Britain on the Couch
Why has emotional discomfort increased as we have got richer? Oliver James psycho-analyses the deep-seated emotional malaise that afflicts the British people in the 1990s and proposes a three-point plan for healing. He singles out the role of individualism in raising expecta-tions, increasing discontent, spawning psychopathic behaviour and destroying personal relationships. We have not yet discovered a way to encourage every member of society to reach for the sky and yet not be selfish and disappointed when they fall to earth. In our personal lives we aspire to harmonious and intimate relationships, yet they are the greatest single cause of despair. Oliver James argues that the way we live now induces in our bodies low levels of the `happiness hormone' serotonin. He proposes that the way to heal ourselves is to correct the chemical imbalance directly, by means of drugs containing serotin, to take a complementary course of psychotherapy and-on a political level-to reorganize society on Scandinavian lines.
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