Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Religion and Depression: God and Key Lime Pie

posted by Beyond Blue

After Eric read the latest story about Mother Teresa’s crisis of faith, he turned to me and said, “I don’t get it. All you religious types are depressed. What came first? The depression or the religion? . . . And another thing, you all love your desserts.”
If you’ve ever attended a religious convention, you would appreciate the validity of those claims. The waiters always run out of key lime pie. And, well, you observe quite a few blank expressions and pasty-white faces when you walk the exhibition aisles of the Religious Booksellers Trade Exhibit.
How is it that we depressives tend to be more spiritual? Or is it that the more religion you get in your life, the more depressed?
A year ago Beliefnet approached me to write Beyond Blue because they learned that so many of their readers suffer from depression. Articles published on depression and anxiety were among their most popular.


Here’s Eric’s logic . . .
“If something’s not broken, a person isn’t going to waste the time to fix it, or make it the best it can be,” he said yesterday at breakfast, (referring to his golf swing, while I was contemplating souls and eternal salvation). “Only when something breaks down (he was thinking cars, I was considering the nervous system), is a person going to search for a solution.”
“Think about it,” he continued. “If you’re happy, you’re not going to pick up some spiritual self-help book on how to improve your life. But if you’ve just run into a wall, you could use a little advice and some spiritual solutions.”
I guess that’s why “The Pain of Being Human” sold twice as many copies as “The Joy of Being Human,” and why the book Mike Leach and I edited entitled “I Like Being Married,” flopped in comparison to the books on how to forgive your spouse after an extramarital affair.
Saint Augustine once wrote, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.” I believe that therein lies the clue on why depressives are more spiritual—we are more aware of that human restlessness or inner void (the doughnut phenomenon I described in my post “Ten Days to Self-Esteem“) than our happy counterparts (those blessed with functional wiring, like Eric), or maybe we are more restless AND more aware of our unease. And we want to fill that void and settle the restlessness ASAP because it feels about as good as cow droppings on our heads.
So we pray. And we inhale frozen Kit Kat bars. Because both are like sucking on a pacifier to satiate the inner longing TEMPORARILY (prayer the preferred method, of course). Until our Prozac poops out (and our brain’s wiring and chemistry changes), and we need another kind of cocktail. At which time some of us head to daily Mass or join religious congregations, and others go to the hospital, and some (like me) do everything and anything as long as it’s not Vinyasa yoga (because that feels worse than the cow excrement).
According to St. John of the Cross–the Spanish mystic who experienced something far worse than cow pies when he was harshly imprisoned in Toledo–the purpose of the dark night is all for love: to become better lovers of God and one another. Furthermore, the dark night takes us from isolation to creativity, from withdrawal to contribution.
“Obscurity and attachment, followed by God-given clarity, liberation of love, and deepening of faith, are consistent hallmarks of the dark night of the soul,” writes Gerald May in his fascinating book “The Dark Night of the Soul.” “Often this liberation results in a remarkable release of creative activity in the world.”
Consider for a moment the three Teresas (not including me) who experienced dark nights of the soul: Teresa of Avila emerged from hers and became the founder of the Discalced Carmelites, a prolific author, and the first woman Doctor of the Church; St. Therese of Lisieux is so popular, dubbed the “greatest saint of modern times” by Pope Pius X, largely due to her articulation of her crisis of faith in the pages of her autobiography, “The Story of a Soul.” And now, with the publication of some of Mother Teresa’s personal writings, we are learning about the modern saint’s personal agony that fueled her mission and incredible contribution to goodness, hope, and love on earth.
I keep pondering Archbishop Perier of Calcutta’s response to Mother Teresa concerning her darkness:

This is willed by God in order to attach us to Him alone, an antidote to our external activities, and also, like any temptation, a way of keeping us humble . . . to feel that we are nothing, that we can do nothing. . . . My only wish and desire, the one thing I humbly crave to have is the grace to love God, to love Him alone. Beyond that I ask for nothing more.

