Dec. 23 – Johann Hari – Lost Connections [Advent Calendar]

The Englewood Review of Books
Best Books of 2018
Advent Calendar
December 23


Lost Connections:
Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions

Johann Hari

Hardback: Bloomsbury, 2018
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The personal story Hari recounts in Lost Connections reveals emotional well-being as significantly more complicated than a binary system that oscillates between resilience and illness.

“There are three different kinds of causes of depression, and we’ve been focusing way too much on the biological ones and not anywhere near enough on the social and psychological ones,” Hari says.

This broader understanding of mental health—as a continuum, and one that is deeply and continually affected by environment, circumstance, and experience—is further revealed in the many statistics repeated after the suicides in June of celebrities Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade. A June report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that from 1999 to 2016, suicide rates have steadily increased in nearly every state to create a national rise of 30 percent. “In 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older died by suicide,” it reads. “Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death and is one of just three leading causes that are on the rise.”

What has happened to Americans over those decades? Thinking that biological chemistry alone has undergone significant changes is unreasonable. Our environments have changed. Our food. Our stress. Our relationships—our “lost connections,” as Hari puts it.


LISTEN to an interview with the author from Wisconsin Public Radio



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