From the New York Times best-selling author of Chasing the Scream, a radically new way of thinking about depression and anxiety.
What really causes depression and anxiety - and how can we really solve them? Award-winning journalist Johann Hari suffered from depression since he was a child and started taking antidepressants 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.
Across the world, Hari found social scientists who were 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. Hari's journey took him from a mind-blowing series of experiments in Baltimore, to an Amish community in Indiana, to an uprising in Berlin.
Once he had uncovered nine real causes of depression and anxiety, they led him to scientists who are discovering seven very different solutions - ones that work. It is an epic journey that will change how we think about one of the biggest crises in our culture today.
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About the Author
Johann Hari is the New York Times bestselling author of Chasing the Scream, which is being adapted into a feature film. He was twice named Newspaper Journalist of the Year by Amnesty International UK. He has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and others, and he is a regular panelist on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher. His TED talk, “Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong,” has more than 20 million views.
Table of Contents
Prologue: The Apple 1
Introduction: A Mystery 5
Part I The Crack in the Old Story
1 The Wand 17
2 Imbalance 27
3 The Grief Exception 38
4 The First Flag on the Moon 45
Part II Disconnection: Nine Causes of Depression and Anxiety
5 Picking Up the Flag (An Introduction to Part Two) 59
6 Cause One: Disconnection from Meaningful Work 61
7 Cause Two: Disconnection from Other People 72
8 Cause Three: Disconnection from Meaningful Values 91
9 Cause Four: Disconnection from Childhood Trauma 106
10 Cause Five: Disconnection from Status and Respect 116
11 Cause Six: Disconnection from the Natural World 123
12 Cause Seven: Disconnection from a Hopeful or Secure Future 132
13 Causes Eight and Nine: The Real Role of Genes and Brain Changes 143
Part III Reconnection. Or, a Different Kind of Antidepressant
14 The Cow 159
15 We Built This City 164
16 Reconnection One: To Other People 179
17 Reconnection Two: Social Prescribing 189
18 Reconnection Three: To Meaningful Work 201
19 Reconnection Four: To Meaningful Values 211
20 Reconnection Five: Sympathetic Joy, and Overcoming Addiction to the Self 218
21 Reconnection Six: Acknowledging and Overcoming Childhood Trauma 241
22 Reconnection Seven: Restoring the Future 245
Conclusion: Homecoming 255
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book should be required reading for anyone receiving an anti-depressant prescription. Extremely well written, and very well researched. Exposes the multiple fallacies of the mechanistic, simplistic, "serotonin uptake" idea. Provides a positive perspective and a real way out of the fetid depths of depression. If you're reading these reviews, just do it. Buy the book. Read it with highlighter in hand.