Should Religious People Use Anti-Depressants?


#1

I know everyone is touched in some way by depression, whether a loved one or yourself. Please explain your answers, and be nice to those who have a different view :slight_smile:


#2

I said other. I think the answer is sometimes. Sometimes we just need to work through it and offer the pain to God.


#3

[quote=MariaG]I said other. I think the answer is sometimes. Sometimes we just need to work through it and offer the pain to God.
[/quote]

Yeah, kinda like cancer. Pray hard and it will go away…

Depression is not somehting you “work through”. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain.

Having said that, I was diagnosed as depressed. and given meds.

So I went from being dpressed to having CRS.

Oh well, I guess that’s one way to deal with depression… but not one I chose to tolerate.


#4

Yes, if it is indicated and medically diagnosed. I personally know of a few people whose life changed because of antidepressants…they are now able to function. Of course there is abuse with some, but for those who need it…it’s a miracle.


#5

Depression is a mental condition that requires proper thereapy. Medication is not often necessary, but sometimes is. Jim Carry said that paxal does not get rid of depression but smooths out all of life’s peaks and valley’s to a more managable lull of complacency.

I think that anti-depressants are effective when used properly. However, like all drugs they are over-perscribed like all drugs to people who do not really need them. Such is life.


#6

I think anti-depressants can help people suffering from depression; however I think it is important to look at potential underlying causes of depression. Someone who has a chemical imbalance that causes depression will likely benefit from drugs intended to correct that chemical imbalance. Someone who suffers from depression as the result of abuse or another underlying cause other than a chemical imbalance may actually be harmed by being prescribed medication to treat a chemical imbalance without being given an opportunity to work through and understand the underlying causes. It is important to make sure that prescribing anti-depressants is considered a part of treatment for depression rather than a substitute for trying to heal from and deal with real causes other than chemical imbalances. I see no moral problem with people using anti-depressants to treat depression, but am simply trying to emphasize that in some cases, depression itself is not the problem but is a symptom of an underlying problem, and in those cases, the underlying problem must be addressed.


#7

Suicide is not infrequently the result of depression. Its fine to suffer and “offer it up” but with depression this could be a very poor decision. As those above stated, depression is an illness and needs medical attention and proper treatment which may include therapy and antidepressants. Like any drug they can be abused but that possibility should not prevent one from taking them if a doctor or psychiratist recommends them.


#8

my Catholic faith helped a lot in dealing with depression, but I still need anti-depressants


#9

The grace God granted in coming back to His church allowed me to wean myself off my antidepressants and live my life more fully through Christ.

Certainly, many, many people have physical problems, which are aided by antidepressants. But, there are far too many people who have detached themselves from God and morality and turn to these drugs to cope with the ensuing depression.

Eric :slight_smile:


#10

I tend to distrust pharmaceuticals in general and am highly skeptical of clinical psychology. I tend to think that drugs do more harm than good. Even completely divorced from religion, I would discourage anti-depressants and support a cognitive/behavioral approach to treating psychological disorders; unfortunately, most “professionals” rarely take that amount of time when they can simply prescribe a panacea. I don’t doubt that anti-depressants can do good for people, but I think it does less good than an alternative approach with fewer risks would generate.


#11

I don’t think there is anything wrong with anti-depressants, but you have to be careful not to use it as a “happy pill” to correct mental problems that can be resolved with therapy. By resolving to medication alone and not taking the time to aquire the mental habits that can alleviate some forms of depression, you become a slave in a sense. Having said this, I do recognize that there are some people that do need anti-depressant for chemical imbalances. In those cases, God may be using that as a tool for their mental health.


#12

[quote=rwoehmke]Suicide is not infrequently the result of depression. Its fine to suffer and “offer it up” but with depression this could be a very poor decision. As those above stated, depression is an illness and needs medical attention and proper treatment which may include therapy and antidepressants. Like any drug they can be abused but that possibility should not prevent one from taking them if a doctor or psychiratist recommends them.
[/quote]

Amen.

There’s “feeling depressed” which is a normal on-and-off condition of being human.

And then there’s “suffering from depression” which is a medical condition for which there is medication to treat.

Both cases – prayers and even therapy help.

The root cause of suicide is lack of hope.


#13

The Question was,“Should Religious People Use Anti-Depressants?”

The premise of the questions seems to be that the writer of the question thinks that Religious People are some how immune from mental illness. That is absolutely incorrect! Mental illness is not a respecter of social, economic nor religious class or tendency.

Another possible error in the question is that one might think that anti-depressants are some of a magic “happy pill”. That is absolutely incorrect! They smooth out the cycles, leveling out the highs and the lows. Most often the psychiatrist prescribes 2 or 3 medications for manic- depression or the Bipolar condition. Mood swings need to be attenuated.

In some of the posts I read this," Oh just pray and recieve the sacraments and ‘offer it up’ ". That will not cure Bipolar sufferers. I know one man who tried to fight it for about 10 years with no positive results. He lost his job and his family. He resorted to alcohol to try to sleep. But after giving up and put himself in the hands of a top-notch Psychiatrist after 6 months he was a new man- he became his old self.