I’m not sure I agree with him. Because if I did, I wouldn’t have sought treatment in the 58,094 ways I did. I believe God wants me to be as healthy, happy, and productive as possible, and that he’s on the side of recovery, not illness. However, I can’t deny that my depression has been a refiner’s fire, impassioning my faith one profanity at a time. I can’t help compare it to the way a writer-mom, Linda Eyre from Salt Lake City, described motherhood:

We start our mothering careers as rather ordinary-looking clay pots with varied shapes and curves—and march directly into the refiner’s fire. The fire, however, is not a onetime process but an ongoing one. Every experience that helps us to be a little more compassionate, a little more patient, a little more understanding, is a burst of fire that refines us and leaves us a little more purified. The more we filter, strain, and purge through the experience of our lives, the more refined we become.

If I weren’t always so restless, I might be tempted to sleep in on Sundays more often, to listen to music during my run instead of pray a novena. I wouldn’t think to thank the big guy for a day without tears, to bless him for 24 consecutive PMS-free (hormonally balanced) hours. I’d be less aware of the rose gardens I walk by to get to David’s school (but also less hyper about the bees on the buds). I’m pretty sure that I’d be less spiritual and less inclined to gorge on dessert.



  • Larry Parker

    Beautiful, just beautiful.
    But (ever the contrarian I am), at the risk of seeming too reductionist, where do synapses and norepinephrine and serotonin and GABA fit into all this?

  • Father Daniel Beegan

    Dear Theresa,
    I almost think we need these dark nights to become more aware of God and the role he plays in our lives. I too am a depressive, something of a pessimist as well.
    I also suffer chronic pain. Before I became sick, I was in a high-powered career and to be honest, didn’t think much about God, except to answer questionaires that asked yes, I am a Christian.
    It was through suffering, and yes, the resulting sadness, that I grew closer to God, which is not to say I don’t have dark nights now and then.
    I greatly admire Mother Theresa for continuing with her good works despite her feeling of spiritual emptiness.
    Father Daniel+

  • Barbara Alley

    Dark nights, dim days, depression is supressed thoughts about past events, or the fear of future. I know because I have excperienced deep depression. It is not what happens to us, but how we think about what happens to us. Questioning my thoughts through the work found at http://www.thework.com by Byron Katie has freed me to be me with clarity. Seeing and feeling the beauty in my life is clarity. A spiritual emptiness is a thought. What would you be without that thought? How can a human being, living in reality, which is NOW, not the past, not the future – ENJOY the NOW without a thought?

