by Stephen H. Webb
2. 19. 16
In that I’m given to depression, I greatly appreciated this theological reflection.
Christians don’t talk enough about depression. Emotional pain, for one thing, can be hard to share. Despair can feel very physical for the sufferer, weighing heavily on the heart and clogging the brain, but its surface features can be easily overlooked or missing altogether. A depression that finally lifts leaves no scars on the skin to show how deep the wound was and how long the healing took. Besides, such anguish is so personal that it is hard to share it with anyone other than members of the family or the medical profession.
Those who suffer from depression are usually very grateful for all the pharmacological breakthroughs surrounding serotonin and other neurotransmitters. Philip Rieff brilliantly criticized the triumph of the therapeutic in American culture, but the fact is that chemistry has rendered psychology suspect at best or irrelevant at worst in the treatment of mental illness. This trend has not served the church well. Theology is a form—arguably the original form—of therapy, and if the church is to compete with the pharmacy, it has to have some good news of its own concerning depression.
Please click on: Depression
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