There was a mystery haunting award-winning investigative journalist Johann Hari. He was thirty-nine years old, and almost every year he had been alive, depression and anxiety had increased in Britain and across the Western world. Why?
He had a very personal reason to ask this question. When he was a teenager, he had gone to his doctor and explained that he felt like pain was leaking out of him, and he couldn't control it or understand it. Some of the solutions his doctor offered had given him some relief-but he remained in deep pain.
So, as an adult, he went on a forty-thousand-mile journey across the world to interview the leading experts about what causes depression and anxiety, and what solves them. He learned there is scientific evidence for nine different causes of depression and anxiety-and that this knowledge leads to a very different set of solutions: ones that offer real hope.
“Eye-opening, highly detailed . . . The book is part personal odyssey, in which Hari gets to grips with the flaws in his own treatment, and part scholarly reflection, where he sifts through the varying perspectives of scientists, psychologists and people with depression . . . Hari is clear about the difficulties of the task ahead and, in offering new ways of thinking, presents not surefire solutions but, he says, 'an alternative direction of travel' . . . A compassionate, common-sense approach to depression and anxiety . . . His book brings with it an urgency and rigour that will, with luck, encourage the authorities to sit up and take note.”—The Guardian
“This book has a great deal to offer. Lost Connections isn't as much about science and mental health as it is about society, and the stories we tell around mental illness . . . This book's value lies in its attempt to change the stories we tell about the depressed and anxious, and perhaps help some of those suffering change how they think about themselves.”—Independent
“[Hari] takes a big, controversial subject, surrounded by strong opinions and taboos, covers it on a global canvas through diligent research and extensive human interaction, and reaches a clear and broadly compelling conclusion.”—Literary Review
“Lost Connections offers a wonderful and incisive analysis of the depression and alienation that are haunting American society.”—Hillary Rodham Clinton
“If you have ever been down, or felt lost, this amazing book will change your life. Do yourself a favour—read it now.”—Elton John
“Wise, probing, and deeply generous Hari has produced a book packed with explosive revelations about our epidemic of despair. I am utterly convinced that the more people read this book, the better off the world will be.”—Naomi Klein
“This is a bold and inspiring book that will help far more than just those who suffer from depression. As Hari shows, we all have within us the potential to live in ways that are healthier and wiser.”—Arianna Huffington
“This is one of those extraordinary books that you want all your friends to read immediately—because the shift in world-view is so compelling and dramatic that you wonder how you'll be able to have conversations with them otherwise.”—Brian Eno
“This well-written and well-documented book offers a powerful argument against the pharmacological treatment of depression and raises some provocative arguments. Highly recommended.”—Library Journal