  • steve durham

    Friends,
    A comment in two parts: first to Larry (above), on my take, at least, about where serotonin etc. fit into this; and then to this blog in general (all positive, don’t worry :-))…
    First, LARRY: I’m a Presbyterian minister who has suffered from chronic depression all my life, but it wasn’t diagnosed as such until 12 years ago and I was blessed with Prozac. Looking over the long shadowed years before then, I have sensed two things, or rather one thing with two facets, about the spiritual meaning of all this:
    [1] I will always believe that if there is a “blessing” in depression, in a genetic condition that results automatically in subnormal serotonin levels, it lies in what, to me, is the fact that the biochemical changes “tune in” the mind to different “channels” of reality. For what it’s worth, when I said this in a lecture I gave at an interfaith event — actually on the topic of Pure Land Buddhism, not depression — I got vigorous nods in support from an individual in the audience whom I already knew to be a psychiatrist. I haven’t had time to pursue this any further — but I’d still believe this whole-heartedly, audience psychiatrist or no. A depressed state, to me, is like being tuned into another frequence, by means of which one sees reality in significantly different — and perhaps entirely different — terms.
    Somewhat along these lines, there is a book written by someone who was/is chronically depressed that seemed to me at the time to get at somewhat the same insight. I don’t have it handy, and don’t recall the author’s name; but the title involves
    something like putting the mind’s roots into waters hidden in the dark. (It’s much catchier than that!) The author speculates somewhere in the book about the “evolutionary role” depressives may have played, and decided they may have been the ones who watched over the “village” by night (since they couldn’t sleep anyway), had the long quiet hours for deep reflection (and so perhaps laid the groundwork for significant philosophical and religious/”theological” work, etc.) I wish I could remember the title! But the point is, the depressed person may have been enabled to “see” things in a unique way that ultimately was of benefit to the village, the clan, the population.
    [2]Along the lines of #1, what
    I “saw” all those years was what I now call “the shadows within things.” I’m sure other people who have struggled for many many years with this affliction may put it differently (and some no doubt would disagree vehemently with the notion that there’s any redeeming value in this curse, and I’d be hard-pressed even to want to argue with them, totally out of sympathy). But for ME, the shadow side of reality was literally visible. TO me, that tended to represent the mythos of the demonic … but that’s another story for some other time. It did leave me impatient, however, with those who say evil is an absence and not a presence. Without having experienced it so directly, I can appreciate the concept; but in fact having experienced it so directly — in the “perceptual world” of chronic depression, let alone in sheer out-and-out this-worldly unmitigated evil, e.g. child abuse, torture, etc. — that concept to me is patently bogus, and quite literally transparent. Evil is a shadowy, and conscious and purposive, presence.
    THE BLOG: wow!! I’m SO glad I found this!! I already am an avid reader, and appreciate everything I have seen and read here!! Thoughtful, well-written, and right on “target.” AND keeping it integrated with an honest, living spirituality. Wonderful! May this blog live long and prosper :-))
    best,
    steve

  • james

    Amen to that Steve.
    I thought I’d mention that my experience with depression is at odds with most other Christians, and also with Eric’s hypothesis. I was depressed for about 7 years, during which time I couldn’t lose my faith fast enough. I didn’t understand what was happening, except I didn’t want to turn to God. I dropped ministries and all but dropped church.
    Throughout this time my wife and friends kept telling me that I was still a Christian, much to my objections. God is the one holding onto us, they argued. It’s not the other way around.
    As it turns out my faith returned with my mental health. I still go very hot and cold with depressive and manic episodes, but that doesn’t affect my status before God.

  • Kathy

    Hello all- My name is Kathy and I too deal and suffer with depression. I have suffered with it longer than I have dealt with it. Once I did approach it,first through therapy and then a very difficult decision about starting meds,once these things began I felt like I had a new life and a new way of looking at things;and i was able to admit I knew I would have been better off earlier in life If I had dealt with it earlier. I still have periods where I feel my progress and process slows or stops and I start to slide backward. This is usually were spiritual,religious life perservers are thrown by me,to me,and back by my spiritual beliefs to me.
    I would describe my depression as feeling as if I were walking around with led aprons on,the kind they use with x-rays. But I would desperately try to not let anyone see in so it came out as anger,irritability,and generally putting people off. This is when my prayers would increase. I make it a point to thank God daily for all that i have and do not have. Some may find this contradictory but i really dived into Buddhism as well. I had always been interested and a student of it but not as sincerely as I became. It gave me a different slant on how I view things and conduct my life,I feel like it helps me to live better,in all ways.
    I feel that my faith in God has led me to the study of this religion as I am understanding it. Some may see these two religions,Catholic and Buddhist- are diametrically opposed. I believe all religions have the same goal,and there would be far less problems,indiviually and world wide if we could see the goal is the same,but can get greatly distorted when we try to give our own “gospel truth”,inflexable and closed minded, spin on what our religion is. I consider myself both Catholic and Buddhist and find they compliment one another.
    Much like the way my therapy and meds compliment each other. And having these religions in my life has helped me greatly. I believe religion is primarily about love and peace,not killing,fighting,arguing,scaring,threatening,and in general turning people away due to man made reasons and issues. We are not God,God is us as i see it.
    and to close this I feel I have been blessed with feeling like I was walking around with a lead suit on. I have cryed and yelled to God when i felt like removing myself from this planet,and God has always helped me but let me feel alone because I had to-If I had not i would not be who I am now.I feel I have far more empathy and compassion that I never would have had without the lead suit. So,Thank You God-for everything.
    Kathy

  • Larry Parker

    Steve:
    All of which is wonderful. (Well, not wonderful, exactly, but at least an explanation.)
    As long as you don’t commit suicide first from the agony.

