Johann Hari: Lost Connections



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Make sure you go see a psychologist not a psychiatrist because a psychiatrist will only try to give you drugs Isn t that disgustingThis book shows that very few depressive illnesses have anything at all to do with brain chemistry and that therefore the treatments that seek to adjust one s brain chemistry via drugs are simply never going to work He provides lots of metaphors for this one of my favourites being trying to treat the smoke coming out of a house by blowing it away with a huge fan something that will only make the fire inside the house that you can t see all the worseI ve only ust finished reading Bullshit Jobs and this is a complementary story to that one There is an excellent chapter in this about how feeling you are doing pointless work makes you feel worthless and therefore causes you real damage And yet the whole point of modern capitalism is to make the majority of the population virtual automatons In fact this is precisely the lesson of Taylor s Scientific Management that workers are too stupid to know how best to perform their work in the most efficient ways and so they need to submit themselves unuestioningly to the will of the scientific manager In fact the less the worker uses their brain the effective they will be However we know that feeling you have no control over your own actions and living in a world in which you feel completely disassociated is about as good a definition of mental illness as you can get To be human is to be efficacious ironically enough though those most likely to promote the benefits of scientific management are also those who speak loudest in favour of freedom although admittedly they generally talk of freedom from government regulations rather than freedom to do anything other than choose between various consumer goodsI ve never been all that attracted to meditation in fact I think we are far too obsessed with ourselves and too many of those I ve met in the past who have spoken to me about meditation have seemed a bit too self obsessed But there is a nice bit in this book where he talks about meditating for 15 minutes each day in an attempt to feel real Un hros pour Rayne (Delta Force Heroes t. 1) joy at the good fortune of other people even of the good fortune of your enemies or people you envy He also talks of the deep psychological benefits that come from truly doing something to help other people I think this isust wonderfulLike I said I have a profound belief that we are primarily social animals but that modern society has moved us so far away from belonging to communities that someone like Margaret Thatcher can say there is no such thing as society and people might even well believe it I don t believe it The further we become atomised the less human we become and the e sick and isolated and depressed we become as a conseuence We end up suffocating in our own self loathing The answer is not to turn further inward but rather to come back home to the connections that really matterI want to end with something he says uite early on in the book There are a lot of grave stones in the world mostly these tell how much the person was loved by their friends and their family None of them say Here lies John one of the truly great accountants of his age Our society forces us to be isolated individuals We need to reconnect it s for our own good Hoo boy Where to start Well Hari starts by saying that everything I know about depression is wrong which is a bold claim given that I ve lived with it waxing and waning for most of my life So what does he sayHari Everyone thinks that depression is simply caused by a chemical imbalance in the brainMe Well of course depression is caused by chemicals in the brain Every part of our experience is caused by chemicals in the brain That s what the brain DOES Love rage and that annoying tickle behind your right knee are also caused by chemicals in the brainHari They think that life experiences and the environment are irrelevant and have no impact on people developing depression They think it pops up out of nowhereMe Literally nobody thinks that Johann Hari I ve found out that people get sad because they ve lost their obs or have no friendsMe No shitHari A woman could have her newborn baby die and then go to the GP the next day and be diagnosed with major depressive disorderMe Ooooh a situation that has never happened ever because doctors are not fucking idiots How excitingHari Antidepressants don t really work even though Big Pharma insists that they do in order to make money We should take St John s Wort because it s better has no risks and no side effectsMe The evidence on antidepressants is complicated and Big Pharma have indeed done some shady stuff which I won t defend St John s Wort works because it is basically an SSRI However unlike substances classified as drugs it s very badly regulated so dosage and purity are inconsistent There are side effects One is that it reduces the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives which seems like a pretty big risk to meHari In all the time I took antidepressants not one medical professional asked if I had a reason to be sadMe I flat out don t believe you I m afraid If you were ever referred to mental health services you sure as hell went through a history of your whole life in the hour long initial appointment Even GPs generally askHari Everyone in medicine ust thinks that antidepressants will fix everything without any contextMe Really Because I m pretty sure that NHS best practice advice on depression includes antidepressants talking therapy mindfulness diet and exercise and sleep hygiene They ve also become pretty keen on choral singing recently Of course they don t always have the resources to offer this stuff and GPs have to get you out the door pretty uickly But that s not because they all think pills are perfectHari Nobody ever asks about real life stressorsMe The last time I was referred to an NHS mental health service I was asked over and over if I had any issues with debt housing the police my non existent children isolation harassment etc Social workers are a lot cheaper than psychiatristsHari But the REAL cause of depression is real life stress not brain chemicalsMe This is a ridiculous false dichotomy It s like saying the cause of type 2 diabetes