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Re: Anyone use spirituality rather than meds? Roo

Posted by fachad on July 9, 2002, at 9:44:29

In reply to Anyone use spirituality rather than meds?, posted by Roo on July 8, 2002, at 13:05:03

The way I look at this is that a human being exists on many levels. The physical layer, the body, nerves, neurotransmitters are the most fundamental level.

Above that is the psyche, the mind, the personality, etc. This level has emergent properties that cannot be reduced to the physical, but it depends on the physical layer for its existence.

And above that is the spirit. This level also has further emergent properties that are beyond the psyche, but it depends on both the physical and the psychic levels for its existence.

Depression develops and manifests at many different levels of our being.

I believe that one of the biggest problems with the method of psychiatry today is that the label of "depression" is very broad and is based on external symptoms, rather than inner causes.

For example, you could have depression caused from biological factors (physical), or depression caused by maladaptive behavior patters (psyche) or you could have depression based on a spiritual crisis (spirit), and because the external symptoms are similar, a modern pdoc would code the diagnosis "depression" in all three cases.

This situation is further complicated by the fact that all three layers of our being can exert influence on the other layers.

For example, a long period of physical illness can trigger a physical depression, but it can also breed negative thinking patters, and cause psychic depression. Further, you can even "get mad at God" and end up in a spiritual depression.

Therefore it is best to utilize modalities that promote healing on all levels. Medication can be very effective, but it will never really resolve a behavioral problem, or a spiritual problem. Conversely, behavioral changes and spiritual practice will not (usually) resolve a physical problem.

To rely on spiritual practice exclusively is as inadequate as relying on medication exclusively (which is sadly very common). Both approaches are doomed to failure because they ignore critical components of our being.

So, unless you are certain that your suffering is entirely spiritual in nature, medication is probably a good idea. Even if your problem is primarily spiritual, medication may provide you with the stability on the physical layer that is needed to develop and maintain stability on the psychic layer that is in turn needed to and benefit from a spiritual practice.

> I've recently gone off meds to try alternative methods
> of dealing with my depression....spirituality, regular meditation,
> etc. But I think I still need the meds...it's just too hard.
> sometimes I feel like a "failure" because my faith or spirit
> doesn't seem strong enough to make it without meds...I know this
> is probably the depression talking...


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