  • Mark

    I was diagnosed with depression in the late 1970s. I have been getting in counseling most of tghe time and on various meds since that time. I spend the last minutes, that seem like hours, of sleep in the morning (after a sleeping pill before retiring) with various events of the past that go marching thru my head. I apparently don’t care enough to worry about the future. Emotions are rare, neither positive nor negative. I have trouble relating to God and prayers are not consistant. Mostly just “HELP”. didn’t mean to rattle on but it felt kind of good.

  • steve durham

    Larry and James,
    Larry: You are exactly right (re: suicide). And I don’t mean to be or sound “glib” about any of this … the “insight” comes only with the agony, and is continually a struggle to maintain (the insight is, I mean, when I’m back near major depression which, anti-depressants notwithstanding, does happen) …
    James: To be honest here, which I guess is what this blog is all about, I still struggle hard with my standing before God. I turn to the Buddha a lot — that’s what was behind the comment about a lecture on Pure Land up there — because the church has so indoctrinated me with a harsh, rejecting Jesus over the shadow years (of mine) … and that now is seemingly so infused in my Superego or whatever … and Buddha is clearly “all compassion” in any Buddhist lineage, but Pure Land above all … sometimes I just retreat to pure compassion, and hope like hell it’s somehow still Jesus. Like you, on my stronger days a lot of that dissipates and I feel connected to God as brought into focus for me in Jesus … but not fully connected even then. Lots and lots and lots of scars here, as I’m sure there are with us all who have been battered by the “Big D.”
    best,
    steve (traveling-sam@hotmail.com)

  • Emily S

    I too suffer from major depression I have lost everything because of it my job my apartment my car and my older children – I have been to therapy and tried various meds I even checked into a mental facility for help but the truth is the only thing that helps is having faith in God. I was raised Catholic but I think of myself as a christian- I have to believe that there is a reason why God chooses certain people to suffer this way I try to convince myself that it is to make us better and stronger people although right now I dont feel that way I have always believed in God but have become even more religious since my depression began

  • Larry Parker

    Steve:
    We had an informal poll on the Mental Health Forum on Bnet recently — what if there was a magic pill that could completely cure depression?
    It turned into a mad online scrum among probably a dozen people over who could grab the pill first ;-P
    Myself included.

  • sharon

    i read Emily’s comment; how amazed that the words she spoke were in fact lthe very words of my life too!
    it’s as if i had written it myself!

