Rebecca J. Clayson

“At first I objected. What I felt was spiritual in nature, not mental. But the more we discussed the symptoms of depression, the more I realized they perfectly described my condition. I knew I’d felt sad, but I hadn’t recognized my sadness as actual depression. The more we talked, the lighter I felt. My mind cleared. A great weight lifted and the first real peace I’d known in almost a year washed over me. I was not worthless; I was depressed.”

Rebecca J. Clayson  |  Depression

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“I soon discovered that medication and cognitive therapy were effective at bringing relief. But the one thing I didn’t find in any of my research was mention of the spiritual repercussions of mental illness. This surprised me, since so many of the symptoms I’d experienced seemed spiritual in nature. I came to realize that while the medical texts rarely acknowledged the spiritual effects of depression, I had initially gone too far the other way—I had misconstrued my depressed feelings as spiritual unworthiness. Indeed, I had been so sure my feelings were manifestations of spiritual weakness that it had never occurred to me I might have a chemical imbalance. I had read pamphlets about postpartum depression and viewed television commercials for anti-depressants that described my symptoms, but I hadn’t seen myself as depressed because I had thought my spirit was primarily under attack, not my brain.”

Rebecca J. Clayson  |  Depression

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