This could be why you’re depressed or anxious | Johann Hari

This could be why you’re depressed or anxious | Johann Hari


For a really long time, I had two mysteries
that were hanging over me. I didn’t understand them and, to be honest, I was quite afraid
to look into them. The first mystery was, I’m 40 years old, and all throughout my lifetime,
year after year, serious depression and anxiety have risen, in the United States, in Britain, and across the Western world. And I wanted to understand why. Why is this happening to us? Why is it that with each year that passes, more and more of us are finding it harder
to get through the day? And I wanted to understand this
because of a more personal mystery. When I was a teenager, I remember going to my doctor and explaining that I had this feeling,
like pain was leaking out of me. I couldn’t control it, I didn’t understand why it was happening, I felt quite ashamed of it. And my doctor told me a story that I now realize was well-intentioned, but quite oversimplified. Not totally wrong. My doctor said, “We know
why people get like this. Some people just naturally get
a chemical imbalance in their heads — you’re clearly one of them. All we need to do is give you some drugs, it will get your chemical
balance back to normal.” So I started taking a drug
called Paxil or Seroxat, it’s the same thing with different names
in different countries. And I felt much better,
I got a real boost. But not very long afterwards, this feeling of pain started to come back. So I was given higher and higher doses until, for 13 years, I was taking
the maximum possible dose that you’re legally allowed to take. And for a lot of those 13 years,
and pretty much all the time by the end, I was still in a lot of pain. And I started asking myself,
“What’s going on here? Because you’re doing everything you’re told to do by the story
that’s dominating the culture — why do you still feel like this?” So to get to the bottom
of these two mysteries, for a book that I’ve written I ended up going on a big journey
all over the world, I traveled over 40,000 miles. I wanted to sit with the leading
experts in the world about what causes depression and anxiety and crucially, what solves them, and people who have come through
depression and anxiety and out the other side
in all sorts of ways. And I learned a huge amount from the amazing people
I got to know along the way. But I think at the heart
of what I learned is, so far, we have scientific evidence for nine different causes
of depression and anxiety. Two of them are indeed in our biology. Your genes can make you
more sensitive to these problems, though they don’t write your destiny. And there are real brain changes
that can happen when you become depressed that can make it harder to get out. But most of the factors
that have been proven to cause depression and anxiety are not in our biology. They are factors in the way we live. And once you understand them, it opens up a very different
set of solutions that should be offered to people alongside the option
of chemical antidepressants. For example, if you’re lonely, you’re more likely
to become depressed. If, when you go to work,
you don’t have any control over your job, you’ve just got to do what you’re told, you’re more likely to become depressed. If you very rarely get out
into the natural world, you’re more likely to become depressed. And one thing unites a lot of the causes
of depression and anxiety that I learned about. Not all of them, but a lot of them. Everyone here knows you’ve all got natural
physical needs, right? Obviously. You need food, you need water, you need shelter, you need clean air. If I took those things away from you, you’d all be in real trouble, real fast. But at the same time, every human being
has natural psychological needs. You need to feel you belong. You need to feel your life
has meaning and purpose. You need to feel that people
see you and value you. You need to feel you’ve got
a future that makes sense. And this culture we built
is good at lots of things. And many things are better
than in the past — I’m glad to be alive today. But we’ve been getting less and less good at meeting these deep,
underlying psychological needs. And it’s not the only thing
that’s going on, but I think it’s the key reason
why this crisis keeps rising and rising. And I found this really hard to absorb. I really wrestled with the idea of shifting from thinking of my depression
as just a problem in my brain, to one with many causes, including many in the way we’re living. And it only really began
to fall into place for me when one day, I went to interview
a South African psychiatrist named Dr. Derek Summerfield. He’s a great guy. And Dr. Summerfield
happened to be in Cambodia in 2001, when they first introduced
chemical antidepressants for people in that country. And the local doctors, the Cambodians,
had never heard of these drugs, so they were like, what are they? And he explained. And they said to him, “We don’t need them,
we’ve already got antidepressants.” And he was like, “What do you mean?” He thought they were going to talk about
