lost connections

lost connections.png

by Johann Hari



the reviews inside front cover are really good.. ie:

russell brand: a prescient and compassionate rosetta stone for those trying to understand mental illness. beautiful

brian eno: one of those extraordinary books that you want all your friends to read immediately because the shift in worldview is so compelling and dramatic that you wonder how you’ll be ale to have convos w them otherwise..  stunning piece of work

can hear audio interviews at thelostconnections.com


you need your nausea. it is a message. it will tell us what is wrong w you..



what once seemed startling has become normal. w/o talking about it much, we’ve accepted that a huge number of the people around us are so distressed that they feel they need to take a powerful chemical everyday day to keep themselves together..t

hari present in society law

mystery questions: 1\ how could i still be depressed when i was taking antidepressants..  2\ why were so many more people apparently feeling depressed and severely anxious.. what changed..  3\ could something other than brain chemistry have been causing depression/anxiety in me.. and so many people all around me.. if so .. what?


the primary cause of all this rising depression and anxiety is not in our heads (psych or chem).. it is..largely in the world, and the way we are living in it..t

hari present in society law

this wasn’t easy for me.. i clung to my old story about my depression being caused by my brain being broken.. it daunted me.. but as i pressed on thru the journey.. i realized what on the other side of it: the real solutions.. there are real antidepressants waiting for us.. might hold the beginning of a true path out of our pain

unbroken brain.. a nother way

part 1 – crack in the old story

1 – the wand


(on placebos.. and only being able to sell drug if can prove works better than placebo) the numbers showed that 25% of effects of antidepressants were due to natural recovery  50% due to story you had been told about them.. 25% to actual chemicals.. irving kirsh


this email explained to irving.. up to now,, you have been looking only at he parts of the scientific studies that the drug co’s want us to see..  so requested all.. thru freedom of info act. he learned that the drug co’s had… for years.. been selectively publishing research, and to greater degree than he expected.. ie: in one trial for prozac.. drug given to 245 patients but co published results for only 27 of them.. the patients the drug seemed to work for


found drugs having almost no meaningful effect at all.. yet.. side effects .. were very real.. make people gain weight, develop sexual dysfunction.. start to sweat a lot..

when irving published these figures in a sci journal.. he expected a big fightback .. but.. he found .. a feeling of shamefaced relief from many of them.. ie: it had been a ‘dirty little secret’ in field for a long time..


it’s not that the way you feel isn’t real.. it’s that it has a different cause than the one you hae been told about.. ie: placebo.. which means your brain is doing a terrific job of making you feel better..

2 – imbalance


david healy: when it comes to idea that depression is caused by low serotonin.. there was never any basis for it, ever..   (ie: gave people drug to lower serotonin.. and people didn’t become depressed)


andrew skull: deeply misleading and unscientific..

it had been useful in only one sense.. when drug com’s wanted to sell antidepressants.. it was a great metaphor.. easy to grasp.. it gives you the impression that what antidepressants do is restore you to a natural state.. the kind of balance that everyone else enjoys..

so irving tested all kinds.. ie: some increase.. some decrease serotonin.. all had same effect.. so irving asked: what do people taking these diff drugs actually have in common? only one thing: the belief that the drugs work.. you believe you are being looked after and offered a solution..


joanna moncrieff: there’s no evidence that there’s a chemical imbalance..  people are told that drugs .. restore natural balance to your brain.. but it’s not true.. they create an artificial state..  the whole idea of mental distress being caused simply by a chemical imbalance is a ‘myth’ she has come to believe, sold to us by the drug co’s


in the us, 40% of the regulators’ wages are paid by the drug co’s.. while in britain it’s 100%

the rules they have written are designed to make it extraordinarily easy to get a drug approved.. all you have to do is produce two trials.. any time.. anywhere.. that suggest some positive effect fo the drug.. ie: could be 998 that say drug doesn’t work and 2 that do..

ioannidis: i think that this is a field that seriously sick.. and bought and corrupted..

sicko ness


so why not just keep as placebo..? side effects: weight gain; sexual dysfunction; suicide; criminal behavior; increased risk of death from all causes.. ie: stroke; type 2 diabetes; miscarriage; children born w autism or physical deformities; withdrawal symptoms..

so if want placebo.. use something safe..


some scientists.. a considerable number .. do dispute many of kirsh’s wider arguments.. i wanted to study carefully what they say. i hoped the old story could still.. somehow .. be saved… i turned to a man who .. more than anyone else alive.. successfully sold antidepressants to wider public.. and he did it because he believed it: he never took a cent from the drug co’s..

in 1990s.. peter kramer.. rhode island.. wrote book.. listening to prozac..  i wrote about it, and made hs case to the public in articles and interviews..



so when irving started to present his evidence, peter – by then a prof at brown – was horrified..  he started taking apart irving’s critique of antidepressants at length..


very few scientists now defend the idea that depression is simply caused by low levels of serotonin.. but the debate about whether chemical antidepressants work – for some other reason we don’t fully understand – is still going on.. there is not scientific consensus.. many agree with irving.. many agree w peter..


this evidence has been followed up several times since.. and the proportion of people on antidepressants who continue to be depressed is found to be between 65 and 80%

so.. could work for some..  but.. i couldn’t deny it any longer: for the vast majority we clearly needed to find a diff story about what is making us feel this way.. and a diff set of solutions..

3 – the grief exception


joanne noticed that when her patients were given these diagnoses, they would ‘start questioning their own feelings (of grief) and doubting themselves – and that cases them to hide more’.. almost everybody who is grieving, it turns out, matches the clinical criteria for depression.. made many drs uncomfortable.. so authors of dsm invented a loophole, which became known as ‘the grief exception’ : could just be grieving if had loss of someone close..  as years passed a diff version of dsm were published.. the time limit changed: it was slashed to 3 months, one month, and eventually just two weeks..

unbroken brain..


to me it’s the greatest insult.. joanne told me.. an insult to love.. to say grief lasts beyond an artificial time limit, then it sis a pathology, a disease to be treated w drugs, is .. she believes.. to deny the core of being human..

far from being irrational, joanne says, the pain of grief is necessary. ‘i don’t even want to recover from her death.. staying connected to the pain of her death helps me to do my work w such a full, compassionate heart’ .. ‘so in a way my service to others is how i *remunerate – it’s my way of saying sorry to her everyday.. .. i’m sorry i didn’t bring you safely into the world.. and because of that i’m going to bring your love into the world..

*remunerate..? pay reward..? why that


but once you’ve concede that, it invites an obvious follow up .. why is a death the only event that can happen in life where depression is a reasonable response..?

can’t just be a matter of chemical imbalance, as verified by checklists of symptoms.. it would have to be seen as a response to your circumstances.. (blasts a hole in rudder of boat they psychiatrists writing the dsm have been sailing in for so long)

a basic mistake our culture is making about pain, way beyond grief.. we don’t.. she told me ‘consider context”..

the message my drs gave me – that our pain is simply a result of a malfunctioning brain – makes us, she told me ‘disconnected from ourselves, which leads to disconnection from others’

requires an entire system overhaul.. to take people’s actual lives into account when we treat depression and anxiety..

global do over

joanne: we want to scientize it.. mental health.. but it’s our emotions..


the symptoms are a messenger of a deeper problem..let’s get to the deeper problem

deep enough

healing (roots of)

this tension unsettled lots of people.. so latest edition of dsm (2015) .. they took grief exception out.. so .. back to .. depression is something you find on a checklist..


i was beginning to think there was something significant about the fact that grief and depression have identical symptoms.. .what if depression is, in fact, a form of grief – for our own lives not being as they should.. for the connections we have lost..