isn t having a body that can no longer get the insulinglucose balance right The cause is people eating too much and getting fat There are levels of cause and effect and interactions between these levels Life experience affects brain activity Brain activity then both creates and affects life experience The problem with depression is often a feedback loop between life and the brain The reason why antidepressants are needed is to get into this loop and push the brain in a different direction so that life can also be pushed into a different directionHari Everyone now thinks that depression is caused by too little serotoninMe I don t know what everyone thinks but the current medical consensus is that serotonin is one of several neurotransmitters implicated in a very complex disorder that we still don t fully understand Because you know the brain is complex similar symptoms can have different causes and different appropriate treatments and so onI mean there s I could say but this is pretty long nowI think this book might come across as groundbreaking for people who don t know all that much about depression and the state of science around it This is clearly what Hari was going for But what it has actually done is build up a ridiculous straw man Nobody thinks that depression always springs up spontaneously because the brain forgot to put serotonin on the shopping list What the medical profession actually thinks is that it s a very complex disorder with a lot of interconnected causes and a bunch of different things that can help Of these things there s often an antidepressant which will give the person a bit of a boost in conjunction with sorting out other stuff But Hari doesn t engage with this Instead he presents another wildly oversimplistic explanation and then claims credit for Figuring It All Out Unlike Those Actual Scientists And Doctors. La primatologie son livre s’appuie également sur les récits poignants des nombreux interlocuteurs ui l’ont guidé dans sa recherche d’une perspective renouvelée sur la dépression.

S maybe hundreds over many decades It s a book that I wish I could own I might borrow it from the library again at some pointI can recommend this to everyone including several specific people I know particularly those who have experienced depressionanxiety those who work with sufferers to alleviate those conditions and those who know or have known people with depression andor anxiety and most people living in our modern world in other words most readers The book s subtitle refers to depression but throughout the book both depression and anxiety are explored and I appreciated that I should probably feel perturbed that none of the buzz on the book acket is from professionals in the field but I ended up not caring This is not a pop psych book and I hope that mental health professionals will read it I wish this information had been published and publicized many decades ago and accepted by those in the field To me it s ridiculous that this information could be considered groundbreaking but some of it feels that way given the accepted current treatment modalities for depression and for anxiety The book is entertaining and informative and well structured and well written Most of what is related is or should be common sense but I found much of what was presented thought provoking Perhaps there was nothing earth shatteringly new but it felt good getting validation and to consider and I did learn some things The author is an engaging writer and storyteller The account has a good mix of his personal story others stories and scientific and informal research results He interviews people from around the world people working in various disciplines and about various organized and spontaneous social experiments that have occurred The personal stories make the hard data even interesting When I read the Contents pages before I started the book I thought I d have an issue with the specific numbers of reasons for and solutions for these mental health issues but I didn t The author is not dogmatic and the sections were useful and made sense I ve never been a person especially attracted to drug use but after reading this book I d love to try the ingredients in mushrooms at the high dose under strict medical supervision even though I suspect I might be among the 25% of users who have negative experiences when under the influence of psilocybin I m really curious though and I d be willing to take the risk because I think there would be an opportunity for a special positive experience I do wish that the sections on traumatic childhoods were much longer and had details and examples What is said about disconnection in modern life really resonated with me and the conclusions the author reaches about its impact on how we feel are ones with which I mostly agree Finishing the book I feel that it can be helpful to many and somewhat empowering but as is made clear many of the needed changes must happen not ust by individuals but also at the societal cultural group organizational governmental level and accomplishing this in the big way that will be reuired for large populations feels like a daunting goal So I m not sure how optimistic or pessimistic I feel regarding this epidemic but ideas are given that individuals and small groups can implement The notes are worth reading preferably at the same time as their corresponding chapters There is an index though when I went to look up things I didn t always find the book s contents there where I d expected to find it One uote I really liked that is a good summary of the book s thesis is You aren t a machine with broken parts You are an animal whose needs aren t being met This was a frustrating and infuriating book I kept wanting to shout but what about us who HAVE the connections you talk about have everything going for us and yet have lifelong depression Being told to A Groom for Greta (Amish Brides of Celery Fields, join a gardening group and make friends is NOT HELPFUL when you have friends and already garden Being told you need aob you feel is worthwhile and a living wage is not the answer when you already have both It comes off as extraordinarily patronizing to be told I know you don t want to hear this because it s easier to take a 20 second pill each morning I didn t want to either but here s the truth It may well be accurate to say that SSRIs