The BioPsychoSocial Model of Disease

A self-described “Gay Leftie” (in the YouTube video below) who learned something valuable that may surprise you by spending time amongst the Amish, Johann Hari has written a masterful book that is, on the surface about anxiety and depression, but is so much more.



At the core of Lost Connections is the premise that the best model for treating most chronic diseases is a three-pronged approach consisting of biological, psychological, and social factors.  The so-called biopsychosocial model  is widely acknowledged in mental health, and a basic premise of Hari’s book is that the anti-depressant properties of social connection is as potent as what any drug (bio) or psychotherapy (psycho) has to offer.


Whatever your cultural or political leanings, you’re bound to find this presentation at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. entertaining if not informative.  Hang in there all the way through this compelling hour-long video, and you’ll be richly rewarded.

One of the hallmarks of a good presentation beyond the valuable information it puts forth is the extent to which it stimulates your own thinking.  I’d be interested in yours, and here are two of mine.

  1. The book mentions the three year “universal basic income” in Canada that was shelved, prompting thoughts of what we mean by “Social Security”.  We  associate that only with the financial program that the U.S. Government still offers which is basically a financial rebate for staying alive.  What role if any does the government play in the components of “Social Security” that aren’t financially based?
  2. In a toss-away moment, the video mentions the difficulty one would have in designing a double blind study about talk therapy, necessitating  that one group participate in placebo talk therapy.  What would placebo talk therapy consist of?

About Leonard J. Press, O.D., FAAO, FCOVD

Developmental Optometry is my passion as well as occupation. Blogging allows me to share thoughts in a unique visual style.
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