Another great talk by Johann Hari on the value of approaches to treating anxiety and depression that don’t focus exclusively on
He tells the story of a Cambodian farmer who, after losing a leg to a US mind while working in the rice fields, was too traumatised to go back to work there. He would cry all day, he refused to get out of bed, isn short, he developed all of the classical symptoms of depression. But the doctors in his community didn’t turn to drugs:
One of the doctors working 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 Dr. Sommerferld, “So you see doctor, that cow, that was an anti-depressant. That’s what you mean, right?