Lost Connections by Johann Hari

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

Depression and anxiety are at record highs. We’ve never been more medicated than we are right now. I mean, antidepressants are so prevalent that they can’t even be filtered out of the water! Lost Connections investigates this and took me by complete surprise. I really wasn’t expecting it to have such an effect on me.


I’ve had depression and anxiety for a long time and recently started to look into it a bit more deeply than I previously had. I don’t know where I heard about the book. I’ve been trying and trying to remember, but I have no idea. Regardless, I went into it with low expectations, but pretty soon my mind was blown. 


The author has suffered from depression since he was a teenager and was told, as most were, that it was just his brain, a chemical imbalance. For years he just accepted this and took antidepressants, but later in life decided to investigate it and embarked on a journey around the globe, interviewing scientists, the Amish community and many more.


Right from the first chapter I couldn’t believe what I was reading. It’s crazy how we’ve been duped for so long. For example, one of the first things that Johann discovered is that there’s actually no evidence to suggest that a lack of serotonin makes people depressed. I couldn’t believe this at first, but he went on to discuss the origins of this myth and how it’s been adopted into the mainstream. All his findings are backed up, so you can check for yourself the validity of his claims. Essentially Johann believes that the reason we’re all so depressed and anxious isn’t because of a biological cause, but the way we live. We’re not supposed to live this way. We’ve evolved to do best as part of a pack and this isolation is making us sick.


The book is split into three sections. The first is all to do with debunking the story that we’ve all been fed for years. The second is about disconnection and nine different causes of depression and anxiety, such as growing inequality, powerlessness in the work or our personal lives. The third section is about how we might remedy this and gives seven different natural methods of reconnection.


Because I haven’t been well I wasn’t able to review this right after I read it and I’m still having some cognitive problems, so my memories are a bit fuzzy. All I’ll say is it’s an eye-opening book that I recommend to anyone who suffers from anxiety/depression.