Tag: Johann Hari

TED Talk

This is good

This doesn’t really have a link to dogs. However, I sense that dog lovers across the world have less of a problem with depression.

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In a moving talk, journalist Johann Hari shares fresh insights on the causes of depression and anxiety from experts around the world — as well as some exciting emerging solutions. “If you’re depressed or anxious, you’re not weak and you’re not crazy — you’re a human being with unmet needs,” Hari says.

Why you should listen

Johann Hari’s first book, Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope, is being translated into 27 languages and has been praised by a broad range of people — from Elton John (who said it “will change your life”) to the British Journal of General Practice, who called it “one of the most important texts in recent years.” His second book, Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, has been translated into 15 languages and is currently being adapted into a major Hollywood film by Oscar-winning director Lee Daniels, and into a non-fiction documentary series.

Hari graduated from Cambridge University with the highest degree grade, a Double First, in social and political sciences. He grew up in London, with a Swiss father who was a bus driver and a Scottish mother who worked in a shelter for victims of domestic violence. Today, he lives half the year in London, and he spends the other half of the year traveling to research his books.

Hari has written over the past eight years for some of the world’s leading newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, the Spectator, Le Monde Diplomatique, the Melbourne Age and Politico. He has also appeared on leading TV shows, including HBO’s Realtime With Bill Maher. He was twice named “National Newspaper Journalist of the Year” by Amnesty International. He has also been named “Cultural Commentator of the Year” and “Environmental Commentator of the Year” at the Comment Awards, and “Gay Journalist of the Year” at the Stonewall Awards. Read about what Johann is working on now.

About Johann Hari

I’m indebted to Wikipedia from which I have drawn some of the following:

Early Career

Hari was born in Glasgow, Scotland, to a Scottish mother and Swiss father, before his family relocated to London when he was an infant. Hari was physically abused in his childhood while his father was away and his mother was ill.

According to Hari, he attended the John Lyon School, an independent school affiliated with Harrow School, and then Woodhouse College, a state sixth-form in Finchley. Hari graduated from King’s College, Cambridge in 2001 with a double first in social and political sciences.

Later Career

In January 2012, after leaving The Independent, Hari announced that he was writing a book on the war on drugs, which was subsequently published as Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.

His 2015 T.E.D. talk entitled “Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong” has been viewed over 9.4 million times (as of July 12, 2018), 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.

In January 2018, Hari’s book Lost Connections on depression and anxiety was published, with Hari citing his childhood issues, career crisis, and experiences with antidepressants and psychotherapy as fuelling his curiosity in the subject. Kirkus Reviews praised the book. Material from the book was criticised by neuroscientist and Guardian writer Dean Burnett, who pointed out that Hari appeared to be reporting as his own discoveries material — such as the biopsychosocial model – that has been common knowledge for decades, and for misrepresenting the medical, psychiatric and scientific establishments as “some shadowy monolithic organisation, in thrall to the drug industry”.

His website

Johann Hari

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Now as far as I can see Johann is not without some criticism but, for me, that doesn’t remove the validity of the talk on depression.