some kind of herbal remedy, like St. John’s Wort, ginkgo biloba,
something like that. Instead, they told him a story. There was a farmer in their community
who worked in the rice fields. And one day, he stood on a land mine left over from the war
with the United States, and he got his leg blown off. So they him an artificial leg, and after a while, he went back
to work in the rice fields. But apparently, it’s super painful
to work under water when you’ve got an artificial limb, and I’m guessing it was pretty traumatic to go back and work in the field
where he got blown up. The guy started to cry all day, he refused to get out of bed, he developed all the symptoms
of classic depression. The Cambodian doctor said, “This is when we gave him
an antidepressant.” And Dr. Summerfield said,
“What was it?” They explained that they went
and sat with him. They listened to him. They realized that his pain made sense — it was hard for him to see it
in the throes of his depression, but actually, it had perfectly
understandable causes in his life. One of the doctors, talking to the people
in the community, figured, “You know, if we bought this guy a cow, he could become a dairy farmer, he wouldn’t be in this position
that was screwing him up so much, he wouldn’t have to go
and work in the rice fields.” So they bought him a cow. Within a couple of weeks,
his crying stopped, within a month, his depression was gone. They said to doctor Summerfield, “So you see, doctor, that cow,
that was an antidepressant, that’s what you mean, right?” (Laughter) (Applause) If you’d been raised to think
about depression the way I was, and most of the people here were, that sounds like a bad joke, right? “I went to my doctor
for an antidepressant, she gave me a cow.” But what those Cambodian
doctors knew intuitively, based on this individual,
unscientific anecdote, is what the leading
medical body in the world, the World Health Organization, has been trying to tell us for years, based on the best scientific evidence. If you’re depressed, if you’re anxious, you’re not weak, you’re not crazy, you’re not, in the main,
a machine with broken parts. You’re a human being with unmet needs. And it’s just as important to think here
about what those Cambodian doctors and the World Health Organization
are not saying. They did not say to this farmer, “Hey, buddy, you need
to pull yourself together. It’s your job to figure out
and fix this problem on your own.” On the contrary, what they said is, “We’re here as a group
to pull together with you, so together, we can figure out
and fix this problem.” This is what every depressed person needs, and it’s what every
depressed person deserves. This is why one of the leading
doctors at the United Nations, in their official statement
for World Health Day, couple of years back in 2017, said we need to talk less
about chemical imbalances and more about the imbalances
in the way we live. Drugs give real relief to some people — they gave relief to me for a while — but precisely because this problem
goes deeper than their biology, the solutions need to go much deeper, too. But when I first learned that, I remember thinking, “OK, I could see
all the scientific evidence, I read a huge number of studies, I interviewed a huge number of the experts
who were explaining this,” but I kept thinking, “How can we
possibly do that?” The things that are making us depressed are in most cases more complex
than what was going on with this Cambodian farmer. Where do we even begin with that insight? But then, in the long journey for my book, all over the world, I kept meeting people
who were doing exactly that, from Sydney, to San Francisco, to São Paulo. I kept meeting people
who were understanding the deeper causes
of depression and anxiety and, as groups, fixing them. Obviously, I can’t tell you
about all the amazing people I got to know and wrote about, or all of the nine causes of depression
and anxiety that I learned about, because they won’t let me give
a 10-hour TED Talk — you can complain about that to them. But I want to focus on two of the causes and two of the solutions
that emerge from them, if that’s alright. Here’s the first. We are the loneliest society
in human history. There was a recent study
that asked Americans, “Do you feel like you’re no longer
close to anyone?” And 39 percent of people
said that described them. “No longer close to anyone.” In the international
measurements of loneliness, Britain and the rest of Europe
are just behind the US, in case anyone here is feeling smug. (Laughter) I spent a lot of time discussing this with the leading expert
in the world on loneliness, an incredible man
named professor John Cacioppo, who was at Chicago, and I thought a lot about one question
his work poses to us. Professor Cacioppo asked, “Why do we exist? Why are we here, why are we alive?” One key reason is that our ancestors
on the savannas of Africa were really good at one thing. They weren’t bigger than the animals
they took down a lot of the time, they weren’t faster than the animals
they took down a lot of the time, but they were much better
