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Is modern society making us depressed?

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April 16, 2018 07:00

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“What if depression is, in fact, a form of grief — for our own lives not being
as they should?” asks Johann Hari. “What if it is a form of grief for the
connections we have lost yet still need?” In his new book, Lost Connections,
Hari advances an argument both radical and obvious: Depression and anxiety are
more than just chemical imbalances in the brain. They are the result of our
social environments, our relationships, our political contexts — our lives, in
short. Hari, who has struggled with depression since his youth, went on a
journey to try to understand the social causes of mental illness, the ones we
prefer not to talk about because changing them is harder than handing out a
pill. What he returned with is a book that claims to be about depression but
is actually about the ways we’ve screwed up modern society and created a world
that leaves far too many of us alienated, anxious, despairing, and lost.   The
philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti famously said, “It is no measure of health to
be well-adjusted to a sick society.” So that, then, is the question Hari and I
consider in this conversation: How sick, really, is our society?  Books:
Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media by Edward
Herman and Noam Chomsky This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate by
Naomi Klein A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise
in Disaster by Rebecca Solnit Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild
Possibilities by Rebecca Solnit Read more
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