Johann Hari TED talk on addiction

I found this a very interesting TED talk from Johann Hari.


2 thoughts on “Johann Hari TED talk on addiction

  1. What an amazingly different approach! I came to this video having had difficulty with two addicts I know in the last few years having caused me harm personally. This was only deliberate about 30% of the time, the rest was just caused by a general attitude they had of ‘I really don’t care at all what the results of my actions are to others’. So I wasn’t feeling kindly towards people suffering from addiction when I saw this. That said, I thought this talk made a lot of sense. It just really fits with what I know sociologically and psychologically. It explains why certain things don’t help people who have addictions; it explains why they would do something which might seriously hurt them and they loved ones; it explains why I can reduce the strong long-term pain meds I’ve been on for years (for chronic neuropathic pain) by half when my pain level goes down and not have a problem with it. Interestingly for me, I think it also gives insight into why autistic people often have special interests – in this light, our special interests are what we’re bonding with when we don’t connect well (or at all, or well enough) with the people and world around us. They’re not drugs but for people who are very easily able to focus intently on a special interest to the exclusion of anything else they,perhaps, have a similar effect. When I read Star Wars comics, or listen to the Harry Potter audiobooks I am not entertaining myself, I am leaving this world I don’t like behind and going to another world I like more for a while. They are the places I go when I can’t cope anymore. This explains why my special interests seem to become more prominent in my life when things are difficult and ease off a bit when things are better. They are a substitute perhaps for connection? What is different for autistic people is that, well for me anyway, I don’t want a lot of connections like a regular person might need because I would feel overwhelmed but I do want a few strong connections – a few special people and some star wars fans. πŸ™‚
    Very interesting post! I don’t think I watched a TED talk I didn’t find vaulable.

    1. earthbalm

      Thanks for the very interesting and informative reply. I usually find TED talks interesting, even the ones I disagree with. There was a lot in this particular one where I could identify with the logic.

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