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Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions Kindle Edition
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|Length: 417 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Hari's empathy and keen eye for detail bring a disparate group of characters to life (New York Times)
Screamingly addictive. The story tells it all, jaw-droppingly horrific, hilarious and incredible, is one everyone should know (Stephen Fry)
Breathtaking ... A powerful contribution to an urgent debate (Guardian) --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
Johann Hari is the New York Times bestselling author of Chasing the Scream. He was a columnist for the Independent in London for nine years and was twice named Newspaper Journalist of the Year by Amnesty International UK. He has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, Le Monde, Slate, the New Republic and the Nation. He has been awarded the Comment Award for Cultural Commentator of the Year by Editorial Intelligence, and has been named Journalist of the Year by Stonewall. Hari lives in London.
chasingthescream.com / @johannhari101--This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B075RTJV67
- Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing; 1st edition (11 January 2018)
- Language : English
- File size : 1665 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 417 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 16,061 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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The book is not all bad, though. The solutions may all be copy/pasted political agendas, but a lot of the issues it raises are pertinent. Modern western culture does prioritise consumerism, and does break down communities, and does make people feel like their work is meaningless, and does push pills on people who don’t need them, etc. But this book does not offer solutions, it offers political policies. The final chapter even admits, and outright champions the idea, that openly utopian ideals are the necessary solution.
If you’re looking for a book that makes you feel better, that you’ve been wronged by the world, and that you can cure your depression and find meaning in left wing activism, this is the book for you. If you just want a book to vindicate your opinions about the world, this may be the book for you. If you feel like you’ve lost meaning, and that you don’t see a future for yourself, and that you cannot find happiness, and that you just want answers that will allow you to live a simple, peaceful life, look elsewhere. I would recommend Man’s Search for Meaning as a starting point.
I rate it 3 stars instead of 2, because the importance of the issues raised in this book trumps the empty partisan solutions. As a final remark, I might add that the writing style is atrocious. It is incredibly informal and screams “millennial,” for a book that it ostensibly about a serious topic. This reinforces the feeling that this book was made for a certain audience, not for the wider community of people suffering from or interested in depression. This book feels like a really long blog post.
His fundamental point is that for a variety of reasons we’ve been sold a pup re anti-depressants. He quotes Krishnamurti’s famous remark that it is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to an unhealthy society. He leads us step by step through what’s wrong with our society and demonstrates that climbing rates of depression are in fact, an appropriate and sane response. Taking a pill - by and large - isn’t. As part of this argument, he explains why the “science” we’ve been sold on re SSRIs is in reality, very unconvincing. Big Pharma kept a lot of results (the less favourable ones) secret.
The final section concerns useful antidotes to what’s ailing us, and comes up with a few suggestions for changing our behaviour, including how we can think differently about our world. They range from private and personal things like meditation to the challenging idea - endorsed by President Obama - of instituting a universal basic wage.
This is a very important book. I’m going to recommend it all over the place. These ideas need to be shared.
I will now go out there and seek out new friendships, meditate, and spend more time in green spaces
Top reviews from other countries
The writing style caused the initial irritation. It’s like a TED talk extended to 10 hours. Endless formulaic personal stories that take a chapter to make a single point better suited to a sentence. And oh-so patronising, written in that dumbed down journalistic way that I find intensely insulting.
As I read more, it was the fraudulent self-congratulatory content that caused my increasing anger. That the author has the gall to claim he discovered 9 causes of depression (which are a rehash of bog standard theory known for decades) suggests his delusion and narcissism are much bigger issues than his depression. It’s no wonder then that he is a proven plagiarist. The real disgrace is the number of celebrity endorsements.
On a personal note, I disagree with his conclusions about blaming ‘society’. Take individual accountability and stop playing the victim.
My advice? Read the chapter headings on the free kindle sample as they tell you his whole message. Then look up the Human Givens approach which summarised this much better 20 years ago. And watch any Jordan Peterson YouTube clip on depression as it gives you far greater depth in 5 minutes from a trained clinical psychologist not a disgraced leftie hack.
In 'Lost Connections' Johann Hari looks at depression from the inside. His own diagnosis of clinical depression led him to taking antidepressants for years, yet he never seemed to truly recover. As he wondered why, he began to question the assumptions that we have made in the past hundred years as to what the causes of depression are, and what depression actually is. This enlightening book is the result of his research, and as a lay reader on the topic I found it fascinating. His conclusions can be summed up rather simply: how is it possible to live happily in a world designed to make us miserable? When we re-frame depression that way, we see that the drugs won't work, they'll just make it worse: reconnection, as the title implies, is the route we must follow to escape our unhappiness.
There are those who have written negative reviews of this book, and I can certainly sympathise with the them - for three reasons. Firstly, Hari calls into question a lot of what we take for granted, and when you are convinced that the solution to your depression lies in finding the right drug cocktail, being told that the drugs are unlikely to work at all can feel like a slap in the face. Secondly, some readers have long been aware of the research that Hari references; nothing in the book will come as a surprise to them. To those of us who have never before read up on this issue, however, the book serves its purpose very well, summarising what we know and what we don't know about depression. And third, the writing style is not perfect; it's what I would call 'Gladwell-lite.' There are too many attempts to make of the story a real narrative, which means backtracking again and again to introduce characters the 'proper' way. Doing this once or twice would be forgivable, but the fact that it happens dozens of times every chapter means that reading the book is sometimes more of a struggle than it should be.
Despite any slightly negative words that I might offer about this text, I really have no hesitation in recommending it to everyone out there who either has depression, or is wondering how they might help somebody with depression. There's useful stuff in here - perhaps not the stuff that everybody wants or will use, but if you dig around and look for what resonates, you might find a new approach to living within these pages.
Take a look at this video summary.
My hesitations are:
He seems to miss out some causes such as repetitive thought (and hence mindfulness practice) and, curiously, adult trauma.