  • Terry Carroll

    I’ve written a LOT on my own blog (which I won’t mention out of courtesy) on the same topics as you. I’ve been so successfully depressed that I earn my living at it, i.e., before the ADA and insurance companies had some experience, I slipped through the confusing cracks and have been paid long term disability now for over ten years. At the age of 62, I’m not a good candidate for either “complete recovery” or “retraining. The Social Security Administration has a much higher bar for defining whether you can work or not: I was a Vice President at a Fortune 500 company and the SSA said I was still capable of functioning as an “accounts payable clerk.” My “private insurance” had a lower bar — the ability to return to work at something comparable to what I was doing before. If I faced this situation today, the insurance companies now have “caps” for how long you are allowed to be defined as “mentally ill” and get paid for it.
    My “spin” on all this is that depression is how some (many?) people respond to or perceive their experience, and that medications mask the real causes so that you can continue to “function” as our economy needs. I think most people diagnosed with depression are “secular prophets” whose symptoms represent a response to a society and culture which has become “unfriendly to” or “incompatible with” human nature. It’s easier to silence the voices of the prophets than it is to effect cultural change. There’s an unpleasant “blessing” to depression: you see a lot of the world as it really is, feel helpless to change it, and get depressed. But, in this depression lie the seeds of insight that you, and others, so eloquently express.
    Depression is absolutely real and absolutely awful. I identify with your “take me sooner rather than later” but I absolutely will not take my own life (as you, also, have promised). For whatever reason, we have been gifted with the ability to see awful things as they are, we respond appropriately more than not, and do ourselves a great disservice by believing that it’s something wrong with US rather than the world in which we live. Our responsibility is to learn and accept the painful role which we have been uniquely assigned by God.
    Mother Teresa is a great inspiration. I can’t wait to get her new book into my hands. As long as you are lifted by the good feelings of the felt presence of God, your faith is less faith than the natural response to feeling good. It takes an extraordinary person to remain faithful when there is little emotional support, whether from within or without.
    I’m not broken. Nor am I sick. Yes, I am depressed, and if it were possible to “will” my own death I would have been gone years ago. But, as you point out, the “dark holes” are merely dark, not completely lacking in light. Remaining faithful is hard, but something wonderful comes from that perseverance through the darkness.
    There’s a place in all this for counselors, or spiritual directors, but a lot less than we think for medicines and doctors. Our “brains” are not broken or chemically imbalanced except as CONSEQUENCE, not CAUSE, of our depression. I, too, was on many medications at one time, and the withdrawal from those medications was absolutely horrific. I am now “drug free,” still satisfy those subjective tests for depression, and don’t expect much to change. But I’m getting MUCH better at accepting myself and my condition as more gift than curse.
    I wish I could correspond with you personally and let you see what my years of reflecting on all this has produced. But I acceopt why this may not be possible. I applaud your willingness to confess your vulnerabilities in public while, paradoxically, at the same time professing to be “happy” at some very important things.
    God Bless You.

  • Wisdum

    “Live a Life worthy of your calling, in humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another, lovingly”
    “Before the sunburned bright, and rivers flowed, I called you each by name to share my home. No longer be afraid, I AM you God, my Love will never end…Alleluia !” http://www.spiritandsong.com/jukebox/songs/6866
    LUV 2 ALL
    Wisdum

  • Wisdum

    Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in your system. The exact cause of that can be any number of things, hormones, stress, physical impaiments, whatever. These things directly effect brain waves and therefor exuberance or depression. It is very similar to overeating, where you become very sleepy, because your body cannot digest the food and do all the other bodily functions it is called upon to do. That is the same as your everyday lives. It is all overdose/overload. The biggest problem with Life is overdose and overindulgence. Our bodies were not designed for this kind of stress, and until we can evolve to a higher level of Spirituality we are ALL in deep shit ! Check out Gary Zukav’s “Seat Of The Soul” We must evolve from a five sensory perception into a multi-sensory perception. We are ALL still operating out of the cave man existance of survival of the fittest. Prayer, meditation and Love work just as much as drugs … better !
    LUV 2ALL
    Wisdum

  • Anonymous

    you may have had a bad doctor which can put you off wanting any kind of medical help but a good doctor and good medicine can really help. Of course, prayer and friends can really help tooo!!

  • Anonymous

    come on therase post again please !!

  • Larry Parker

    Terry:
    Your research may indicate that depression is not a brain disease and that you don’t need medication.
    Mine indicates the depression is a brain disease and does require medication.
    I hope you will afford those of us who deal with our struggle a different way than you the freedom and dignity to do so (as would I to you, of course).

  • Lynne

    Okay, so let me get this straight…if you think like Tom Cruise then all mental ills can be healed by meditation and vitamins? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I do believe that chemical imbalances and not freakish imagination are to blame! If there were a single solution…don’t you think we’d be beating a path to it MAS PRONTO!!! ‘Scuse me for not buying into that hogwash!

