Lost Connections - Johann Hari

Staff Pick

Hari was on anti-depressants for thirteen years. They failed to cure his deep, chronic sadness. Then he noticed the similarities between symptoms of depression and grief. If the physiological explanation for depression was true, did that mean grief was just another chemical imbalance in the brain? But how could grief be abnormal—wasn’t it a rational response to a loss? Investigating further, Hari discovered that there’s no scientific basis to support the treatment of depression with serotonin-based medications. When they help at all, it’s for a limited time. Rather, Hari began to see depression as a kind of grief, the brain’s normal response to the loss of something essential it needs. He identifies nine kinds of “lost connections” that depression (and its close cousin, anxiety) reflects, from the loss of community, family time, and experience of nature to the loss of control and respect in soul-sapping work environments. Contrary to the  Big Pharma line, depression isn’t a problem in the brain—there’s no natural “balance” to be restored there—but a problem in the culture depressed brains exist within; depression is a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. As he overturns the serotonin revolution, Hari surveys various social  movements that may become the next generation of anti-depressants, showing how depression has been alleviated by a successful grassroots campaign for lower rent in Berlin, by the clean-up of “mental pollution” by banning outdoor advertising in Rio, by the establishment of businesses on a cooperative rather than a hierarchical model, by the relief of economic insecurity with a universal basic income, and other measures that restore what modern consumer culture takes.

Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope Cover Image
ISBN: 9781632868305
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Bloomsbury USA - January 23rd, 2018

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