Lost Connections Book Review

Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope Review

As humans we know we have needs. We have physical needs, such as the need to eat, drink water, shower, use the restroom, we need clothing and special clothing if we’re somewhere that’s extremely cold, right? What happens if all those things are taken away from us? We’re not going to live a normal life. Not having proper care might even lead us to death.

The same thing happens with our mental health and our emotional needs. We need things such as love, appreciating, understanding, support, we need to feel validated as if we matter to someone. When that switch is turned off and you’re left with no emotional support, that can lead us to a lot of inconsistencies in our lives, and it can also lead us to death.

How do we deal with those feelings? Well, I’m here to talk to you about this wonderful #1 bestseller.

Here’s my Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope Review

Name: Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope

Author: Johann Hari

Number of pages: 416

Price: $18.00 but you can get it now for just $15.12

Overall Rank: 4.5 out of 5

Disclaimer: The text inside the quotation marks is from the actual book written by it’s author not me.

Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope Overview

Johann Hari is well-known for two of his bestselling books: Chasing The Screams: the First and Last Days Of the War on Drugs, and Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope, which has been described by the British Journal of General Practice as “one of the most important texts of recent years”. Just for that, the book intrigued me so much. Therefore, I had to dig it up and give you guys what I found, and an overview of what to expect from it.

Johann Haris review

This book has some controversy running around, especially from mental health professionals since Johann has made it clear that this book is about world-wide research on all types of behaviors, and how doctors treat them. That, including not prescribing antidepressants.

Johann spent most of his life depending on antidepressants because when he was a child he was made believe that depression was just a chemical imbalance in your brain that could be easily cured with some prescribed medication.

While he was traveling the world to find answers and write his book, he discovered some amusing details that nobody really ever talks about, most people don’t even know that these were actual scientific based studies.

• Only about 25% of the relief you feel after taking antidepressants are from the prescription pills themselves.

• 25% of the outcomes of these antidepressants came solely from natural recovery and not the medication itself.

• 50% were based on the story you had been told about these chemicals. Meaning that the information in your brain, regarding these types of medication it’s what actually shines that small light in your brain telling you that the prescribed medication is working.

So, if we’re, generally speaking, 75% of the effects of antidepressants are non-existing, except for 25%. Still, can we live a depressive-free life without that 25%? According to this book, there are so many more ways to cope with your depression and anxiety than just prescribed medication. Do you think so as well?

The Nine Causes Of Depression And Anxiety

Johann also stated that during his investigation he found nine causes of depression and anxiety.
I am just going to be mentioning the steps he talks about in his book, while also providing a specific text from said book that deals with each of the causes.

depression books on Amazon

1. Disconnection from meaningful work

“A recent survey has confirmed that nine to five is indeed a relic of the past. Today the average worker checks their work e-mail at 7.42 am, gets to the office at 8.18 am and leaves at 7.19 pm … The recent survey found that one in three British workers check their e-mails before 6.30 am, while 80% of British employers consider it acceptable to phone employees out of hours.” The concept of “work hours” is vanishing for most people—so this thing that 87 percent of us don’t enjoy is spreading over more and more of our lives.”

2. Disconnection from others

“Loneliness hangs over our culture today like a thick smog. More people say they feel lonely than ever before”

3. Disconnection from values

“For thousands of years, philosophers had been suggesting that if you overvalue money and possessions, or if you think about life mainly in terms of how you look to other people, you will be unhappy”

4. Disconnection from childhood trauma

“If you’ve been badly hurt by the world—and sexual abuse is not the only way this can happen—you often want to retreat.”

5. Disconnection from respect

“Even when we are not being actively humiliated, even more of us feel like our status could be taken away at any moment. Even the middle class—even the rich—are being made to feel pervasively insecure.”

6. Disconnection from the natural world

“It’s been known for a long time that all sorts of mental health problems—including ones as severe as psychosis and schizophrenia—are considerably worse in cities than in the countryside, but the psychological effects of being cut off from the natural world have only begun to be studied properly”

7. Disconnection from the future

“And if asked, they could say what they were doing. And if asked further about it, they could say that they were trying to survive, trying to hold their family together from one day to the next.” But “there was no larger framework of significance into which it could fit.”

8. Genetics

“We have come to believe that the only route out of stigma is to explain to people that this is a biological disease with purely biological causes”

9. Brain changes

“Your brain is constantly changing to meet your needs. It does this mainly in two ways: by pruning the synapses you don’t use, and by growing the synapses you do use”

depression and anxiety book review

Are You Intrigued?

As we get into, yet, another really interesting and debatable chapter of this book, let’s take a look and see where this journey is taking us.

Later on, Johann tells us a very eye-opening story about this man that lived in South Africa, and worked in a rice farm. Sadly, the place where he worked would occasionally have people stepping on a mound of earth, and an explosion would take place afterward. That was because old war mines were still lying all around them.