at banding together into groups and cooperating. This was our superpower as a species — we band together, just like bees evolved to live in a hive, humans evolved to live in a tribe. And we are the first humans ever to disband our tribes. And it is making us feel awful. But it doesn’t have to be this way. One of the heroes in my book,
and in fact, in my life, is a doctor named Sam Everington. He’s a general practitioner
in a poor part of East London, where I lived for many years. And Sam was really uncomfortable, because he had loads of patients coming to him with terrible
depression and anxiety. And like me, he’s not opposed
to chemical antidepressants, he thinks they give
some relief to some people. But he could see two things. Firstly, his patients were depressed
and anxious a lot of the time for totally understandable
reasons, like loneliness. And secondly, although the drugs
were giving some relief to some people, for many people,
they didn’t solve the problem. The underlying problem. One day, Sam decided
to pioneer a different approach. A woman came to his center,
his medical center, called Lisa Cunningham. I got to know Lisa later. And Lisa had been shut away in her home
with crippling depression and anxiety for seven years. And when she came to Sam’s center,
she was told, “Don’t worry, we’ll carry on giving you these drugs, but we’re also going to prescribe
something else. We’re going to prescribe for you
to come here to this center twice a week to meet with a group of other
depressed and anxious people, not to talk about how miserable you are, but to figure out something
meaningful you can all do together so you won’t be lonely and you won’t feel
like life is pointless.” The first time this group met, Lisa literally started
vomiting with anxiety, it was so overwhelming for her. But people rubbed her back,
the group started talking, they were like, “What could we do?” These are inner-city,
East London people like me, they didn’t know anything about gardening. They were like, “Why don’t we
learn gardening?” There was an area
behind the doctors’ offices that was just scrubland. “Why don’t we make this into a garden?” They started to take books
out of the library, started to watch YouTube clips. They started to get
their fingers in the soil. They started to learn
the rhythms of the seasons. There’s a lot of evidence that exposure to the natural world is a really powerful antidepressant. But they started to do something
even more important. They started to form a tribe. They started to form a group. They started to care about each other. If one of them didn’t show up, the others would go
looking for them — “Are you OK?” Help them figure out
what was troubling them that day. The way Lisa put it to me, “As the garden began to bloom, we began to bloom.” This approach is called
social prescribing, it’s spreading all over Europe. And there’s a small,
but growing body of evidence suggesting it can produce real
and meaningful falls in depression and anxiety. And one day, I remember
standing in the garden that Lisa and her once-depressed
friends had built — it’s a really beautiful garden — and having this thought, it’s very much inspired by a guy
called professor Hugh Mackay in Australia. I was thinking, so often
when people feel down in this culture, what we say to them — I’m sure
everyone here said it, I have — we say, “You just need
to be you, be yourself.” And I’ve realized, actually,
what we should say to people is, “Don’t be you. Don’t be yourself. Be us, be we. Be part of a group.” (Applause) The solution to these problems does not lie in drawing
more and more on your resources as an isolated individual — that’s partly what got us in this crisis. It lies on reconnecting
with something bigger than you. And that really connects
to one of the other causes of depression and anxiety
that I wanted to talk to you about. So everyone knows junk food has taken over our diets
and made us physically sick. I don’t say that
with any sense of superiority, I literally came to give
this talk from McDonald’s. I saw all of you eating that
healthy TED breakfast, I was like no way. But just like junk food has taken over
our diets and made us physically sick, a kind of junk values
have taken over our minds and made us mentally sick. For thousands of years,
philosophers have said, if you think life is about money,
and status and showing off, you’re going to feel like crap. That’s not an exact quote
from Schopenhauer, but that is the gist of what he said. But weirdly, hardy anyone
had scientifically investigated this, until a truly extraordinary person
I got to know, named professor Tim Kasser, who’s at Knox College in Illinois, and he’s been researching this
for about 30 years now. And his research suggests
several really important things. Firstly, the more you believe you can buy and display
your way out of sadness, and into a good life, the more likely you are to become
depressed and anxious. And secondly, as a society, we have become
much more driven by these beliefs. All throughout my lifetime, under the weight of advertising
and Instagram and everything like them. And as I thought about this, I realized it’s like we’ve all been fed
