Even though those of us living in developed nations live longer and healthier we are more depressed than those living in poor countries. Why is this? World Health Organization (WHO) research shows that mental illness (depression, etc.) is the leading factor in disease burden for high income nations. Depression leads to more loss of quality of life upon society as a whole than does heart disease or cancer. So as science advances in maintaining our biological health a more profound illness rises to the surface. Sadness remains our basic ailment when other sicknesses and needs are resolved. Quite simply we are rich, healthy… and sad (by healthy I mean that we do not face illness due to respiratory infections and diarrheal disease like they do in Bhutan, Haiti or Ghana). The WHO also projects that when poor countries overcome sanitary problems and infectious disease they too will find mental illness as their number one problem. And it’s not just that the incidence of other problems is decreasing thus moving depression up in the rankings. Mental illness rates are a growing problem for mankind. How can it be that if we live healthier that we are not content? What are the conventional weapons in this war against despair? We have the easy solution: pills. But, according to Harvard research, antidepressants, apart from their placebo effect, really are not that effective (see [url= Minutes segment[/url] ). We also have counseling which is helpful and teaches us valuable coping mechanisms, but what about true healing? Meanwhile statistics show that modern civilization is becoming less religious. Could there be a connection? Many studies show that participation in religious activity bestows a protective factor against illness both mental and physical. Certainly the decline of the practice of faith has something to do with emerging mental health problems. So If I pray to “Nature” that my body and mind move towards health is that enough? A lot of scientific information is being gathered about this. For example, in spiritual persons, brain scans show changes in the thalamus part of the brain. The scientist has been quite busy describing the bodily changes that go with faith. No doubt there are those scurrying to discover some expensive medication to duplicate the process that a spiritual life brings us. We want the cream filling but none of the effort that goes along with it. If we fall in love because we drink a love potion is it really love? When God intervenes in our lives He leaves an observable result. In the Bible we read of sight restored and lepers healed. Some of us are witnesses to healings. Many of us were down, depressed or addicted when Jesus restored us. But is it our belief itself that heals? Or is it God? “Your faith has healed you.” “Your faith has saved you.” We are weakened or strengthened by what life presents to us. Jesus came into my life, healed me and saved me. He continues to do so. The science behind it intrigues me, but I know it all just chases the wind. It blows where and when it chooses and understanding this is where God’s wisdom begins. [img]
Very interesting blog.
I understand depression to be mostly a spiritual problem, even though I know it can be chemically related, but is the chemical imbalance due to physical things or spiritual things or might they be tied together?
The more man tends to find fixes for medical problems, the more people rely on man and this world of inventions and the less they rely on God and the spiritual realm, but we are not just physical beings, but also eternal spiritual beings. Without the spirit in a body, there is no life in the body, but without the body, the spirit lives on, so what is more important, the body or the spirit? In our modern technology we can easily get mixed up, and we do.
Thanks for an excellent blog,
Sadly modern gadgets and modern life do not make us happy. The wants and the cares of the modern world makes many sick in the body and in the minds.
Many must learn the secret to contentment for contentment in one's life is bliss. May the Lord help us to be contented in all circumstances and to live life that is free from depression.
Thanks for sharing, Brother Vince
From Hwa Silverpen
As someone who has been very open about depression in cb, I will be the first to put my hand up and say that my little white tablet is sometimes the thing that gets me up each day. I take my anti depressant every morning and will continue to do so til the day I feel Im ready to stand on my own two feet without the help of it. I also see a fantastic psychologist who has helped me through some very trying stuff. Perhaps some will think its a faith issue or spiritual issue that i choose to take my medication and stuff, but ya know, sometimes we just need to be humble enough to take our medication and let God work through it, just as we would with any other ailment which requires some form of medication. :)
I think there is a difference in being sad and struggling with the illness of depression. All too often we tend to confuse one with the other.
I do agree that we tend to be a community of sad people. I don't know why that is. maybe we expect too much of ourselves, maybe we expect too much of others and when we are let down, we get sad. Or maybe, just maybe its part of the condition of this fallen world we live in.
Now depression, that is a different story. It is an illness in the same way CF or cancer or even the common old is an illness. But again, it is a consequence of living in a fallen state. Just as one cannot be held responsible for having a faulty gene that causes Autism or CF, so one must never be seen as "sinful, or " unspiritual", simply because they have a chemical imbalance.
This blog in no way suggests that, Im just throwing in my tupence worth .
but I keep coming back to the question... Why are we sad? I don't know, I really don't . But i do know that my daughter who spent three months in a country with extreme poverty, told me that there was more joy there than she has ever known. Are we too spoilt?
You have stumped me clay, I do not have the answer.
Think about it, if you lived somewhere that was really poor and the first thought of the day was where and how were you going to get enough food to feed your family or get out of the rain or afford a pair of rubber sandals and a pair of shorts, could you save enough corn from the wild creatures to feed your own. A tiger was stalking the villages and carrying off neighbors and friends. A warlords army of cutthroats was raging through the country killing, burning, raping and stealing all the grain. You wouldn't have the time or energy to be depressed and even if you were you couldn't give in to it because if you did you would die and there were others depending on you. Depression is a luxury the truly poor of this earth can't afford. Being a fat American on social security I take my anti-depressant every day because if I didn't I would have a gun in my mouth in about three days.
Good blog. You have obviously touched upon a subject that concerns people. I agree with bethy that there is a difference between sadness and depression. I tend to be sad about some things in the past. The present day problems usually only sadden me if they are things I can't do anything about. - biblrguy64
I should have been more clear about somethings. I do believe all illnesses are influenced by psychological and biological factors as well as spiritual. One might carry more or much more weight in certain circumstances. The cause can also be hidden. For example, the illness of a child could be influenced by their emotional experience in the womb during their mother's pregnancy. Please don't misunderstand... it´s not "all in your head". We define things to make them easier to understand. But in God's eyes we are just one thing, one being. He understands us as a whole, not in parts. We make the divisions because our understanding is limited.
I don't mean to imply it is anyone's "fault" either for their illness, but the biological, psychological and spiritual elements all play a role in the causes and outcomes. If one gets sick or dies from illness this does not automatically imply sin or guilt or fault. That is for God to judge alone and His ways are far above our understanding.