If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I’m pretty ‘anti’ anti-depressants. You might also know that I recently wrote a pocket guide, called ‘Causes and Cures of Depression’, that sets out why anti-depressants are not the panacea they pretend to be, and examines depression from the God-based holistic view point that it needs to be tackled across body, mind and soul.
My happy-pill induced crisis of confidence
So I got this email and all of a sudden I had a huge crisis of confidence: had I got the wrong end of the stick, here? Here I was, telling people that they had to work on the underlying things that were triggering their depressions, with all the attendant difficulty and effort and occasional pain that entails. And here she was, telling me she’d got burned-out trying to do that, and that happy pills were letting her live a great life.
Dear reader, I was in a state of extreme mental confusion for two days, trying to work if God was giving me a clue that I’d got everything backwards. I mean, we ARE meant to enjoy our life… we ARE meant to feel happy and productive as much as possible, and if happy pills were letting people do that, maybe they really were OK?
The argument sounded pretty convincing, initially, and it kind of blew me away. But then, after a few days of wandering around in a daze, I decided to do a long talking to God session about it all and this is what I got:
- 1) We are here to work, and to fix ourselves and particularly our negative character traits. That’s the whole spiritual purpose of life. When we try to short-cut the process by using substances to ‘feel good’ when we haven’t actually fixed the underlying problem that’s making us ‘feel bad’, we subvert the whole point of being alive.
- 2) Happy pills work (despite the fact that there is NO proven scientific evidence for their being a chemical imbalance causing depression) for two main reasons:
- a) the placebo affect (more on this in another post) and
- b) because they are DRUGS, and just like heroin makes people feel great, and alcohol makes people feel cheerful, and marijuana ‘takes the edge off’, the happy pills can and do have a similar effect.
- 3.There is no difference between someone taking a toke of weed to ‘chill out’ than someone taking Cymbalta – other than one is legal, and one isn’t.
- 4.Whatever we don’t fix in ourselves gets passed on to our offspring to deal with. It’s great that mommy is now feeling a whole lot better, but in the meantime, Junior is acting out big time in school and getting diagnoses of ‘ADHD’ and demands from school to start Ritalin ASAP, or get kicked out.
- 5.Each of us has a choice to make: to make this material world the priority, or to make the spiritual world the priority. It’s often an incredibly difficult choice, particularly at this time in history when so many of us are down here trying to fix a spiritual backlog that spans millennia.
Over the coming week, I’m planning to post up some more stuff about the spiritual dimension to depression, and I’d love to hear your feedback and comments, if you have any.