical industry are nothing but scam. That said, I didn't enjoy the author's writing at the beginning of the book, it felt kinda flat and disconnected in some parts. It improved in the last chapters.

d
dirtbag
Aug 26, 2018

Well-researched, interesting and approachable. It covers the research on psychiatric drugs and their spotty efficacy and then moves on to talk to numerous social science researchers about the effects of society on peoples mental health. I would recommend this book to both sufferers of depression and those who are just generally interested. I think this is a great book.

cuppa_tea Aug 08, 2018

An excellent read, I particularly enjoyed the first few chapters which reiterate the book by Ben Goldacre "Bad Pharma" ....that very poor science is behind so many drugs we are told to trust.

g
gramsci
Jun 10, 2018

Brilliant. Just brilliant.

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