since birth, a kind of KFC for the soul. We’ve been trained to look for happiness
in all the wrong places, and just like junk food
doesn’t meet your nutritional needs and actually makes you feel terrible, junk values don’t meet
your psychological needs, and they take you away from a good life. But when I first spent time
with professor Kasser and I was learning all this, I felt a really weird mixture of emotions. Because on the one hand,
I found this really challenging. I could see how often
in my own life, when I felt down, I tried to remedy it with some kind of
show-offy, grand external solution. And I could see why that
did not work well for me. I also thought,
isn’t this kind of obvious? Isn’t this almost like banal, right? If I said to everyone here, none of you are going to lie
on your deathbed and think about all the shoes you bought
and all the retweets you got, you’re going to think about moments of love, meaning
and connection in your life. I think that seems almost like a cliché. But I kept talking
to professor Kasser and saying, “Why am I feeling
this strange doubleness?” And he said, “At some level,
we all know these things. But in this culture,
we don’t live by them.” We know them so well
they’ve become clichés, but we don’t live by them. I kept asking why, why would we know
something so profound, but not live by it? And after a while,
professor Kasser said to me, “Because we live in a machine that is designed to get us to neglect
what is important about life.” I had to really think about that. “Because we live in a machine that is designed to get us
to neglect what is important about life.” And professor Kasser wanted to figure out
if we can disrupt that machine. He’s done loads of research into this; I’ll tell you about one example, and I really urge everyone here
to try this with their friends and family. With a guy called Nathan Dungan,
he got a group of teenagers and adults to come together for a series of sessions
over a period of time, to meet up. And part of the point of the group was to get people to think
about a moment in their life they had actually found
meaning and purpose. For different people,
it was different things. For some people, it was playing music,
writing, helping someone — I’m sure everyone here
can picture something, right? And part of the point of the group
was to get people to ask, “OK, how could you dedicate
more of your life to pursuing these moments
of meaning and purpose, and less to, I don’t know,
buying crap you don’t need, putting it on social media
and trying to get people to go, ‘OMG, so jealous!'” And what they found was, just having these meetings, it was like a kind of Alcoholics Anonymous
for consumerism, right? Getting people to have these meetings,
articulate these values, determine to act on them
and check in with each other, led to a marked shift in people’s values. It took them away from this hurricane
of depression-generating messages training us to seek happiness
in the wrong places, and towards more meaningful
and nourishing values that lift us out of depression. But with all the solutions that I saw
and have written about, and many I can’t talk about here, I kept thinking, you know: Why did it take me so long
to see these insights? Because when you explain them to people — some of them are more
complicated, but not all — when you explain this to people,
it’s not like rocket science, right? At some level, we already
know these things. Why do we find it so hard to understand? I think there’s many reasons. But I think one reason is
that we have to change our understanding of what depression
and anxiety actually are. There are very real
biological contributions to depression and anxiety. But if we allow the biology
to become the whole picture, as I did for so long, as I would argue our culture
has done pretty much most of my life, what we’re implicitly saying to people
is, and this isn’t anyone’s intention, but what we’re implicitly
saying to people is, “Your pain doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a malfunction. It’s like a glitch in a computer program, it’s just a wiring problem in your head.” But I was only able to start
changing my life when I realized your depression
is not a malfunction. It’s a signal. Your depression is a signal. It’s telling you something. (Applause) We feel this way for reasons, and they can be hard to see
in the throes of depression — I understand that really well
from personal experience. But with the right help,
we can understand these problems and we can fix these problems together. But to do that, the very first step is we have to stop insulting these signals by saying they’re a sign of weakness,
or madness or purely biological, except for a tiny number of people. We need to start
listening to these signals, because they’re telling us
something we really need to hear. It’s only when we truly
listen to these signals, and we honor these signals
and respect these signals, that we’re going to begin to see the liberating, nourishing,
deeper solutions. The cows that are waiting all around us. Thank you. (Applause)

