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By The Weeping Angel
Membership Days Posts
Turns out his new book is a load of bollocks. ... ad-science
I come from a family of medics and scientists and grew up well schooled in how statistics are abused and research misrepresented. Which is why, much as one likes to laugh off preposterous nonsense, it's hard to keep a lid on it when disgraced liar and plagiarist Johann Hari burst back on to the scene with Lost Connections: Uncovering The Real Causes of Depression - And The Unexpected Solutions, a book full of absolutely unadulterated woo, and gets plaudits and props from everyone from Hillary Clinton to Elton John, John McDonnell to your mate on Facebook who has reposted that Guardian article that says OMG EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT DEPRESSION IS WRONG!!!!1 Now I haven't read the book, and I'm not fucking going to. It's more than enough to have seen the extracts, seen the ghastly adverts that suggest that Hari has miraculously upended the entirety of human understanding of mental illness and can actually HELP YOU, DEPRESSED PERSON, RIGHT NOW, IF YOU BUY HIS BOOK, and heard him repeat the claim over and over again that antidepressants don't work for "between 65 and 80% of people" who take them. It does not matter now if there's anything of value in the book at all: the big ideas that his current publicity drive are selling are out there, and hundreds of thousands of people are seeing and sharing the suggestions that 1) the mental health establishment is lying and only Johann can reveal the truth and 2) that antidepressants don't work.
By Boiler
TBH, I'd still give the critique more credence if the author HAD read the book. Merely saying "...I come from a family of medics and scientists and grew up well schooled in how statistics are abused and research misrepresented." isn't good enough.
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By The Weeping Angel
Membership Days Posts
Well this person has read an extract and he isn't impressed ... onnections
Hari also condemns the reliance on antidepressants, and the fact that they’re relied upon exclusively.

At the moment, we offer depressed people a menu with only one option on it.

The NHS, whose website lists several possible therapeutic options for depression, may disagree with this. Also, Ben Goldacre was addressing the problem with SSRIs and the serotonin model of antidepressants 10 years ago. And yours truly summarised the many factors and variables of antidepressants in this very section of the Guardian not too long ago.

And then there’s this unsettling element:

Now, if your baby dies at 10am, your doctor can diagnose you with a mental illness at 10.01am and start drugging you straight away.

While this is meant as an attack on the modern absence of the “grief exception”, where grief reactions are used to rule out depressive symptoms, it’s at best a staggering exaggeration, at worst an active fabrication to support a narrative. Grief is complex and the medical community is still not agreed on how to deal with it, but the idea that you can be diagnosed with a mental health issue after showing symptoms for one minute is ludicrous. People typically require weeks of symptoms to be officially diagnosed, to suggest otherwise can only damage the perception of medical professionals.
By youngian
Membership Days Posts

Hari may have the best intentions when it comes to addressing mental health problems like depression, but this doesn’t seem like a good way to go about it. Asserting yourself as a maverick expert and backing your arguments up with suspect cherry picking of evidence and at-the-very-least exaggerated claims? Such a sensitive subject that affects millions surely requires a more thorough, thoughtful and specific approach than this? ... CMP=twt_gu

Didn't publishers question his qualifications to write this? Jon Ronson, for example, would turn out a decent readable book about depression as a journeyman rather than masquerading as a medical expert who writes.

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