4 – the first flag on the moon


george and tirril were reaching the conclusion that ..’clinical depression is an understandable response to adversity’.. as i read this, i could see the force of their logic. but i had an obvious objection. i wasn’t living in a run down housing project in the worst part of london.. most people i knew who were depressed weren’t living in poverty either..

severe stress.. and no community


years later tirril used same techniques to carry out a study of anxiety.. and found similar results.. it wasn’t just a problem caused by the brain going wrong. it was caused by life going wrong

but then.. public debate about depression shifted.. w/in a few years.. new antidepressant drugs.. and how to prevent depression inside brain rather than *out here in society.. convo shift from figuring out what was making us so unhappy in our lives to trying to block the neurotransmitters in the brain that allow us to feel it..

*deep enough – a nother way


the public was never told about the biggest  implication of this research (ended up as key basis for psyche training.. but remained sealed off from public).. 1978.. george and tirril had concluded that when it comes to depression and anxiety ‘paying attention to a person’s environment may turn out to be at least as effective as physical treatment’ nobody asked them *how do we do that.. what environmental change would reduce depression and anxiety.. these questions seemed too big, too revolutionary to process. they are still ignored today..  although later, i began to explore what they could mean

like this.. via mech to facil maté basic needs (a rat park).. as it could be

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way

part 2 – disconnection : nine causes of depression and anxiety

5 – picking up the flag


began to follow the trail that led from george brown and tirril harris’s research out across the world.. i realized everyone of the social and psychological causes of depression and anxiety they have discovered has something in common.. they are all forms of disconnection…they are all ways in which we have been cut off from something we innately need but seem to have lost along the way

9 causes.. not all inclusive.. and don’t have to have all 9

missing pieced #2

6 – cause one: disconnection from meaningful work


you go thru this 40-50 hr workweek and if you don’t really like it, you’re just setting yourself up for depression and anxiety..

if you spend so may of your waking hours deadening yourself to get thru the day, it’s hard.. to turn that off and be engaged w people you love when you get home..

science of people in school and work.. and ensuing stress.. suffocating from the day

hari present in society law


it was only when he entered a deadening job.. and saw it as a dead end.. that he started to numb himself

bullshit jobs.. and hari rat park law


so this thinking that 87% (2011-12 gallup poll) of us don’t enjoy is spreading over more and more of our lives

a common symptom of depression is something called ‘derealization’ which is where you feel like nothing you are doing is authentic or real

eudaimoniative surplus..  as it could be


michael (marmot) and the team added up the results.. it turned out the people at the top of the civil service were four times less likely to have a heart attack than the people at the bottom.. the opposite of what everyone expected..  weirder still.. if you plotted a graph.. as your position rose.. chances of developing depression fell..


next finding.. if you worked in civil service and you had a higher degree of control over your work.. .. a lot less likely to become depressed.. than people working at same pay level.. same status.. same office.. as people w lower degree of control over work..

michael writes: the thing that characterized marjorie’s work is not how much demand there is on her, but that she has no discretion to decide anything at all.


the higher  up .. the more friends and social activity after work.. the lower.. the more that tapered off.. people w boring low status jobs just wanted to collapse in front of the tv when they got home..  shattered at the end of the day..

the worst stress for people isn’t having to bear a lot of responsibility. it’s he told me having to endure ‘work that is monotonous, boring, soul destroying ..where they die a little when they come to work each day, because their work touches no part of them that is them..


missing piece #1

disempowerment michael told me.. is at he heart of poor health.. physical, mental and emotional..


today.. nobody seriously disputes the core of the evidence he has uncovered.. although we rarely talk about it.. he has become one of the leading public health scientists in the world.. yet we are still, it occurred to me, making the mistake this drs made back then….

*on telling him to quit job and go to florida..

*costello screen service law – got to have a mech in place.. got to replace those turtle shells.. et al.. sync matters.. which begs.. 7 bn of us leap

7 – cause two – disconnection from other people


john (cacioppo) finding cortisol rises when lonely..

sheldon cohen finding people 3x more likely to catch a cold than people who had lots of close connections


lisa berkman finding isolated people were 2-3x more likely to die during that period.. almost everything became more fatal when you were alone: cancer, heart disease, respiratory problems..

loneliness itself, john was slowly discovering as he pieced together the evidence, seemed to be deadly..  they found.. being disconnected from people around you had the same effect on health as being obese.. which was, until then, considered the biggest health crisis the developed world faced..


john’s study in chicago .. david spiegel hypnotized already lonely people .. one to remember lonely time.. one to remember connected time…. people who had been triggered to feel lonely became radically more depressed.. and people triggered to feel connected became radically less depressed..  ‘the stunning thing was that loneliness is not merely the result of depression’ he told me ‘indeed – it leads to depression’


after other diff types of studies..  key conclusion: loneliness.. is causing a significant amount of the depression and anxiety in our society

hg ness.. nature is connection..

indigenousness.. hg child.. higashida autism law

humans need tribes as much as bees need a hive

so.. let’s facil people finding their tribe.. everyday.. via 2 convos


david: loneliness is an aversive sate that motivates us to reconnect

listen to the nausea

loneliness isn’t just some inevitable human sadness like death. it’s a product of the way we live now.. t


robert putnam.. documenting most important trends of our time.. doing thing together.. have been in free fall.. bowling alone..


we embarked on an experiment  – to see if humans can live alone

big part by voluntary compliance et al.. meaning.. the infra gave us little choice.. w school/work all day a given


lonely people are scanning for threats because they unconsciously know that nobody is looking out for them.. the tragedy.. john realized, is that many depressed and anxious people receive less love, as they become harder to be around..


john discovered a missing ingredient to loneliness, and to recovering from it.. to end loneliness.. you need other people.. plus.. to feel you are sharing something w the other person.. that is meaningful to both of you.. you have to be in it together..  and ‘it’ can be anything that you both think has meaning and value..

so… to keep up with what matters to us.. 2 convos .. as the day.. everyday.. 1\ we have to be our authentic selves.. 2\ and then have that authenticity be known/tribed by someone(s).. maté basic needs

a one way relationship can’t cure loneliness.. loneliness isn’t the physical absence of other people.. he said.. it’s the sense that you’re not sharing anything that matters w anyone else..

eudaimoniative surplus..  as it could be


your brain never was an island

no man is an island


at internet rehab center.. certain things almost everyone has in common.. they were all anxious or depressed before the compulsion began..  a way of ‘escaping anxiety  thru distraction..’  gave them a goal that matters to you.. or a status or a tribe..


the compulsive internet use, she was saying, was a dysfunctional attempt to try to solve the pain they were already in .. caused in part by feeling alone in the world..  what if that applies.. to many more of us

of course.. in good and bad ways..

the internet was born into a world where many people had already lost their sense of connection to each other.. the collapse had already been taking place for decades by then..

like since agri.. ie: affluence w/o abundance

hilarie.. on fb connections.. not what you actually need.. at your core.. the kind of connection we need is this connection.. .. face to face.. we’re social creatures..


john: sm can’t compensate us psychologically for what we have lost.. social life.. but more than that.. our obsessive use of sm is an attempt to fill a hole.. that took place before anyone had a smartphone..  it is – like much of our depression and anxiety – another symptom of our current crisis..



jon discovered that we – w/o ever quite intending to – have become the first humans to ever dismantle our tribes..  as a result we have been left alone on a savanna we do not understand, puzzled by our own sadness

8 – cause three – disconnection from meaningful values


people who achieved their extrinsic goals didn’t experience any increase in day to day happiness.. they spent a huge amount of energy chasing these goals.. but when they fulfilled them, they felt the same.. but people who achieved their intrinsic goals did become significantly happier..