100 comments

  1. I promise until the day every person is guaranteed their safety, these problems will never go away. You cannot expect 300 Million people to learn Krav Maga and Ji Jitsu. I mean Im not saying don't try, but the problem is that people want a guarantee.

  2. The first book of sociology is a case study on suicide by Durkheim whom concludes that suicide is most common when people don’t have a sense of belonging.

  3. I am really grateful for this ted talk. I have been told again and again that my depression stems only from my childhood. Which kinda makes sense, because they was no loving supportive family. But I truly believe that I have accepted large parts of it. It feels true to me that my depression stems from not feeling like I fit in a group where we do something meaningful together and support each other. I know I need that and have always needed that. So I need to find my tribe.

  4. I am aware this is supposed to give people hope and is well meant, and for many it probably works, but for me it’s doing the opposite. This day just got way more painful than I was ready to deal with.

  5. A very honest & moving presentation. As one of the depressed and anxious, I would have added that we all have unmet needs because we all live in a society that is designed to EXPLOIT every single human need (for financial profit), rather than a society that is designed to SATISFY those human needs.

  6. Be grateful for small and simple blessings. Exercise – has plenty of good benefits. Be a blessing to other people.

  7. Go to your doctor, or a specialist, and then get out. Get out and look around, STOP watching this video and others! Just go OUT (with your phone at home too), you're mind will wander, but that's alright. You'll get anxious, but you'll be fine.

  8. The Cambodian doctors he talks about took a common sense approach, addressing the cause of the man’s sadness. It’s embarrassingly pathetic that most doctors I know of still target the symptom when it comes to mental health, e.g. prescribing a drug to fix a chemical imbalance caused by obvious loneliness. That’s like giving a baby a drug when it cries out for attention because its cortisol levels are elevated, or taking a pain killer when an elephant is standing on your foot. The hardest part, especially for those who’ve been feeling down for a long time is remembering what caused you to feel that way to begin with. Once your identify it then address it with the obvious: Lonely? Join some clubs to meet people. Don’t like how you look? Plan healthier meals and exercise. If that’s too hard then you need to be disciplined—if you can’t walk then crawl. Have a crappy job? Figure out what you like and step by step work on being qualified for a job that’s a stepping stone toward the job of your dreams. Lost your partner? After facing the grieving process, find another one who’s right for you. Don’t get out much? Take up outdoor activities. A daily walk is a good start. Lost your job? Buy a cow

  9. Have you all heard of u.s. PATENT for CONTROL and manipulation through screens and monitors, u.s. PATENT 6506148B2 look it up mate! https://patents.google.com/patent/US6506148B2/en

  10. Alcohol is the number one spirit killer! I think this is why fugly puppets in new WORLD order GARBAGEOVERNMENT allows it to be sold and consumed! BECAUSE it makes the masses more easily controlled and manipulated!

  11. “ your depression is not a malfunction…your depression is a signal…”

    You made me cry…
    Thank you… thank you for this… for a so many years I thought something was wrong with me that I had a “malfunction” but I’m taking this depression as a signal thank you again !

  12. Most of the times its the people that make you feel worthless and trigger your depression. So, I think its better to be alone.

