LOST CON­NEC­TIONS: UN­COV­ER­ING THE REAL CAUSES OF DE­PRES­SION – AND THE UN­EX­PECTED SO­LU­TIONS

North & South - - Review -

JOHANN HARI (BLOOMS­BURY, $ 30) It’s hard to be­lieve it never oc­curred to a savvy, prizewin­ning journo that his decades-old de­pres­sion might have causes be­yond brain bi­ol­ogy, and would re­spond to treat­ments other than pre­scrip­tion drugs. And while Johann Hari per­haps too neatly pack­ages up all the rel­a­tively un­der-re­ported aca­demic re­search on the so­cial causes of de­pres­sion as a “dis­cov­ery”, com­plete with en­dorse­ments from friends in high places (Ari­ana Huff­in­g­ton, El­ton John, Hil­lary Clin­ton), Lost Con­nec­tions re­mains a fas­ci­nat­ing read. Most in­spir­ing are the or­di­nary suf­fer­ers help­ing them­selves live more mean­ing­ful lives, such as the Bal­ti­more bike me­chan­ics who own and demo­crat­i­cally man­age a re­pair busi­ness; the Lon­don pa­tients, hith­erto strangers, work­ing

to­gether to trans­form a plot of waste­land into a gar­den; and the res­i­dents of a down­trod­den hous­ing project in Ber­lin who cre­ated a car­ing com­mu­nity in the process of protest­ing ris­ing rents. STACEY ANYAN

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