thinking extrinsically poisons your relationships w other people..t

ten day care ness

the more materialistic you become, the shorter your relationships.. and worse their quality.. if you value people for how they look or how they impress other people.. it’s easy to see you’ll be happy to dump them if someone hotter or more impressive comes along..

we all ge most pleasure form ..’flow state’.. when we simply lose ourselves doing something we love and are carried along in the moment..

why grit ness


if you’re doing something not for itself but to achieve an effect, you can’t relax into the pleasure of a moment.. you are constantly monitoring yourself.. your ego will shriek like an alarm you can’t shut off

w extrinsic.. locked into having to worry what other people think about you..if they’re going to give you those rewards you want.. materialism leaves you constantly vulnerable to a world beyond your control..

innate need to feel connected.. materialistic people.. he believes are less happy – because they are chasing a way of life that does a bad job of meeting these needs..


the pressure in our culture runs overwhelmingly one way – spend more; work more.. we lived under a system, tim says, that constantly ‘distracts us from what’s really good about life’ we are being propagandized to live in a way that doesn’t meet our basic psychological needs.. so we are left w a permanent, puzzling sense of dissatisfaction

manufacturing consent.. broken feedback loop.. away from maté basic needs


nobody’s values are totally fixed.. we shouldn’t be asking, time believes, ‘who is materialistic?’ we should be asking: ‘when are people materialistic


(on ads playing key role in why we choose a value system that makes us feel worse): ad people have been admitting since the 1920s that their job is to make people feel inadequate – and then offer their product as the solution to the sense of inadequacy they have created

ads create a group dynamic among everyone.. a marker of status..

marsh label law

a kind of form of internalized oppression..


tim: you are hollow and exist only in other people’s reflections ‘that’s going to be anxiety provoking’


this couple has no vocabulary to understand why they feel so bad. they are doing what the culture ahs been priming them to do since we were infants.. they are working hard and buying the right things, ..


often he says, you will hit up against a limit in our culture. you can make improvements, but often ‘the solutions to the problems that i’m interested in can’t be easily solved at the individual person level, or in the therapeutic consulting room or by a pill..’ they require something more – as i was going to explore later

deep enough


i think i see why not.. (joe stays in miserable job).. he is constantly bombarded w messages that he shouldn’t do the thing that his heart is telling him would make him feel calm and satisfied.. the whole logic of our culture tells him to stay on the consumerist treadmill, to go shopping when he feels lousy, to chase junk values. he ahs been immersed in th ose messages since the day he was born. so he has been trains to distrust his own wisest instincts..

science of people.. killing us w supposed to’s.. we all have to become indigenous.. again

when i yelled after him ”got o florida’ i was yelling into a hurricane of messages, and a howl value system, that is saying the exact opposite.

not to mention.. that’s where all the people are.. begs we leap..  this is systemic.. and we need everyone if we ie: want to find our tribe everyday

9 – cause four: disconnection from childhood trauma


(on vincent felitti looking at top costing health problem at the time.. 1980s .. obesity).. prisoners in n ireland on hunger strike..  figuring out why they died..  first problem they faced was lack of potassium and magnesium.. w/o them your heart stops beating properly.. if have enough fat.. get a few more months until protein deficiency kills you.. so give that.. get a year to live.. provided enough fat.. they die from lack of vit c.. or other deficiencies..  so supp that.. then it looks as though you’ll stay alive.. and you’ll lose 300 lbs a year (the women he was treating were over that).. then can start eating again at healthy level..


then.. people who did best.. were often thrown into brutal depression.. panic or rage.. some suicidal.. w/o their bulk .. they felt they couldn’t cope.. they felt unbelievably vulnerable..

so.. he stopped telling them what to do and started listening to them instead..


as he spoke to the 183 people..  turned out some 55% of them had been sexually abused..  and more.. had had severely traumatic childhoods..

many of these women had been making themselves obese for an unconscious reason: to protect themselves from the attention of men, who they believed would hurt them..

vincent: what we perceived as the problem – major obesity – was in fact, very frequently, the solution to problems that the rest of us knew nothing about..

obese people didn’t need to be told what to eat; they knew the nutritional advice better than he did. they needed someone to understand why they ate…


putting on a lot of weight is – paradoxically – a way of becoming invisible to a lot fo humanity


(san diego study by vincent w 17 000 people using ace).. if you had 6 categories of traumatic events.. 5x more likely to become depressed as an adult.. if you had 7.. you were 3100% more likely to attempt suicide as an adult..


curiously, it turned out emotional abuse was more likely to cause depression that ny other kind of trauma.. even sexual molestation.. being treated cruelly by your parens was the biggest driver of depression out of all these categories…

when i (vincent) brought the data around..  it was so astonishing they had to doubt it.. because it made them challenge the way they thought about childhood.. repeated study many times.. similar results.. but we have barely begun, vincent told me, to think thru its implications..

begs we design our days around maté basic needs.. facil that

vincent came to believe that we have been making same mistake w depression .. as obesity.. failed to see it as a symptom of something deeper that needs to be dealt with

allen barbour: depression isn’t a disease; depression is a normal response to abnormal life experiences..


so vincent did same (support groups for listening) w depression as he’d done w obesity


childhood trauma belongs in a diff category..  it’s a psychological cause..  and psych damage doesn’t have to be as extreme as childhood violence to affect you profoundly

anda: time to stop asking.. what’s wrong w them.. and start asking what happened to them

10 – cause five: disconnection from status and respect



robert sapolsky.. watching baboons.. (our cousins) as they model hierarchy.. ie: and you really want to avoid being at the bottom.. there, in this troop, robert saw a scrawny, feeble creature who he named job.. (he had named the alpha baboon solomon)



when there is a war on.. the most stressed baboons are the ones at the top.. but vast majority of time.. the lower you are.. the more stressed you are.. ie: job stressed constantly

to avoid getting savaged.. baboons w lowest status would have to compulsively show they knew they were defeated.. stop attacking me. i’m beaten. i’m no threat to you..

the striking thing.. when baboon behaving this way.. when nobody around him shows him respect, he looks an awful lot like a depressed human.. head down.. body low.. loses appetite..


when solomon got knocked off throne.. everyone he had smited  was seeking revenge.. whole troop tormented him.. and his stress levels went thru roof. he left and never came back

robert discovered our closest cousins are most stressed 1\ when status is threatened  2\ when status is low


i began to wonder.. if depression is in part a response to he sense of humiliation the modern world inflicts on many of us..

robert had discovered that having an insecure status was the one thing even more distressing than having a low status..

pickett and wilkinson research – on humans diff than baboons.. ie: in us.. large gaps between top and bottom.. small numbers in each.. and ie: in norway… top and bottom close together..


richard and kate knew that in highly unequal societies like the us.. they would find higher levels of mental distress and less in highly equal societies like norway..

the more unequal our society.. the more prevalent all forms of mental illness are

higher ineq.. higher depression.. ineq seems to be driving depression and anxiety

doesn’t affect only people at bottom..in a highly ineq society everyone has to think about their status a lot

richard: when the status gap is too big, it creates ‘a sense of defeat that you can’t escape from’

today we’re living w status gaps bigger tha any in human history.. ie: 8 bns own more wealth than bottom half of human race..


richard: it is something you share w countless others… a shared problem.. attributable to the kind of society we live in

robert’s recurring dream .. of talking to gang member’s wanting to beat him up.. every time, they decide not to hurt him.

i think this is a dream about how we can be..  baboons are locked in their hierarchy..  but humans have a choice.. we can .. find practical ways to dismantle hierarchies and create a more equal place.. where everybody feels they have measure of respect and status..

being heard.. via 2 convos .. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]

i think this one is a symptom.. not a cause.. if you were living naturally.. w a and a.. status and respect would seem irrelevant

11 – cause six: disconnection from the natural world


(isabel behncke) – noticed that may of the things she had seen the bonobos do when they were taken out of their natural habitat and put in the zoo – things she took to be normal – were actually highly unusual..

exactly… huge.. this is huge.. ie: science of people


in their natural habitat, she never saw the bonobos develop this ‘full blown, chronic depression’ she says, but in zoos, it was quite common

this isn’t limited to bonobos,.. *we know now from over a century of observing animals in captivity that when they are deprived of their natural habitat, they will often develop symptoms that look like extreme form of despair..