  13. I'm very impressed at whatching this video, because me and anybody was been depressed. His talks truly, right, seek reason why? and feel youself like a part of group! Enjoy youself everyday, smile!

  14. This is why good therapy is an integral part of healing. There is no fix all magic pill for mental health. It takes work, it takes looking into yourself without judgment to see where those feelings come from and why.

  15. I've been saying this for years and whenever reaching out for help I was attacked for denying medication because I "just dont accept any help so it cant be that bad" even from my family and so called professionals. I just cant do it anymore… I am happy someone finally seems to get it. However for me this comes about 15 Years too late. Im done

  16. Want to know why i'm depressed? Have you taken a look at the Signs of the Times videos lately? Volcanos, earthquakes, floods, tornados, hail storms, bush fires, mad cow, diseased camels, locusts, grackles swarms, bat swarms, missile attacks, flu deaths, coronavirus, and blizzards. And all that is just this year so far. I would have to be insane not to feel something for those suffering. I pray for them and try let it go. Try to allow myself to rejoice in knowing those who were righteous are at peace and the dead don't have to see how much worse it will get before the end. Even more depressing is people walk around like nothing has happened. Like those lives didn't matter. Like as long as it didn't happen to them everything is ok. How do we keep sane? I'm sad. I can't just turn it off.

  17. Be very cautious, WARNING with. MEDS. it can be a band new problem. Do live together. NAMI support group . Very COOL people.

  18. Conversely the very act of living in a tribe suppresses a lot of our individual needs. So belonging to a tribe ALSO creates unmet needs. Nothing is perfect. EVERYTHING comes at a price. Let us not idealize tribes. Societies are large tribes and look at how this works our for individual needs. Not that well ! The problems this guy is trying to solve through creating supportive groups/tribes WERE IRONICALLY CREATED IN ANOTHER GROUP = society !

  19. As someone who is getting to the end of my rope. I’m open to talk to anyone who wants to be in a tribe. Please let’s talk

  20. Some wounds are never shown to the body that is deeper and more painful than anything that bleeds. If you felt this way, do yourself a favor. Pull yourself together, find your cow, look for a tribe, make fun with them, and live your life to the fullest coz, in the end, we only regret the chances we didn't take.

  21. some late info. there are some good insights about anxiety/depression, here.   i have been fortunate that meds were the solution, for neurotransmitter wonkiness.
    unfortunately, my meds do not reduce the amount of Stoopitiy that surrounds me; 24/7.
    most sorta smart people hold (some) Flawed opinions.
    instead of Learning something, when confronted with a verifiable, contrary Fact, such a person will, reflexively, (attempt to) Defend his/her flawed opinions; aka his stoopidity. googletranslate

  22. I think, unfortunately, scientific evidence is a little wide of the mark. Serious depression often comes when there are no actual, genuine, understandable, easily fixable reasons behind the depression. No 'cow' you can give them to make the depression suddenly, magically go away within a month. Quite a naive view of depression. Many depressed people, many suicidal people, many people who do kill themselves, have everything. Think celebrity suicides. Fame, wealth, family, fans, stardom, 6 houses, 10 cars, dream job, beautiful wife, beautiful children … they still kill themselves. They aren't missing a cow. One of the classic characteristics of serious depression and anxiety is feeling sad / feeling anxious when there is actually, in reality, nothing to be sad / anxious about.

  23. Also, I am afraid our entire society is geared towards superficial, toxic, crap. We can't change that. It's actually more depressing when you come to understand the nature of what's wrong with society and what it is doing to us. The colossal scale of the problem, the direction we are unavoidably heading in, is beyond our ability to change, and that is depressing. Those who would like to see it all change, who need it to change for the sake of their mental health, are being destroyed by the vast majority of people who embrace the sickness and consider it normal. Being toxic on the internet, likes, friend totals, retweets, fake eyebrows, selfies, Instagram followers, view counts, picture filters, toxic memes, trolling … our society is sick and loving it. The more you awaken to how profoundly sick we are as a species, the more depressed you become. There is no 'cow' that can fix 1st world society. It's worth noting the cow in his example fixes a problem in a 3rd world country, that isn't profoundly sick, toxic and superficial. There is no cow that can fix what western society is doing to the soft, kind-hearted, gentle people of this world who are understandably crushed by the weight of living in such a unhealthy world.