One farmer got his leg blown off by a land mine, luckily, he was graced with a prosthetic limb. He was alive, so that’s a good thing, right? But his mental health wasn’t alright, at all. He became anxious and depressed due to the loss of his leg and the implications that meant to his farm.

Johann explains that during his research with professionals, they came along with the ideal antidepressants that people in there used. According to them, it was the best antidepressant of all.

What was the antidepressant? A cow. Yes, you read that right. Since his depression came mostly for the lack of productivity he had in his workplace he thought he wasn’t going to make it like that throughout his life, so he came to the conclusion that he didn’t want to keep living.

People around him searched for remedies until they came to the conclusion that it would be a great idea to introduce him to the idea of becoming a dairy farmer.

After years of working on said job, his depression due to his limitations – went away, just like that. It vanished.

“You see, doctor, the cow was an analgesic, and antidepressant”

Want To Know More?

By now, I’m pretty sure you’re fairly interested in what happens next, right? Well, if you are; I highly recommend you getting the book right now and finding out what happens next!

As I said earlier, and as you saw in the previous example of the cow, it could be a somewhat controversial book due to all the alternatives, and the places it opens up in your mind to which you have never been there before. I know for me, it blew my mind away. Regardless of the controversy of using or not using antidepressants, I’m still an advocate to doing so, I have been taking prescription pills for some time now, and believe it or not, I have seen changes. Of course, it’s not a permanent change and I’m still dealing with my depression and anxiety, but they are a good addition towards my journey to recovery.

So, as I said before if you want to get this book and decide for yourself if it is controversial or not, I encourage you to get it right now! It’ll be worth it.

Thank you so much for stopping by this Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope Review. I hope I cleared up some things for you, or that at least I could give you a deeper insider on what this book is about.

Also, I would love to hear from you, in the comment section down below. What do you think about this topic? Have you read the book? Do you believe antidepressants and other prescription pills work?

7 thoughts on “Lost Connections Book Review”

  1. Oh my, there is a lot of valuable information here and most of what I’m seeing is very spot on.

    I’ve been battling depression for most of my life at this point, and I’ve spent the last few years learning about it quite extensively. I’ll definitely point out the bit about how antidepressants are merely a tool that aids in recovery, but definitely does not do the majority of the heavy lifting. Good life habits, fulfilling experiences, and meaningful connection with others goes much further in the end.

    Cheers and thanks for the great book review!

    1. I’m sorry you’re dealing with depression! It’s a daily struggle of either fighting and giving up, but you’re doing amazing so far. Thank you for stopping by!

  2. Hello. Thanks a lot for sharing with us such an amazing article and explanation given about Lost connections book.

    After reading this article I realized that this book would be very useful to me. I remember several months ago when I went through a trauma for some personal reasons. This trauma made me fall into a very severe depression that I only went through if i can say 70 percent. Only by reading the title of the book can I say that I find myself because I have lost the connection with myself and those around me. I can’t wait to receive the book and start reading it and I hope this book will prove to be a therapy for me.

    Thanks again for such an amazing review. I will share it on my social media accounts. Wish you all the best! 

  3. Hello Stephanie, Thank you very much for the recommendation of this Lost Connections book. It seems, you can read my mind so you know what I need.

    To be honest, I have moderate to high depression (on a medical level), where I feel that everyone is avoiding me (family, relatives, friends). I feel that I am useless and that I have no abilities. Even in my own career, I belong to the “Yes Man” type (even though I’m a woman). And when I say Yes to every assignment and deadlines, then I will be severely stressed and not even have an appetite.

    On weekends, I also just shut myself up in my room, doing nothing but thinking about work and constantly thinking about other negative things.

    Every week, I also have to go to a psychiatrist to check my ARRGHHH condition! There seems to be no progress.

    However, after this, I will try to read the book that you are reviewing and recommending.

    1. Kylie, I’m so sorry to hear about this. Dealing with a mental illness is never easy. You’re surviving each day as it’s own! Just remember that you are allowed to say no. 

      All the best for you! 

  4. The way you explained how we have emotional needs makes so much sense. Although I have always been aware of it, no one has ever put it into words so well as you. It opened my eyes, regarding someone who is very close to me, my ex. Johann Hari makes some very valid points, and for many of them I think of my ex and the help he needs. The nine causes of depression and anxiety apply to him in some ways. I wish I could tell him, but well, that’s not so easy. 

    It looks like a really interesting book. I think I am going to get it. Is it available in paperback or also in Kindle?

    Out of curiosity, is Chasing the Screams about real stories and does it include testimonies?

    1. I have not read Chasing the Screams just yet, so I really can’t say. The only experience I’ve had is with Lost Connections, to which, is available in Kindle as well. 

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