  • Lynne

    On the other hand it helps to know there’s some meaning to the suffering. If I am more aware of the suffering of others, and if I can be a shoulder to cry on or a sympathetic ear to lend…then it is not in vain. It’s true that I would like to go “home” to God sometimes but if He still has a job for me here then who am I to question Him? At the risk of being cliche’ “It’s always darkest before the dawn”

  • Terry Carroll

    Lynne: You said “I do believe that chemical imbalances and not freakish imagination are to blame!” Fine. But there’s just as much evidence for that act of faith as there is for the resurrection of Jesus. The latter I believe, the former I don’t. Belief in the latter can ONLY be an act of faith. Belief in the former should be scientifically demonstrable, which it isn’t.
    There is no scientific evidence that depression is caused by chemical imbalances. There are no tests that can measure serotonin levels in living persons. Antidepressants are prescribed on the basis of a hypothesis, and even the pharmaceutical companies do no claim any more certainty than that. Antidepressants do, for some, make people feel better. So does a beer. There are MANY scientists with impeccable credentials who not only question but reject the “medical model” of depression, although no one questions that medical interventions CAN be helpful. They just don’t treat causes, not unlike Imitrex for migraine headaches.
    What’s important to understand is that IF there IS a chemical imbalance, no one can measure it, and it’s merely a hypothesis that it MIGHT be the cause of your depression. All we know is that some medications makes some people feel better. For some people, that may be sufficient.
    Consider this example. If you stare at a very blue piece of paper for a long period of time and measure brain activity during that time, certain parts of the brain will “light up” in response to the perception of blue. The brain “lighting up” in response to the perception of blue does not lead to the illogical and unscientific conclusion that “the brain lighting up is the cause of the perception of blue.” The brain “lights up” because you are perceiving blue.
    Exact same thing with depression. It’s not like insulin and diabetes, which are measurable conditions. If your brain looks like the brain of a depressed person, are you depressed because of what your brain is doing, or is your brain reflecting what you are perceiving and experiencing and how you are responding?
    As a matter of hypothesis only can we say that depression is caused by broken brains or chemical imbalances. There are no scientific tests, only measured results from the use of medications that make some people feel better. Imitrex doesn’t pretend to be the “cure” for what causes a migraine. No one knows what causes migraines, but we do know that engorged blood vessels contribute to the pain. So Imitrex constricts those blood vessels and the pain is relieved. Antidepressants also do not address causes, only symptoms.
    I am not Tom Cruise, nor a Scientologist. I said that once before and the response I got was “that’s what a Scientologist would say.” So, are we able to have a rational discussion, or is ad hominem the only way to discuss this important issue? If we are treating as causes what are merely symptoms, isn’t that important to know? So far, the best scientists can say is that “the cause of depression is unknown, but it MAY be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and IF it is, our product will correct this.” Antidepressants are at best temporary stabilizing medications that can prevent you from doing harm to yourself and allowing you to function in those areas of your life that are important to you. That’s not a bad thing. But it doesn’t address causes. If that’s enough for you, good for you.
    I’ve done enough research, read enough books, had enough personal experience both first and second hand, to have concluded that the medical model is a scam on the order of “big tobacco,” huge lawsuits waiting to happen in the future.
    I could be wrong, but I want evidence that’s on a par with diagnosis of other medical conditions. There’s no scientific evidence for what is commonly believed about depression. If there is, show me where it is and I’ll retract all the disillusionment and loss of hope I seem to spread whenever and wherever I try to make these points. I want to accept as true what is true, not what I wish to be true. Others may feel differently and be satisfied with “good results, I don’t care why,” much as a migraine sufferer.
    Depression is a psycho/spiritual condition more than a medical condition. Medicine can help, but medicine plus the truth help more.
    Hypocrisy is not acting contrary to how you feel. Hypocrisy is acting contrary to how you believe. If depression is anything, it’s a set of feelings in response to perceived and experienced reality. Medications might make you feel better, but it messes up your perceptions and experiences of reality.
    This will be my last word in this setting. I know how these discussions go and they resemble disagreements over religion more than science. Belief in depression as a physiologically caused condition is a secular act of faith. There’s just no evidence for it. Practicing psychiatrists have left their profession once they realize the intellectual and scientific dishonesty of everything they have been taught.
    Ignorance may be bliss, but truth is better in the long run. I would be more than happy to provide you with abundant evidence for everything I’ve said.
    Terry Carroll (terry@mrterryc.com)