This old fashioned attitude that mental illness just occurs in “weak” people isn’t correct. Also some people say ,“Just tough it out - get a hold of yourself!”. That is spoken from ignorance. Mental illness IS REAL! One of the greatest football player in college and the pros is Ricky Williams. He is Bipolar, and very much a real man too. He found out he was Bipolar while in college. With treatment he evolved from a recluse to a man who went out on speaking tours. He was a Heisman Trophy Winner.


#14

I think it depends. If it has been medically diagnosed that there is a chemical imbalance in the brain, then medication is probably needed. However, sometimes all the person really needs is someone to talk to (i.e. therapy). Some people need both - medication and therapy. I believe I fit into that last category. I was diagnosed with depression (there was a question of whether I was bi-polar, but after talking to my therapist, it was concluded depression in addition to anxiety). I was on medication for over 2 years and seeing a therapist for about a year, and probably/possible still should be, but my health insurance was cancelled, and there is no way that I can afford my medication, and defininately not a therapist.

It’s also important that one is prescribed the proper medication. The first I was on gave me anxiety attacks a lot worse than I had, and so my medication needed to be switched.

A friend had been on one that gave him headaches, it was switched, and he got a seizure from that one, so it is important to make sure the correct medicine is prescribed.

Right now, I still get my “ups” and “downs” pretty bad, but since I can’t afford anything medically, I try talking to people and praying (which I did while I was on the medication anyway), and it helps a good deal, but I still think that the medication would still be a help.


#15

I will defer to someone with first hand experience. What I do know is that brain chemicals can be out of whack and meds can help. I have friends and family that are sure of that. I don’t think praying will hurt you ever, but it most likely will not help the brain chemicals, unless in the case of a miracle.


#16

My reason for this poll is that I took anti-depressants for 3 years, and it was awful. They seem to cause more manic-depressant episodes than “leveling” as suggested above. When my husband finally put his foot down and said “no more drugs, there is nothing wrong with you…” I weened off and started to feel like myself again (myself before the doc. said I was depressed and put me on pills). Now I have a very close friend…more like a sister really…that is taking anti-depressants and is experiencing the same manic-depressant episodes I remember. She believes in God, but has left the Church. I really don’t think she needs drugs, I think she needs to come back to the church. I also heard that it is a sin to live without any hope and to obsess about suicide. Christ died for us, then rose again…we should be dancing in the streets…no?


#17

I voted “other”. Take them only if you need them, and only if they help.


#18

I also voted “other”. Every individual is different. Some people suffer only one episode of depression (which is clinically defined as lasting over two weeks) in their lives, and never need medication; some need medication and therapy, some therapy only. For those who have recurrent episodes, some need ongoing medication, some ongoing therapy, some ongoing medication and therapy.


#19

I think they can be used in cases of severe depression. I think they are over prescribed, and abused. I think we have become a “pill nation” and if something is wrong, espeically with behavior, we tend to shift the blame from personal responisibilty, to a “chemical imbalance.” Is there such a thing? Yes, is it in the miilions of people taking these drugs, nope. Can they cause harm, both physically and psychologically, YES!!!

If you have a child or teenager, or if you are a teen ager yourself - you should not be taking any of these, with the one exception of Prozac. That is the only one that has shown favorable risk to benefit ratios, all the others either show a neutral stance, or an unfavorable one.

[size=6]Parents, Are your kids on or teenagers on antidepressants? Take them off, the UK and the FDA, as well as Suicide experts at Columbia University have made this reccomendation:[/size] May increase the risk of suicide in children under the age of 18.

Pax;


#20

[quote=BlessedBe13]I think it depends. If it has been medically diagnosed that there is a chemical imbalance in the brain, then medication is probably needed. However, sometimes all the person really needs is someone to talk to (i.e. therapy). Some people need both - medication and therapy. I believe I fit into that last category. I was diagnosed with depression (there was a question of whether I was bi-polar, but after talking to my therapist, it was concluded depression in addition to anxiety). I was on medication for over 2 years and seeing a therapist for about a year, and probably/possible still should be, but my health insurance was cancelled, and there is no way that I can afford my medication, and defininately not a therapist.

Right now, I still get my “ups” and “downs” pretty bad, but since I can’t afford anything medically, I try talking to people and praying (which I did while I was on the medication anyway), and it helps a good deal, but I still think that the medication would still be a help.
[/quote]


Thanks for posting your experience. Yes from my experience the doctors usually change the meds 3 or 4 times before arriving at the right dosage and drug.

Over the past 15 years there have been 3 in my family who required psychological help.All required several different drugs. They were: 2 Bipolar and one with severe depression ( w/ anxiety). They were all serious and were destructive, out of control. I know of what I speak. Many people have too much pride to admit they need help, or they dont want their kids to be mentally ill so they make them suffer.


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