  24. Imagine being the first born ,missing your graduation twice, having your issues broadcast to all your relatives ,being lonely af and having nothing going right in your life?
    That's my life

  25. Makes me wonder about all the people who aren't depressed.
    Why don't they get these signals?
    How do they go through their whole lives, happy to be part of the machine?

  26. Pretty basic truths that seem to have been lost to the industrial medical system. Chemical treatments have their place of course. Industrial capitalism isolates us into money earners and consumers. The tribe/family is dismantled by the individualization of a consumer citizen. My phone, my car, my house, …etc.

  27. In my view, one of the biggest reasons so many young people are depressed nowadays is that they don't know what they need or they want the wrong things because the internet is so full of BS on all kinds of topics. Modern western life is full of luxury and privilege, but solving this problem would be a lot easier of you could solve it with a cow.

  28. Idk about y'all, but every psychiatrist I have seen has recommended talk therapy WITH psych meds, and they've said meds aren't as effective without the talk therapy. Which narrative is he talking about? The narrative of being an idiot American who doesn't listen to doctors' advice???

  29. Technology and multiculturalism are all designed to keep people isolated and reduce their once cohesive cultures into consumerism machines that just work, live in smaller and smaller homes and buy things.

    That's why you see ads about "the wonders" of living single and child free. Why you see money flooding into this new woke PC culture of self-hating people that want a complete breakdown of their societies. Why people are leading escapist lives filling their time with video-games and television.

    They want the breakdown of tribes, of nations, of unique cultures (see Scandinavian Airlines latest commercial controversy) until every country is the same soulless multicultural police state – eventually leading to a single global government (since no country has unique needs anymore) that represents absolutely no one other than those in power.

  30. One of, if not the root cause of a majority of anxiety and depression stems to childhood. Most everyone here right now was raised by dysfunctional humans, still stunted from their own raising, and pass it down unconsciously. Wether it is emotional unfulfillment, trauma of any sort. If it wasn't through them, it's usually trauma outside of the home, passed by strangers, mates, anyone or anything. Regardless, it is trauma that mostly holds us down, trauma that we are unable to let go of. Either because it becomes an integral part of our identity "I was hurt, I was raised wrong," etc. and this becomes the comfortable state we live in. Or because we aren't even consciously aware of our past and tell ourselves stories of how that past was. All of these things become expressed in dissonance through anxiety, depression, all ranges of mental health, or certain behavior and escaping tendencies, and instead of examining these feelings, and loving them and seeing where they lead you, we resist them. We can't seem to make the good times last, because we so despise any bad time. Anything we put any focus or attention into, comes back to you. Start to meditate, let go of anxieties and fears through this, and practice of acceptance, and examine all feelings and emotions that come up through interaction with others, others are mirrors of yourself. Trauma will reveal itself once you start shining the light of awareness.

  31. This talk has a good message.

    It needs to be framed a little differently though.

    The amount of people who will sadly end up worse or even dead, who decide they can come off the meds is astonishing.

  32. I'ts obligatory to satisfy our primal needs. Social activity, physical activity and rest <3. I had a lack of satisfaction in these criteria, I also had a problem with this for years. Good luck in life to everyone struggling with this, I root for you! 🙂

  33. Nice lecture, but Hari said several times that his SSRI helped him initially, yet his point of the whole lecture is that SSRI's don't help because depression is not caused by a chemical imbalance. So did his SSRI help by a placebo effect? If so, then they are useless and dangerous to rely on for true depression.

