A Sunday times best seller that exposes the truth about depression and anxiety.
I picked this book up when I was personally feeling low, and I needed an answer. I had been to the Dr and was told I probably had chronic anxiety, chronic fatigue and chronic depression and I walked out of that appointment with a script for anti depressants EVEN THOUGH I expressly said I didn’t want to take any medication.
I have picked up this book several times and had so many moments of clarity and understanding. This book is written in the most amazing way - full of data that you cannot disagree with and stories that make you feel ‘me too’.
Johann Hari shares the extensive research about antidepressants that will start to make you wonder before you go to the Dr and get a quickn fix answer (because that’s what were all looking for when we need help, someone to tell us what is wrong so we can blame our minds and our actions on a disorder and allow that behaviour to continue, and then we want a quick fix. In one study it showed that 25% of the effects of antidepressants were due to natural discovery, 50% were due to the story you had been told about them (your mind believing you were being fixed), and only 25% to the actual chemicals. More to this Chapter - The Wand, what blew me away was the actual reality of FDA testing and data, as I said I have this as a must read book.
We are told that something is wrong with us, that we are not operating properly or functioning, that there is something wrong with our brain and the Serotonin levels.
Joanne Cacciatore says Drs tell us our pain is from a mal functioning brain which ‘makes us disconnected from ourselves, which leads to disconnection from others’. She raises the point that instead of ‘mental health’ we should be talking about ‘emotional health’.
YES. One of my favourite things I have seen on insta is a quote, you should ask your loved ones ‘how is your heart?’ Instead of how are you? Oh busy busy etc etc, this questions drops straight into emotions and feelings, Im personally finding more connection and truth with my loved ones.
‘It’s crazy, its always related to your life and personal circumstances’. Marc Lewis
Pain is a message. Antidepressants are like a bandaid to this. Our feelings when depressed of helplessness, lack of energy, no motivation, sadness are signs of something deeper. Something we have to appreciate and look into.
Human distress. This book goes into the causes for Depression and some maxing ways we can look at healing. Because, we are all humans healing. Whether the hurt is recent and we are working through it, whether it is childhood trauma that we have covered up to never feel again, or whether it is disconnection from this world we live in today.
Are you lonely? (When was the last time you asked someone this?) John suspects that if you are lonely you become depressed. Read Chapter 7 - Disconnection from other people to review the study conducted of over 135 people. ‘The stunning thing was that loneliness is not merely the result of depression , instead - it leads to depression’. Why? How could being lonely stem the epidemic of Depression and anxiety we have, because truth is…it is an epidemic. John researched the ways we began as humans, living in the savannas of Africa. A time where each person lived in a tribe, a community of a few hundred people or less and existed for a reason - you had a purpose and job to do in the tribe, you knew your place. They existed for each other, working together for the community. (Not to mention living in nature).
Chapter 14 - the Cow refers to a farmer in Cambodia who became depressed, when anti depressants were being introduced into Cambodia fir the first time. The companies had issues selling them - firstly because the local Cambodian’s couldn’t translate the word, but after thinking about it said ‘yes' we have one person like this’ A farmer whose leg was blown of by a land mine was anxious and rightly so. But the amazing thing, they said they already HAD an antidepressant. Without his limb, he could no longer do the physical work he previously did in the rice patties, so the community decided he would be a great farmer… and you know what they did?! They brought him a cow. And his life changed. The cow was an analgesic and anti depressant.
What a community. This book is FULL of these real life, inspiring stories that make you want to go and invite your next door neighbour to dinner, or move out to a cabin in the Mountains somewhere (I mean if you already know me you know I am manifesting that).
The book talks about Meditation, about nature, about processing pain…and about actually being a human being. I think we forget sometimes that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. We are here, hurting, healing, learning, growing and my goodness…if there is anything I can say to you, or anyone you know - finding joy. By this I mean actively looking for it everyday and creating it, consciously choosing it. More than just nightly gratitude writing, write down 3 moments (or more) that brought you joy and go to sleep with a heart full.
Love, C x.
‘You aren’t a machine with broken parts. You are an animal whose needs are not being met. You need to have a community. You need to have meaningful values, not the junk values you have been pumped full of all your life telling you happiness comes from money & buying objects. You need to have meaningful work. You need the natural world. You need to feel you are respected. You need a secure future. You need connections to all these things. And you need to release any shame you might feel for having ben mistreated.’
What are your JUNK values?
What are your intrinsic values?