*except people.. why aren’t we observing that we’re out of our habitat.. not us..  ie: science of people

parrots will rip their feathers out.. horses will sway.. elephants will grind tusks.. their source of strength and pride in the wild.. against the walls of their cells until they are gnarled stumps.. some elephants are so traumatized they sleep upright for years.. moving their bodies neurotically the whole time.. none of these species ever behave this way in the wild. many animals in captivity lose the desire rt have sex.. that’s why it’s so hard to get animals to mate in zoos..

ie: people.. in schools/jobs.. lose their curiosity.. play.. do harm to bodies.. distract pain with drugs/alcohol..


this became quite personal question (why would animals become far more depressed outside their natural habitat).. when she was writing up some of her research at an oxford college. shut inside all day, trying to work, she found herself depressed for the first time in her life..  she couldn’t sleep, couldn’t brin her mind to focus on how to get out of her terrible sense of pain.. she took antidepressants.. but .. still depressed.. what if she wondered, human become more depressed when we are deprived of access to the kind of landscape we evolved in too..

indeed.. holmgren indigenous law..

it’s been know for a long time that all sorts of mental health problems.. including ones as sever as psychosis and schizo – are considerably worse in cities than in countryside.. but the psych effects of being cut off from the natural world have only begun to be studied properly in past 15 yrs

how crazy are we.. so intoxicated.. don’t even know what to study.. for healing.. ie: everyday we’re supposed to go to work/school.. this plays out..

a group of scientists at the uni of essex in britain have conducted the most detailed research into this question so far.. they tracked mental health of more than 5 000 households over 3 yrs.. looked at two types 1\ people who moved from a leafy green rural to city and 2\ people who moved from city to leafy green rural..

dang.. still not deep enough.. if there is school/work in both places.. ie: who cares if it’s green leafy if inside all day.. if doing work of others..


got expected results.. but.. could be too less crime et al.. so compared deprived inner city areas that had some green space to very similar deprived inner city  w/o green space..   less stress/despair in green neighborhood..

improvement (people living in cities to take a walk in nature) 5x greater if had been depressed first..

isabel: we are animals.. and (body) is made to move.. when we look for solutions to our bad feelings, she says.. we try to find it in language, and in symbols we have created.. but these symbols are.. in long sweep of things.. very recent.. we have been animals that move for a lot longer than we have been animals that talk and convey concepts.. but we still think that depression can be cured by this conceptual layer.. let’s fix the physiology first. get out. move..

beyond words ness

h g ness

sci evidence is clear.. exercise significantly reduces depression and anxiety..  she thinks this is because it returns us to our more natural state.. one where we are embodied, we are animal, we are moving, our endorphins are rushing.. .. ‘i do not thing that kids or adults who are not moving, and are not in nature for certain amount of time, can be considered full healthy animals’.. she says

but there must be, she says, something deeper going on that that..when siientists compare people who run on treadmills in gym w people who run in nature.. they found both see reduction in depression – but higher for people who run in nature..

e o wilson.. argued that all humans have a natural sense of something called ‘biophilia’ an innate love for the landscapes in which humans have lived for most of existence.. for the natural web of life that surrounds us and makes our existence possible…


almost all animals get distressed if deprived of the kinds of landscape they are evolved to live in… a frog can live on land.. it’ll just be miserable as hell and give up.. why.. isabel wonders.. would humans be the one exception to this rule..?

another reason isabel thinks.. when you are depressed.. you feel that ‘now everything is about you’.. trapped in your own story/thoughts.. .. prisoner of your ego.. where no air from outside can get in.. but a range of scientists have shown that a common reaction to being out in the natural world is the precise opposite of this sensation.. a feeling of awe..

faced w natural landscape.. have a sense that you /your concerns are very small.. help you see the deeper/wider ways in which you are connected to everything around you…. always embedded in a network..



state prison of s michigan in 70s.. by accident.. and experiment.. half prisoners’ cells looked out over rolling farmland/trees.. half looked out on to bare brick walls..  ernest moore studied the medical records .. found if you were in group who could see natural world.. 24% less likely to get physically/mentally sick..

i have to say that if we had a medication for which prelim result showed such efficacy.. we would be all over researching that medication.. here is a treatment that has very few side effects, not expensive.. *doesn’t require trained/licensed professionals to prescribe it.. pretty good evidence of efficacy so far – but research is very hard to find funding for .. because a lot of the shape of modern biomedical research has been defined by pharma.. very hard to commercialize nature contact howard frumkin

*not to mention.. doesn’t require trained/licensed ness to be a person.. trusting us.. to be..


isabel had seen captivity reduce bonobos to depression-like symptoms they could not have experienced in the wild.. as humans ‘i think we have many modern forms of captivity.. don’t be in captivity.. fuck captivity’

ie: school..work..consumerism.. supposed to‘s..

isabel: the cruelest thing about depression.. is that it drains you of the desire to be as fully alive as this..to swallow experience whole.. we want to feel alive.. we want it and need it so badly..

later she said: obviously, we were facing death, but felt alive, right? you might have been horrified – but you were not depressed’ (on mtn cliff)

no i was not depressed..

huge chapter Johann..

12 – cause seven: disconnection from a hopeful or secure future


196 first nations groups.. in canada.. like in us.. successive canadian govt had for many years resolved to destroy their culture by taking their children and raising them in orphanages, banning them from speaking their own languages, and preventing them from having any say over how they live.. this continued until a few decades ago.. the result was that the people who had gon thru all this.. and their children.. had the highest levels of suicide in the country. by 2016, this became a front page issue in canada when in a single reservation on a single night, eleven first nations people killed themselves..

michael chandler wanted to understand why.. so started to look in the 1990s at suicide stats among first nation peoples..


the indigenous nations (or ‘tribes’ as they would be call in the us) had no suicides at all.. while others had extraordinarily high rates..

he had a hunch ‘govt historically have treated indigenous people as children.. and assumed some kind of loco parentis.. control over their lives.. but.. in last decades indigenous fought against this kind of approach.. some have been able to reclaim control..  in some places.. authorities have given in to organizing by first nations peoples and conceded some freedoms.. and in others they haven’t.. ones w greatest control.. lowest suicides


led michael to think more deeply..

ever since 66 he’d been curious about one of the oldest/most-fundamental questions humans have – how do you develop your sense of id.. how do you know who you are.. are you same person all along (history of you)

michael went to the psych unit in vancouver for teenagers and spent months interviewing the kids there…


found.. depressed kids couldn’t answer.. about what they or anyone else would be in the future.. for them the future had disappeared


it was he concluded.. that loss of the future that was driving the suicide rates up.. a sense of a positive future protects you.. if life is bad today, you can think – this hurts.. but it wont’ hurt forever.. but when it is taken away, it can feel like your pain will never go away

if talk about depression /anxiety as if they are mainly caused by defect in brain/genes.. lacks any serious appreciation for the cultural context..  you ignore the legitimacy of being depressed for many people who have been stripped of hope.. instead of thinking about these causes of depression.. we hae been simply putting people on drugs and ‘that’s become an industry’ – michael..