  34. It's all in how you think about life. Learn to love yourself, the good and the bad. Let go of what others think. Let go of perfection. Truly deal with the tragedies of life instead of putting it in a box and not dealing.

  35. We all know what causes A&D but getting out of it is the real challenge. For me it's getting connected positively with others. Can't remember the last time I was wowed by meeting another person face to face.

  36. Does anyone know if they sell cows over the counter or do I need a script for that ? 🐮👀 I’ll give anything a go at this point lol

  37. This talk speaks of the human journey in us all. What a magnificient and beautiful way to frame this. ❤❤❤
    From the alien being in the movie, Contact, to Ellie…"You are an interesting species. An interesting mix. You’re capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you’re not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.”

  38. I'm depressed and anxious because the American DOJ, Judicial System, Executive Branch and Legislative Branch have been so badly perverted and betrayed by the current administration and GOP that we are staring Fascism in the face. Take your TEDex talk and go away.

  39. The very first step to curing loneliness is realizing we are never along because the God of Isaac, Abraham, and Jacob reigns. He sees our suffering, even the suffering of the animals, and remembers. That’s why judgment day is coming! For the people who tapped into their evil force, rather than entirely surrendering to Christ and becoming that new delicate creature in spirit and in truth. May everyone’s walk be narrow and lead to everlasting life, sadly, many decide to reject God because they hate having sets of rules. These rules are encoded in us, friends! Accept love, be friendly to one another always. God IS love. &guess what? I’m a daughter of the same Father to you all. I love you all too. God bless (:

  40. Here is the answer. The vast depth of Biblical culture in Western Nations. Oh, guess what is in the Bible? End Times Prophecies that are being fulfilled before our very eyes, well sort of. Not everyone gets the golden saucer when they believed they would. Mankind's mental state has not ever been that great. Through new media technologies to propagate the bad news and bada boom bada bing, depression reigns supreme. Well, that's the theory.

  41. Oh oh I think I have a new crush…..thank you so much deeply excellent information presented in a harmonious and warm manner.

  42. My brother found many healthy tribes, both church, and volunteer work… still had curled up in a fetal position depression. This talk is an oversimplification.

  43. It really changes my whole view about depression.. have been taken meds for almost two years now and I just realized instead of putting labels we really need to think about our deeper needs as human being

  44. It’s sad that when I have panic attacks the only place I find refuge is YouTube… that’s the only place I feel heard and understood… when I have my mental breakdowns I escape here to feel alive

  45. i say bullshit the world is all wrong and you put it down to science, we were never supposed to spend our whole life time working just to keep the roof over our heads and food on the table. Fabrication by evil people in power and you should stop what your doing coz you are part of that poison and the world is built on a foundation of lies.

  46. when he talked about the meaningful moments thing and then about how we try to fill the void it became clear to me again that i do need more money because the meaningful moments with my best friend were when i went to visit him, hours away and stayed for vacation, and the concerts that gave me so much joy cost and going out with my mom does and having time where i am not so overworked that i can´t find time for art that fulfills me is a privilege that isn´t always what i can have because i need to pass the exams and get to financial independence to do more of what i love without constant worry. so yes, i was happier seeing a fantastic movie with mom and talking about it while we cooked together but it cost money to go out and it was a day where she didn´t have to work so much that she didn´t have time and i ended up abandoning my course work for the day out of time reasons which lead to stress later. depression sucks really bad, i´m glad that i know most of the reasons for my feelings by now, due to a lot of therapy but some things i just can´t change and learning to navigate in a world that often doesn´t have a lot of doors open is very hard. it often feels like it´s not worth it but i still do it and for now that´s more than enough.

  47. I know why I am depressed, but it escapes my control, it's not something I can fix.
    I can't force a girl to like me and be my girlfriend. I don't have control over people liking me.
    if I like a girl but she rejects me like "I see you only as a friend", there's nothing I can do except to reply "oh… ok… sorry" and try to move on.

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