A psychiatrist and psychedelic researcher explores the science of connection—why we need it, how we’ve lost it, and how we might find it again.
We are suffering from an epidemic of disconnection that antidepressants and social media can’t fix. This state of isolation puts us in “fight or flight mode,” deranging sleep, metabolism and libido. What’s worse, we’re paranoid of others. This kill-or-be-killed framework is not a way to live. But, when we feel safe and loved, we can rest, digest, and repair. We can heal. And it is only in this state of belonging that we can open up to connection with others.
In this powerful book, Holland helps us to understand the science of connection as revealed in human experiences from the spiritual to the psychedelic. The key is oxytocin—a neurotransmitter and hormone produced in our bodies that allows us to trust and bond. It fosters attachment between mothers and infants, romantic partners, friends, and even with our pets. There are many ways to reach this state of mental and physical wellbeing that modern medicine has overlooked. The implications for our happiness and health are profound.
We can find oneness in meditation, in community, or in awe at the beauty around us. Another option: psychedelic medicines that can catalyze a connection with the self, with nature, or the cosmos. Good Chemistry points us on the right path to forging true and deeper attachments with our own souls, to one another, and even to our planet, helping us heal ourselves and our world.
Julie Holland, MD, is a psychiatrist specializing in psychopharmacology, with a private practice in New York City. Her book Weekends at Bellevue chronicled her nine years running the psychiatric emergency room as an attending physician on the faculty of the New York University School of Medicine. Frequently featured on Today and in CNN's documentary series Weed, Holland is the editor of The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis and Ecstasy: The Complete Guide. She is the medical monitor for several clinical research studies on treating post-traumatic stress disorder, one using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy and another examining the effects of various strains of cannabis. Her New York Times bestselling book Moody Bitches has been translated into eleven languages.