she meant to say.. ‘when i was young’.. what she actually said was ‘when i was alive’

i think this one – disconnection from hopeful and secure future.. is a symptom.. ie: if you were living naturally.. if you had a and a.. security wouldn’t matter

13 – causes eight and nine: the real role of genes and brain changes

bio causes do exist and are ver real..


mar lewis: neuroplasticity is the tendency for the brain to continue to restructure itself based o experience.. your brain  changes according to how you use it.. ie: london taxi drivers.. part of brain related to spatial awareness is much bigger in him.. not born diff.. just used his brain diff..

your brain is constantly changing to meet your needs.. by 1\ pruning synapses you don’t use  and 2\ growing synapses you do use..


a brain scan is a snapshot of a moving picture

the seven social and psych factors i had been investigating, marc believes, have the capacity to physically change the brains for millions of people… .. and crucially, reconnection can change it back..

marc: depression and anxiety are ‘not like a tumor’.. the distress caused by the outside world and the changes inside the brain.. ‘come together’


leading scientists found.. for depression, 37% is inherited.. for severe anxiety .. between 30-40%.. to give comparison.. how tall…90%.. whether you can speak english  0%.. so .. real.. but doesn’ account for most of what is going on..

avshalom caspi.. one of most detailed studies of the genetics of depression: we are all born w a genetic inheritance – but your genes are activated by the environ.. if you have a particular flavor of 5-htt, you have a greatly increased risk of depression, but only in a certain environ..


it is foolish to deny there is areal bio component to depression and anxiety (and there may be other bio contribution we haven’t id’d yet) but it is equally foolish to say they are the only causes..

4 reason why we cling to the brain/genes story.. two understandable; two unforgivable..

1\ seemingly should be happy.. but not.. so must be in brain.. ie: you had everything a woman could possibly want by the standards of the culture. but.. the standards of the culture were wrong.. you aren’t broken the culture is.. i wanted to see this as a brain malfunction,.. i didn’t want to see what our culture was doing to him..

2\ believing distress is not real.. that it si just laziness/weakness or sel f indulgence.. the way we have resisted this form of nastiness is to say that depression si a disease.. a physical illness like diabetes or cancer.. we have come to believe the only route out of stigma is to explain to people that this is a bio disease .. looking at aids and leprosy.. does saying something is a disease really reduce stigma?


experiment .. sheila mehta.. turns out believing depression was disease didn’t reduce hostility. in fact, it increased it..

we have been told there are only two ways of thinking about depression.. either it’s a moral failing .. sign of weakness.. or its a brain disease. neither has worked well in ending depression or in ending its stigma..  but everything i had learned suggests that there’s a third option.. to regard depression as largely a reaction to the way we are living..  marc: this way is better.. the most you can hope for from other people .. if bio disease.. is sympathy..  but if response to how we live.. can get something richer: empathy.. because it could happen to any of us.. not some alien thing.. a universal human source of vulnerability..

3\ politically challenging to say so many people are feeling terrible because of how our societies work..  it fits much more w our system of ‘neoliberal capitalism’ he (laurence kirmayer) told me to say ‘ok we’ll get you functioning more efficiently but please don’t start questioning.. because that’s going to destabilize all sorts fo things..

4\ this fits he believes w the other big key reason .. the pharma are major forces shaping a lot of psychiatry.. big big business.. bns of dollars..  they pay the bills.. so they largely set the agenda.. and they obviously want our pain to be seen as a chem problem w a chem solution..


rufus may: when told (it’s bio) .. ‘you leave the person disempowered.. feeling they’re not good enough.. because their brain’s not good enough’.. second.. it pitches against parts of ourselves’ it says there’s a war taking place in our head..


but even more than that.. it tells you that your distress has no meaning.. it’s just defective tissue..  rufus: i think we’re distressed for good reason

this i realized was the biggest division between the old story and the new story.. the old says our distress is fundamentally irrational.. caused by faulty apparatus in our head.. the new says .. however painful.. it’s in fact rational, and sane..

rufus often quote krishna.. no measure of health to be well-adjusted to sick society

krishnamurti measure law

hard to absorb.. understand.. my job now was to give meaning to my pain..

part 3 – reconnection. or, a diff kind of antidepressant

14 – the cow


(on derek summerfield in cambodia) .. you see dr.. the cow was an analgesic and antidepressant.. to them, an antidepressant wasn’t bout changing your brain chem, an idea that seemed bizarre to their culture. it was about the community, together, empowering the depressed person to change his life..


what if we have just been defining antidepressants in the wrong way


lucy johnstone: how diff would it be.. if when you went to your dr.. she ‘diagnosed’ us w ‘disconnection’ what would happen then..?

it seemed clear that if disconnection is the main driver of our depression and anxiety, we need to find way s to reconnect...

2 convos .. as the day..

you could fill aircraft hangars w studies of what happen in the brain of a depressed person.. could fill an aircraft w research into the social causes.. and you could fill a toy airplane w research into reconnection..


these seven would only be a start – there would still be much more to do even if we implemented all of them…

and if those changes seem big.. that tells you only that the problem is big..

15 – we built this city


thru protests.. they had stopped being solely private.. they had stopped sitting alone.. they had made themselves public.. and .. by being released into something bigger than themselves.. they had found a release from their pain..


taina: in modern society, if you are down, you are made to ‘feel it’s only in your house. it’s only you..  then a lot of people realized.. hey.. i’m the same. i thought i was the only one..

16 –  reconnection one: to other people


when people rediscover each other, problems that previously seemed insoluble start to look soluble..

they didn’t need to be drugged. they need to be together..


(on studies by brett ford on if pursuing happiness makes you happier.. results: in us .. no.. in russia, japan or taiwan.. yes) ..if you decide to pursue happiness in the us or britain, you pursue it for yourself – because you think that’s how it works.. but if pursue happiness in russia or japan or china.. you try to make things better for the people around you..  turns out.. our western version of happiness doesn’t actually work..

brett: the more you think happiness is a social thing, the better of you are..

this evidence suggests if we return to seeing our distress/joy as something we share w a network of people .. we will feel diff


i started to think of one of the most banal, obvious clichés we have: be you. be yourself.

but what i was being taught is – if you want to stop being depressed, don’t be you.. don’t be yourself. don’t fixate on how you’re worth it.. it’s thinking about you, you , you that’s helped to make you feel so lousy.. don’t be you.. be us.. be we.. be part of the group..

i hear you.. but i believe it’s got to be both.. be you and be us.. a and a.. and

maté trump law


an amish family isn’t like an english family, he explained. it’s not just your mom and dad and siblings. it’s a big interconnected tribe of about 150 people.. who live w/in walking or buggy distance of your home..  there’s no physical church.. you take turns gathering in diff people’s homes.. no permanent hierarchy.. people take turns serving as pastor.. allocated randomly..

amish ness

150 ness

when turn 16.. go and live in the ‘english’ world for a few years.. called going on rumspringa..  they don’t follow the strict amish rules fora n avg of two yrs.. (makes them curiously well quipped to comment on our culture) .. and then at the end of their youth spurt.. they have to make a choice.. if you stay in world.. you can come back and visit.. but you’ll never be an amish.. around 80% choose to join the church.. this experience of freedom is one fo the reasons amish are never regarded as a cult.. it is a genuine choice

well not totally.. would be if they could be amish again


amish have consciously chosen to slow down.. and they don’t see that as a deprivation..