are not especially effective on average It may be true that we don t have good medical answers for or understanding of depression But if that s the case SAY SO and call for further research Don t end by explaining how we all need a universal income so we don t feel stressed Ugh Maddening Disclaimer It is not the intention of this review to tell you how you should or should not medicate yourself Personally I would not take anti depressant drugs in a pink fit and have in the past refused them when they have been offered to me by well meaning doctors You should do what you think is best given advice from your doctor with that said read this book so you might have some uestions to ask that doctor when and if they tell you to self lobotomise or whatever it is the chemicals they want you to buy ultimately doIn 2010 one of the benefits of good reads is knowing when I read stuff I read a book called Doctoring the Mind in many ways this book is an updated and slightly left wing version of that I would encourage you to read this book because well because we live in a society that is literally driving us all insane and we need to do something about that and what needs to be done will be difficult and demanding than swallowing a pill sorry about that but it had to be said And this book provides ways and means that could help us all shift away from our current insanity and maybe even get well Like Doctoring the Mind this book argues that most depressive illnesses are simply not due to dysfunctions in brain chemistry dysfunctions that need to be addressed by expensive tables conveniently produced by extremely wealthy drug companies but rather that most depressive illnesses are completely predictable and rational responses to a world that is insane Therefore trying to fix these illnesses by focusing on the individual and the chemistry in their brain is not only not likely to work but in fact perpetuates the situation that caused the illness in the first placeIn one of her books bell hooks says that she never takes aspirin This isn t because she is some sort of masochist but rather because she believes that aspirin is a metaphor for everything that is wrong in our society People do not feel pain without a reason pain means there is something causing you to feel pain in the situation you find yourself in Aspirin does not address the cause of your pain rather it removes the pain it removes the warning that the situation you are in is causing you damage That is aspirin masks your need to change When I first started going to the gym one of the instructors there told me to never take anti inflammatory pain killers for exactly the same reason Fix your techniue doing the wrong thing and covering the pain that causes with drugs is the road to being crippled with lasting and serious pain This book confirms virtually all of my prejudices so naturally enough it is getting 5 stars and recommended I ve already gotten my mother to read it a woman at work and suggested it to my eldest daughter So what are those confirmed prejudices Well first of all that we are fundamentally social animals and so if something goes wrong with us we ought to at least consider our social situation as being potentially implicated Both Doctoring the Mind and this book stress that mental illnesses can have three causes biological psychological and social The point is that for decades we have only considered one of these causes and therefore only one set of treatments We have only concerned ourselves with the biological and that means we have only considered how brain chemistry might be the reason for these illnesses When I first studied philosophy at university some of the people in the class were also studying psychology and I overheard one of them say when recommending someone to go see for some therapy. Uinze ans en constatant ue son mal n’avait pas disparu pour autant Combinant les résultats scientifiues de la médecine mais aussi des sciences sociales de l’anthropologie et même de.

It s not seretonin it s society Just not for me I found that this book unnecessarily portrayed psychiatrists and anti depressants negatively I was presented with plenty of studies related to other causes but the idea of anti depressant studies was uickly dismissed as being biased because of Big Pharma funding which I think is an insult to the men and women scientists working for companies conducting this researchFor me the causes and reconnections highlighted are all part of psychiatric treatment in conjunction with anti depressants At the end of the day if you go to your GP saying you can t stop crying they ll prescribe meds but also set up counselling encourage regular exercise and removing yourself from any negative life situation It s a comprehensive model Whilst I completely agree with all the disconnections that the author described in leading to mental health issues I The Baby They Both Loved just think going out there and saying anti depressants are a conspiracy is dangerous and unnecessary For many people getting a prescription is the first step to seeking the support they need This book purports to be groundbreaking but is actually an example of sloppy and unscientific reasoning The author uotes studies published in the 1990 s to critiue modern thinking about clinical depression and anxiety However modern thinking on clinical depression and anxiety has advanced by leaps and boundsust in the time I ve been typing this review At a minimum a book about science should refer to science published in the New Millennium A further example of the author s messiness is his failure to define his terms How does the author define depression Would he argue that postpartum depression seaso I thank the author for writing this book and the person who gifted me a copy Finally the truthEvery psychiatrist who believes that serotonin chemical imbalance in the brain is the reason for depression and anxiety should read this book Anyone taking prescribed anti depressants and not finding relief from their symptoms needs to read this book Like the author I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety at a young age and prescribed medication For years I tried many different drugs including SSRI s SNRI s and even NDRI s From some I would experience relief for a brief period of time but it would always wear off and my doctor would increase the dosage