  • Suzanne Kay

    I would like to propose a theory to the somewhat heated discussion going on about depression being a medical verses a psychological verses a spiritual condition. Have any of you considered that it may be all three? I am a pediatric physical therapist. When we evealuate a child’s development we do not look at just their motoric development. We consider their social/emotional development, their cognitive development, their adaptive develoopment and their communicative development AND their motoric development. We have to look wholistically at them. One does NOT develop in isolation of the other. In my experience of living with depression I have found that it is also a problem that cannot be looked at in isolation. I believe that just as we believe in a trinitariean God: The Father (the mind-the brains behind the creation of the world), The Son (the body- who touched us and lived with us in our earthly and human experience), and The Spirit, (the soul and the spirit of life that continues to be with us and interweave His presence through everything)we as human beings also have a triune to our persona which is a juxtaposition of the physical (the body), the intellectual/psychological (the mind) and the spiritual (the soul). We ALL have ALL THREE. It is my belief that depression is also a trifold issue. There are some people that are wounded only physically- those that are chemically imbalanced. There are some that are wounded intellecutally or psychologically by experiences that have affected their thought processes, maybe by having parents who instilled some dysfunctional thinking, maybe by loosing a parent or a sibling, maybe by being influenced by really bad media or books. And there are those whose souls may have been touched by evil by physical or mental abuse, drug addiction, etc. And there are those who have experienced all three or a little of two of the body, mind, spirit issue and a lot of one. Do you see what I’m trying to say? God made us all unique. And our journey through life and the struggles that it brings us through is also unique. I work with severely disabled children and have for nearly 20 years. There is NEVER one therapeutic regimen that works for every child, because every child is different. Every damaged nervous system is damaged in a different way. Even a person who has had a stroke which has affected the exact same artery with the exact same size blood clot will present differently because their brain is unique. The muscles fed by that part of the brain are in different states of health and the healthy part of the brain that’s left has a different method of coping. Shame on you people, who have suffered from depression and should be compassionate towards one another for pigeon holing people. But also don’t jump to conclusions to what people are trying to communicate, because, again we all do that in different ways. Reading the typed word does not offer us the ability to see someones facial expressions or body language or hear someone’s tone of voice that a personal face to face connection and back and fourth dialogue would offer. Let us be loving and respectful to one another and our beautiful uniqueness, including how we attempt to heal our ailing bodies, minds, and souls.

  • Wisdum

    Re – Suzanne Kay | September 2, 2007 8:58 PM
    Thanks Susan, excellent post ! I think people forget that all living beings or whatever, are “Electro-magnetic chemical processing plants or factories” As with all serious business (in this case the business of Life) things do not go perfect all the Time …”My perfection is in your imperfection” (Yahweh) In terms of Capitalism (and don’t let anybody fool you, its all Capitalism) the economics and survival of the system is of most importance, and dam near everything and everybody is expendable in Light of “The Lust for money (Power) is the root of all evil”
    WHEN THE POWER OF LOVE, OVERCOMES THE LOVE OF POWER, THE WORLD SHALL KNOW PEACE (Jimi Hendrix)
    LUV 2 ALL
    Wisdum

  • Anonymous

    I am like the blind man whom Jesus healed. The religous leaders asked him what happened and he said, “I don’t know. All I do know is: once I was blind, but now I can see.”
    Am sooooo thankful for the transformation that happened; and is continuing. Ain’t perfect; but I have peace.