you lose something if you slow down.. but you gain more.. ‘that sense of the local next door neighbor community..  if we had cars.. we wouldn’t live right beside each other.. the neighbors wouldn’t come over for supper so often..  would fly places for business so gone more.. there’s a physical closeness and as a result of that a spiritual or mental closeness too..

if you can be everywhere – in vehicles, or online – you end up, he believes, being nowhere..  the amish, by contrast, always have a ‘sense of being at home.’

so i asked.. you’re saying the amish community is almost like a support group for resisting the temptations of an individualist civilization?.. lauron: that’s one benefit , yes…


a major scientific study carried out on amish mental health in the 70s found they have significantly lower levels of depression than other americans.. several smaller studies since have backed up this finding..

the amish had a profound sense of belonging and meaning.. but i could also see it would be absurd to see the way they lived as  panacea.. jim and i spent an afternoon w an amish woman who begged the community to help her when her husband was violently abusing her and their sons.. the church elders told her it is the job of an amish woman to submit to her husband, no matter what.. she continued to be violently abused for years, before she finally left – scandalizing many in the community..

the group was united in ways that were inspiring – but it was also united by an often extreme and brutal theology.. women are subordinate; gay people are treated appallingly; the beating of children is seen as a good thing..  elkhart-lagrange reminded me of my father’s village back in the swiss mtns.. it had a profound sense of community and home; yet that home had often vicious house rules.. it’s a sign of how potent community and meaning are that when they were added to the scale they could even, for some people, seem to outweigh the real and terrible pain these problems cause..

is this i wondered.. an inevitable trade off?.. i don’t want to abandon the modern world and go back to a mythical past that was more connected in many ways but more brutal in many more.. i want to see if we can find synthesis in which we move closer to the togetherness of the amish w/o suffocating ourselves or turning to extreme ideas that are often abhorrent to me..

eagle and condor time.. we can do this.. now.. a nother way.. both a and a.. and.. we need and..

as it could be

17 – reconnection two: social prescribing


‘there’s key moment in life when you think – shit, i’m going to die’ sam told me.. after that moment watching his friend die, he made himself a promise. he wasn’t going to sleepwalk thru life. he was going to live fully. and that meant refusing to follow other people’s scripts – to try to cut thru to what really matters

supposed to ness

many patients came to him w depression and anxiety.. he had been told by his training how to responds… the solution was drugging.. but that didn’t seem to match the reality of what he was seeing..  if sam sat and talked w his patients and really listened. the initial problem.. ‘very rarely ended up being the real issue that mattered to them’ there was almost always something deeper, and they would talk about it if he asked them..


his patients were often depressed, he realized, because their lives had been stripped of the things that make life worth living.. and he remembered his pledge to himself.. so he thought.. if we are going to respond to depression honestly, what do i do now?

east london.. part of an unprecedented experiment.. when you went to see your dr, you didn’t just get pills. you were prescribed one of over 100 diff ways to reconnect.. w the people around you.. w society.. and w values that really matter.

2 convos .. would do that.. for 7bn people.. everyday.. an unprecedented experiment Johann


(on lisa and the community garden/park).. normally depressed people .. when offered treatment beyond drugs.. are put in a position where they have to talk about how they feel.. but often that’s the last thing they want to do.. their feelings are unbearable.. here.. they had a place where there was something slow and steady to do.. and there was no pressure to talk about anything but that.. but as they began to trust one another, they would talk about how they felt.. at a pace they felt comfortable with..

spaces of permission.. w nothing to prove.. ie: be you house.. soteria ness


reconnecting to people.. reconnecting to nature

i know you ness.. and holmgren indigenous law

‘you stop hearing the airplanes and the traffic and you get a sense of just how tiny we are, our insignificance..actually getting my hands dirty.. helped discover a sense of place.. .. there’s a wider picture here and i need to be part of that again.. ‘ – lisa


drs office.. you sit side by side..together. this, sam tell me, is one small expression of a subtly diff way of thinking about health..

he was trained.. to act as ‘the person who had the knowledge.. there are some instances where that’s the right approach he says.. but the vast majority of the time.. it’s not like that.. most people come to their dr because they are distressed..  the biggest job of the dr is to listen..


he says he has learned, esp w depression and anxiety, to shift from asking ‘what’s the matter w you?’ to *what matters to you?’ if you want to find a solution you need to listen to what’s missing in the depressed or anxious person’s life and help them to find a way toward that..

so let’s ask *that .. of 7 bn people.. everyday.. and facil that.. (can you hear me Johann?.. this is what i’ve studied..experimented with.. listened to.. for 10 yrs now..)

something’s got to change or you’re going to go back

same with ie: capitalism/consumerism ness.. we have to let go.. say.. good bye cycle..


social prescribing vs big pharma.. same result less money.. so for years, the bromley by bow center and other groups doing social prescribing have been patiently gathering data hoping that academics would com to study what they’re doing. but little research ahs been done so far.


bbb centre:


why? it was the same story i’d been hearing everywhere.. pharma.. biggest industry.. social prescribing if it is successful, wouldn’t make much money..  so none of the vested interest want to know..

there has however been a series of sci studies of ‘therapeutic horticulture’.. none of the studies have been carried out on especially big groups for a long time.. a. so .. some skepticism.. but results suggest there’s something here we should be looking at more..


sam (everington).. told me he suspects that a century from now we will look back on the discovery that you need to meet people’s emotional needs if you want them to recover from depression and anxiety as a key moment in med history.. until 1850s nobody knew what caused cholera..

an antidepressant, they have learned, isn’t just a pill.. it’s anything that lifts your despair.. the evidence that chemical antidepressants don’t work for most people shouldn’t make us give up on the idea of an antidepressant.. but it should make us look for better ones..  and they may not look anything like we’ve been trained to think of them by big pharma..

saul marmot (related to michael marmot? dr researching meaningless work..?) .. one of the gen practitioner there, told me that the benefits of the approach they have developed at bromley by bow are ‘so obvious i don’t know why i couldn’t see it before, and i don’t know why the whole of society can’t see it’

sam everington: when you  can gome connected to the people around you.. ‘it’s restoring of human nature

human nature ness

18 – reconnection three: to meaningful work


whenever i became optimistic about the chances of this reconnection spreading beyond isolated points of light like kotti in berlin or the bromley by bow clinic in east london, i came back to a huge obstacle, and for a long time i couldn’t see how we get beyond it. we spend most of our waking lives working and 87% of us feel either disengaged or enraged by our jobs..

and.. 12+ years prepping for those jobs.. and that mindset that supposed to‘s rule..

work hours spreading over more and more of our lives.. this isn’t a mole hill.. it’s the mountain oat the center or almost all our lives.. this is where our time goes, and our lives go

all our energies..

so yes.. you can tell people to try alts.. to reach out.. but when exactly are them meant to do it..

why as the day.. matters.. [aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]

but that’s not the obstacle i was thinking of. the obstacle is that meaningless work has to be done..

really..? i don’t buy that

it’s not like some of the other causes of depression and anxiety i’ve been talking about, like childhood trauma, or extreme materialism, which are unnecessary malfunction in the wider system. work is essential

i say.. work is a malfunction of the wider system as well..

i thought about the jobs all my relative have done.. my maternal grandmother cleaned toilets

perhaps if 7 bn were truly free.. we’d have peepoople ness for 7 bn by now.. no toilets.. toilets are the worst invention for water waste et al.. no..? for squatting ness.. no?

my maternal grandfather worked on the docks

if we weren’t so much into consumerism.. and if we went more local.. would we need dock work..?

my paternal grandparents were farmers

affluence w/o abundance.. perhaps we need farming less.. which would allow 1\ only those who love it to do it  2\ those who do it.. to do less.. so maybe all would love it.. like the horticulture therapy

my dad was a bus driver

maybe we go places less.. esp to school.. and maybe now driverless cars ..?