then eventually switch me to a different drug Some actually worsened my depression and anxiety and even caused difficult health issues that the drug companies like to call side effectsI agree with the author on the actual reasons for depression and anxiety It makes complete sense that having negative and painful experiences than positive and happy occasions in your life will cause you to be depressed anxious and even suicidal I ve seen it happen with family and friends and have experienced it myself It s not something to be simply dismissed as ust a bad day It s much than that It s numerous and severe negative incidents in life that can cause one to retreat and withdraw from society as a mode of self protection The cumulative effect can become debilitating for many people and also lead to self deprecating behavior Crying so hard and feeling actual physical pain and believing the world would be better off without you is a serious crisis that reuires immediate attention At that point it s extremely difficult if not impossible to have the courage to seek social interaction in hopes of obtaining positive and happy social experiencesIf I knew then what I know now I would not have taken any of these medications and I believe I d be healthier both mentally and physically I also wouldn t have wasted so much money as some of these medications were not covered by insurance and are uite expensive If you are suffering depression and anxiety and are taking prescribed anti depressants that are not working for you I encourage you to read this book with an open mind If you know of someone who is suffering I urge you to recommend this book to them If you don t suffer anxiety or depression I kindly ask you to try to understand what it s like for those of us that doThis book was thoroughly researched is very well written and easy to read I sincerely thank you for reading my open and honest review I received a copy of this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review First I would like to note that as a psychiatric nurse I like to consider myself a mental health professional who knows a little something about things like depression and anxiety Second I m also certified in choice theoryreality therapy which meshes pretty well with a lot of ideas in this book Third as someone who copes with self diagnosed anxiety and depression I d like to think I know a few things So there s what I feel ualifies me to make the statement I m about to make Duh That s what I kept saying over and over throughout this book As the author went through his reasons for depression I was dumbfounded that these aren t all accepted by the medical and psychiatric community without uestion Then he gets into the scientific studies and actual research and you may actually start to feel angry like I did that they aren t Then if you re as entrenched in this system as I am you ll know why The picture of a patient laying on a couch telling the psychiatrist all of their problems is an antiuated picture of the mental health system Somehow over the years the psychiatrist s couch has moved from a place to discuss the problems in your life and hypothesize how they came to be to a place where you list off symptoms and are given a drug that s supposed to fix everything This book is important to the field of psychiatry I only wonder how long it will take for the mainstream psychiatrists and mental health professionals to realize it In conclusion if you didn t feel like reading this rambling review read this book it s important Even if you don t think you re depressed read it You know someone who is and maybe this book can help you to help them even if you find nothing personally useful in it though I d be surprised if you didn t At his best Hari writes with real compassion and insight advancing an important argument that we need to expand our understanding of both depression and of anti depressants Popping pills to solve a chemical imbalance is not the answer but rather identifying what it is that you we are disconnected from including with the help of mental health professionals but not exclusively He consults experts showcases innovative approaches and research and thinks about things for a long time as he says than once It s hard to disagree with large chunks of this much of it sensible and attentive to the complexities of human existence and he covers a lot of ground while maintaining the pace of a page turner He thinks big too indicting contemporary neoliberalism in the depression epidemic But sometimes the tone was too proselytising verged on condescending while the space allocated to particular issues over others was sometimes curious pages and pages to a single LSD experiment while childhood trauma is smashed out in one of the smallest chapters Towards the end huge topics like the universal basic income were introduced with great fanfare only to capsize on another walk on part for a celebrity friend of his And while he made attempts to give biology its due once it was established that the chemical imbalance theory is basically bunk other biological factors most notably hormones which is a huge issue for many women suffering various forms of depression barely got a look in Still I am glad he wrote it and that I read it We do need to listen to our own pain and to the pain of others and to expand the possibilities of how we deal with it In that broader sense this is a hopeful and helpful book The book s description field at Goodreads gives a than adeuate summary of its contents so I won t make a point here of giving any further details here As usual it s hardest for me to write reviews for books I love the most This might be the best book I ve ever read about depression and anxiety and I ve read dozen. Uelles sont les causes de l’épidémie de dépression ui frappe nos sociétés occidentales Johann Hari a lui même été diagnostiué dépressif et il a pris des antidépresseurs pendant.

Read online Lost Connections AUTHOR Johann Hari – wpa8ball.co.uk

Johann Hari is an award winning British journalist and playwright He was a columnist for The Independent and the Huffington Post and has won awards for his war reporting His work has also appeared in the New York Times the Los Angeles Times The New Republic The Nation Le Monde El Mundo the Melbourne Age El Pais the Sydney Morning Herald the Irish Times The Guardian Ha'aretz the Time