  • Anonymous

    i really like everyone needs therapy!!
    it is just enjoyable mostly!

  • Wisdum

    12 STEP PROGRAMS, are the greatest invention by mankind to combat professional medical and psychological thereapy at absolutey exorbatant and rip off charges that leave you feeling like you’ve been raped !
    “Birds of a feather, flock together ”
    LUV 2 ALL
    Wisdum

  • Larry Parker

    Terry:
    The only way we can get to the level of scientific expertise you are asking for is to dissect the brains of the living (morally reprehensible) or at least the just-dead.
    fMRI is getting a lot closer to what you seek, though, in terms of assessing the efficacy of medications (or, of course, lack thereof) on the brain.
    That said, your jeremiad does blur the difference between unipolar depression, where herbal remedies and or non-medication treatments can sometimes keep a person stable; and bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, where without medication a person simply cannot function.
    Suzanne:
    I generally like what you say, except that I’d hate to think the medical prescription for an atheist or agnostic is “Say two Hail Marys and call me in the morning.”

  • Wisdum

    Re -Larry Parker | September 4, 2007 5:48 PM
    I generally like what you say, except that I’d hate to think the medical prescription for an atheist or agnostic is “Say two Hail Marys and call me in the morning.”
    ** Would that be your spiritual or clinical agnostic and atheist ?
    LUV 2 ALL
    Wisdum

  • Larry Parker

    LOL!

  • Larry Parker

    Terry:
    In re-reading your post, I realized I missed one thing I need to give you credit for — the idea that depression “makes us see the world as it really is.” (And not in a good way.)
    Indeed, even though I was always politically aware, I have become MUCH more politically active since my diagnosis. Albeit not in the direction you personally would probably prefer …

  • Steve Martin

    All This World Need’s Is…1.The Lord Love’s A Working Man.
    2. Don’t Ever Trust Whitie. And 3. What the World Need’s Is A Great Big
    Huge, Slice Of Kutchie’s Home Made World’s Famous Key Lime Pie!
    And That’s All This World Need’s. That’s All It Need’s. Yea, That’s All
    It Need’s.
    Well Maybe It Need’s A Goody Goody Cheese Burger Too! But That’s All
    It Needs. A Goody Goody Cheese Burger and A Slice Of Kutchie’s Key Lime Pie. And That’s All It Need’s.
    OK, The Lord Loves A Working Man, And Don’t Trust Whitie, A Humongous
    Slice Of Kutchie’s Famous Key Lime Pie and A Goody Goody Cheese Burger. And
    That’s All It Need’s. Yea That’s All The World Need’s. That’s All It Need’s.
    Well Maybe, It Need’s This Captain Tony Song. Yea, The World Need’s This
    Captain Tony Song Too. Ok And That’s All This World Need’s. The Lord Love’s A Working Man, Don’t Trust Whitie, A Humongous Slice Of Kutchie’s Key Lime Pie And This Captain Tony Song (The Last Mango In Paris.) Yea And
    That’s All This World Need’s. The Lord Love’s A Working Man, Don’t Trust Whitie, Huge Slice Of Kutchie’s Famous Key Lime Pie, Goody Goody Cheese Burger And Captain Tony’s Last Mango In Paris. And That’s All The World Need’s. That’s All It Need’s. Yea That’s All It Need’s. That’s All It Need’s.
    Well MayBe This Thermos. Yea, And That’s All This World Need’s.
    ………………….Steve Martin

  • http://www.naturalremedies-medicine.com/ herbal remedies

    Your posts help me many times to take good decisions. Thanks –

Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild wind can rage through your life leaving you much like the

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate measures to control a mood disorder, that faithfulness

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from the drama queen at the water cooler). Why? Because we

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a third, stuff her full of refined sugar and processed f

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer is difficult? What if, instead, everything looks dark,

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.