my mother worked in a shelter for victims of domestic violence

good admirable (all of these are).. but essential..? if we were connected.. all 7bn of us had our basic needs met.. we would rarely if ever have abuse.. and if so.. we’d do ie: your own song ness.. not shelters..

my sister is a nurse

if most people who go to hospital is because of stress..? we’d have rare need for nurses.. and again.. only those who can’t not do it would..

my bro orders stock for a supermarket

local farming.. no stock

all of these jobs are necessary

only in the way we are living today. they are not necessary to human survival/thriving


if they stopped being done, then key parts of our society would cease to function..

like what..?

telling single mother she needs more fulfilling job when she’s battling to keep a job at all would be both mean and meaningless..

indeed.. that why we need a mech in place first and then we have to leap.. sync matters

(on bike shop/coop story)  that story opened me up to a much wider debate, and to the evidence that suggests we can infuse our work w greater meaning and make it radically less depressing – not just for few privileged individuals, but for the whole society..

i believe.. a much wider debate (than even coops).. no need for ‘radically less depressing’.. we have the means.. today.. for eduaimoniative surplus..


putting in more hours.. but not stressful.. i feel like i have the liberty and the freedom to do that.. and to see these ideas come to fruition – meredith


michael marmot: it’s not the work itself that makes you sick. it’s three other things.. 1\ the feeling of  being controlled.. a meaningless cog  2\ the feeling no matter how hard you work.. no one will notice  3\ feeling of being low on hierarchy..

i think it’s deeper.. i think what makes us sick is if we are doing other people’s work (i can hear you say.. don’t be you. you. you..  but this is deeper than that.. it’s understanding our one ness.. in a ginormous/small way.. i’m not me for me.. i’m me for us.. with us.. as us.. w/o each person deciding what they are curious about that day.. and doing/being that.. we’re still cogs.. no matter how happy the work place.. so the cancer is still there.. i believe..


when yo have no say over your work, it becomes dead and meaningless. but when you control it, you can begin to infuse it wi meaning. it becomes yours..

i’d say.. let’s not seek for controlling and infusing.. otherwise we’ll end up back where we are now.. we need to let go.. and trust/listen-to 7 bn curiosities/whimsies.. to do the dance.. everyday..

ie: self-talk as data

like the savannas of africa millennia ago.. one is which everyone is needed and everyone has a role that is meaningful to them..

indeed.. but today (eagle and condor).. we have the means to not have a role.. but to be our art..


of course they all told me, they still have bad days.. when they have to prod each other to do something.. when they don’t feel like being at work.. there are aspects of the job that feel like a chore..

that’s because they aren’t following their curiosity/whimsy.. everyday.. sounds ridiculous.. i know.. but we can facilitate that chaos.. and it’s that energy.. that would counter (and not recreate) the cancer we’ve manufactured..


josh says it’s an amazing victory for their propaganda system – to make you work in an environment you often can’t stand, and to do it for most of your waking life and see the proceeds of your labor get siphoned off by somebody at the top, and then to make you’ think of yourself as a free person’

i think coops would do the same.. nicer.. for sure.. less stressful .. for sure.. but as long as we’re measuring things and validating people..  we’re not us

i learned there are tens of thousands of democratic workplaces.. all over the world.. several distinguished social scientists have tried to get grants to study what happens to your mental health in demo workplaces.. and they have all been turned down so we don’t have much *data..  it seems fair.. to assume that a spread of coops would have an antidepressant effect – although this is something that needs to be studied a whole let more

platform coop

perhaps an antidepressant effect .. as we know it.. ie: cyclic.. comes back around..  but not a detox as detox effect (getting back to natural state)

19 – reconnection four: to meaningful values


(on way out being to counter advertising).. advertising is only the pr team for an economic system that operates by making us feel inadequate and telling us the solution is to constantly spend. if we *start to really talk about thow this will affect our emotional health ..

imagine a similar *convo.. getting to the root.. ie: about money/measuring


spending often isn’t about the object itself. it is about getting to a psych state that makes you feel better..


nathan was realizing.. convo like this don’t just happen in our culture today.. so it just creates more and more isolation..

self-talk as data.. as the day..


nathan: it was only together as a group that they there were able to peel those layers away.. so you could actually get to the meaning to the heart their sense of purpose

yeah.. takes all 7bn of us to get to true freedom.. and we have to have a mech that allows for us changing our mind .. everyday..

nathan dungan: we need to create a ‘counter rhythm’ to the junk values that have been making us mentally sick..t

a simple message.. listen to the rhythm

20 – reconnection five: sympathetic joy, and overcoming addiction to the self


she had been raised to constantly compete and compare

compete and compare


(rachel’s) meditation is the opposite of this individualistic meditation that disturbed me. it’s not about dealing w the distress and strain of disconnection a little better. it’s about finding a way back to reconnection..

not about fixing.. about listening.


(roland) started to feel there were dimensions to his own character and to everyone’s character that he had neglected in his own life, and that weren’t being properly studied by academics

science of people.. we have not idea


they both (lsd trip – psilocybin-  and meditation)..  break our ‘addiction to ourselves’ – fred barrett


fred: you don’t have to be controlled by your concept of yourself..


bill richards: you remember who you are.. takes down walls of your ego and opens you to connecting with what matters..

self-talk as data


mark wants to integrate its insight into everyday life.. ‘i didn’t want to lose his sense of what i had taken in’

2 convos that io dance.. as the day..


‘an opening that allows you so see.. the things that are inside you already.. what we have known at some level.. we needed all along’ – mark

a problem/desire deep enough.. that 7 bn people would resonate with it (already have it in them) today.. ie: maté basic needs

21 – reconnection six: acknowledging and overcoming childhood trauma


the patients who had their trauma compassionately acknowledged by an authority figure seemed to show a significant reduction in their illnesses – they were 35% less likely to return for medical help for any condition..

at first drs feared this might be because they had upset the patients and they had felt ashamed..  but many thanked them ie: i feared i would die and no one would ever know what had happened’


later studies.. patients give option of discussing what had happened in session w a psychoanalyst..  they were 50% less likely to come back to dr saying they felt physically ill, or seeking drugs.. in following year..

so it appeared they wer visiting dr less because were actually getting less anxious and less unwell..

the answer vincent suspects, has to do w shame.. ‘in that very brief process on person tell somebody else who’s important to them.. something they regard as deeply shameful about themselves.. typically for the first tim in their life..  and comes out w realization.. i still seem to be accepted by this person – it’s potentially transformative’

what this suggests.. not just childhood trauma.. but it’s hidden away the child hood trauma.. it’s not telling anyone because you’re ashamed… help patients to stop hiding and to stop feeling ashamed..

sense of humiliation plays a big role in depression

this evidence suggests that by reconnecting a person w his childhood trauma, and showing him that an outside observer doesn’t see it as shameful, you go a significant way toward helping to set him free from some of its negative effects..

vincent: not all that needs to be done.. but a hell of a step forward..


sealing off a part of yourself and thinking it’s disgusting poisons your life.. ie: closeted gay men died on avg 2-3 yrs earlier than openly gay mean..

scientists involved are the first to stress that more research needs to be done to find out how to build on this encouraging first step..

vincent’s sci partner.. robert anda: what you’ve asked about is going to require a whole new thinking, .. it hasnt’ been done yet..t

2 convos .. as the day. . not done yet..

because i had kept these memories locked away, i had never question the narrative i had developed back then. it seemed natural to me..

