WRITER: Johann Hari is a Swiss-British writer and journalist.
WRITER: Johann Hari is a Swiss-British writer and journalist.

Controversial writer brings book on depression

SWISS-BRITISH writer and journalist Johann Hari will bring his unconventional views on drug intake and mental health to the Northern Rivers, while speaking about his latest book, Lost Connections, released in January.

From the New York Times best-selling author of Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, Hari's new book is touted as "a startling challenge to our thinking" about depression and anxiety.

Hari has suffered from depression since he was a child, and started taking anti-depressants when he was a teenager.

He was told - like his entire generation - that his problem was caused by a chemical imbalance in his brain.

Lost Connections, a book by Johann Hari about depression.
Lost Connections, a book by Johann Hari about depression.

As an adult, trained in the social sciences, he began to investigate this question - and he claims that almost everything we have been told about depression and anxiety is wrong.

Hari claims in his books that social scientists uncovered their real causes on depression, and that they are mostly not in our brains, but in the way we live today.

"Just as Chasing The Scream transformed the global debate about addiction, The Lost Connections will lead us to a very different debate about depression and anxiety - one that shows how, together, we can end this epidemic," Bloomsbury, the publisher, offers.

Johann Hari was a columnist for the Independent in London for nine years and was twice named Newspaper Journalist of the Year by Amnesty International UK.

His 2015 TED talk titled Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong has been viewed over 8.6 million times (as of last February), and lays out the idea that most addictions are functional responses to experiences and a lack of healthy supportive relationships, rather than a simple biological need for a particular substance.

He has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, Le Monde, Slate, the New Republic and the Nation.

He has been awarded the Comment Award for Cultural Commentator of the Year by Editorial Intelligence, and has been named Journalist of the Year by Stonewall.