22 – reconnection seven: restoring the future


if you are going to try to reconnect in the ways i’ve been describing.. you will need time and you need confidence…

but we are being constantly drained of both.. most people are working all the time and they are insecure about the future.. asking people to take on more when they’re already run down.. seems almost like a taunt..

begs short bp

ie: ubi in canada in 70s

evelyn.. mincome


evelyn: one of the things i find just astonishing is the direct relationship between poverty and the number of mood altering drugs that people tak.. the antidepressants they take just to get thru the day.. if want to treat these problems.. need to deal w these questions..

poverty.. hari present in society law..

mech to facil maté basic needs (a rat park).. as it could be

after lot of detective work.. over 5 yrs.. she finally got an answer.. found the data..


people they tracked down.. vividly remembered it.. primarily ‘the money acted as an insurance policy.. removed stress of worrying about whether or not you can afford to keep our kids on school another year.. or.. pay for things that you had to pay for’

so.. let’s go deeper than insurance.. and disengage from money/measuring..

after years of crunching data.. some of key effected evelyn discovered: students stay ed at school longer

that’s not an upside.. that perpetuates all you’ve talked about in this book

number o f low birth weigh babies declined.. as more women delayed having children til they were ready.. parents w newborn babies stayed home longer.. work hours feel modestly as people spent more time w kids or learning..

but one result that struck me as particularly important: fewer people showing up at drs office complaining about mood disorders..


evelyn: another thing.. if you know you have enough money to live on securely.. no matter what happens.. you can turn down a job that treats you badly.. or that you find humiliating..

what about kids in school.. it didn’t change that.. it didn’t give them a choice.. they were encouraged even more to go to the space for 12+ years that perpetuates the idea that we have to earn a living in the first place..

evelyn: all this tells us something fundamental about the nature of depression.. ‘if it were just a brain disorder.. it if was just a physical ailment.. you wouldn’t expect o see such a strong correlation w poverty..  it (ubi) lives of individuals who receive it more comfortable – which works as an antidepressant’


went to see rutger



the biggest change, rutger believes, will be in how people think about work…. key to ubi.. it empowers people to say no

but not all people.. ie: not children.. so.. we’re not yet at the root


on ubi taking years.. because expensive.. et al

ubi.. and the ridiculous ness of money games we play ie:

Michel Bauwens (@mbauwens) tweeted at 5:22 AM – 29 Jan 2018 :

RT @basicincome_uk: “If there are 30 mill Google users in Italy, it is fair to tax Google based on the profits they made from these users’ activities. In this way, one could fund a basic income, arising from the digital labour that each of us carries out ” (http://twitter.com/mbauwens/status/957951984908283906?s=17)

even if the answer is money.. (which i don’t believe it is) .. we have the means


when i heard people saying that the changes we need to mak in order to deal w depression and anxiety can’t happen, i imagine going back in time.. to the summer of 1993, to that beach house in province town and telling andrew something: you’re not going to believe me, but this is what’s going to happen next.. 25 yrs. form now you’ll be alive.. this book you’ve written it’s going to spark a movement.. going to be quote in supreme court ruling declaring marriage equality..

it would have seemed like science fiction.. but it happened..  because enough brave people banded together rand demanded it..


demand something that seems impossible.. and not rest till you’ve achieved it

meet w me.. coffee.. whatever.. to talk about a nother way

rutger: ubi is actually all about making it so we tell everyone..of course you’re going to do what you want to do.. you’re a human being. you only live once.. ‘

not to mention we need everyone doing the thing they can’t not do.. (all at once.. all of us) in order for the dance to dance..

as it could be

conclusion: homecoming


(on telling my teenage self) .. you’re not a machine w broken parts. you are an animal whose needs are not being met..

maté basic needs

in our culture, we’re relatively good at meeting physical needs – almost nobody actually starves for ie…

? really?


you are not suffering from a chem imbalance in your brian. you are suffering from a social and spiritual imbalance in how we live.. it’s not serotonin.. it’s society.. it’s not your brain; it’s your pain.. your bio can make your distress worse, for sure. but it’s not the cause.. not the driver. .

your distress is not a malfunction.. it is a signal.. a necessary signal

big pharma is good to blame.. but not enough.. it succeeded .. only because it combined w a deeper trend in our culture..


big pharma was offering the solution that an isolated, materialistic culture thought it needed – one you can buy..

so.. see instead of seeing your depression and anxiety as a form of madness..  see the sanity in this sadness..

depression and anxiety might, in one way, be the sanest reaction you have..  a signal saying.. you shouldn’t have to live this way..


deep grief and depression  she ( joanne cacciatorre) explained to me.. have identical symptoms for a reason..  depression .. is itself a form of grief for all the connections we need but don’t have..

i am really wary of ending this book w a simplistic cry of ‘i did it, and you can too’ because that wouldn’t be honest..


many of the people reading this who are depressed and anxious are.. because of the culture we live in – operating w/in much more narrow parameters than i was..

this is why i believe we should not.. must not.. talk about solving depression and anxiety only thru individual changes.. to tell people the solution lies solely or primarily in tweaking your own life would be a denial of so much of what i learned on this journey..  once you understand that depression is to a significant degree a collective problem caused by something that’s gone wrong in our culture.. it becomes obvious that the solutions have to be.. to a significant degree – collective too.. 

we have to change the culture so that more people are freed up to change their lives..t

rather.. so that all people are freed up… not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake

dance won’t dance unless it’s all of us

you’re not going to be able to deal w this problem alone. it’s not a flaw in you..


many of us are homeless in the west today.. it only took a small impetus – a moment of connection – for the people at kotti to see that.. (that the village was their home)

home less ness

we have been tribeless and disconnected for so long now. it’s time for us all to come home..

oikos ness.. home ness

you need your nausea.. it is a message and we must listen to the message.. it will tell us what is wrong w you  – dr in vietnam

acknowledgments include: noam chomsky; jason hickel; martin kirk; alnoor ladha; gabor maté; bruce alexander; james baldwin; …

noam.. jason.. martin.. alnoor.. gabor.. bruce.. james


healing (roots of)

mech to facil maté basic needs (a rat park).. as it could be

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way


This TV show I did in Sydney, the Drum, was the most interesting TV discussion I’ve had about the book. The psychiatrist I was on with, Australia’s leading child psychiatrist, was so insightful https://t.co/bXAWSYNTO4

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/johannhari101/status/1004830379319099393

18 min – most of them are factors in the way we are living.. ie: loneliness

20 min – natural psych needs.. main reason we’ve got this org

22 min – pat mcgorry – a lot of it’s common sense..

what’s the lag..? pat: financing it

i think.. it’s lack of focus.. ie: 2 needs

25 min – j: gardening and tribe.. as anti depressants

26 min – pat: (on more and more young people coming to head space.. stressed from school) what we need is a way to help them in a much more deep and intensive way..t

2 convos .. as infra

deep enough

as it could be

@PatMcGorry @headspace_aus

34 min – j: on not liking our jobs.. michael marmut – core issue.. being in control

36 min – changing society so more people are freed up..ie: bi

ubi as temp placebo.. or we circle back around (as we have done.. no..?)

39 min – p: oscar wilde was onto it

wilde not us law

42 min – j: on study of 4 countries (us, japan, china, russia).. people trying to make themselves happy.. all could.. except us.. found that in us.. to make self happy tried to do something for self.. in others.. tried to do something for others.. so what i do now when i feel it coming on.. i go find someone.. ie: on a park bench.. and listen to them.. pay attention to them..


Johann Hari (@johannhari101) tweeted at 6:24 AM – 13 Jan 2019 :
Yay! Very excited to see these ads going up all over London https://t.co/op6LdcSGh1 (http://twitter.com/johannhari101/status/1084440971637596161?s=17)