Dealing With Depression: Getting the Right Kind of Help Matters


The news of Robin Williams' suicide has brought the insidious nature of depression front and center.  I know too many Christians who believe that they should be immune from depression because they are Christian.   While research shows that some believers can be more resistant to depression and have a somewhat easier time bouncing back when they do get depression, it is also true that some approaches to religion can be associated with higher rates of depression and emotional problems.  When … [Read more...]

Inconsistent Home Life/Common Family Problems May Increase Risk of Brain Disorders by Up To 60%

mental illness

Because parents don't have enough to worry about, two new studies point to the impact of a child's home life on brain development.The first study looks at how common family problems like lack of affection, poor communication, parental arguments and the like actually resulted in children developing a smaller cerebellum than children who did not experience the same type of common family problems.The study led by Dr Nicholas Walsh, lecturer in developmental psychology at the … [Read more...]

Double-Blind Study Shows Lavender Oil Capsules As Effective as Lorazepam (Ativan) for Treating Anxiety


This is fascinating.  In doing some research for a client with generalized anxiety disorder, I found this double-blind, placebo-control study on the effectiveness of lavender oil capsules (silexan) for treating anxiety.  Remarkably, the study appears to show that the lavender oil capsules were as effective as lorazepam (Ativan) AND it had no side effects or potential for abuse.  Additionally,  participants experienced relief from their anxiety without any drowsiness.  Here is an excerpt from the … [Read more...]

NY State Bishops Pen Pastoral Letter on Mental Illness.

mental illness

Praise God for this incredibly important step toward better pastoral care for all Catholics--and all people--with mental illness. It's very brief but completely worth the read.  I hope you'll take a moment to look it over and then meet back here to discuss it.  My thanks to Deacon Greg for alerting us all to the exciting things happening in his neck of the woods. Here's a sample....Our society has made great strides in our understanding and treatment of mental illness. But in many cases the l … [Read more...]

Study Says,Casual Sex Can Cause Depression


“There’s always been a question about which one is the cause  and which is the effect.  This study  provides evidence that poor mental health can lead to casual sex, but also that  casual sex leads to additional declines in mental health.” Sandberg-Thoma conducted the study with Claire Kamp Dush,  assistant professor of human sciences at Ohio State.  The research was published online recently in  the Journal of Sex Research and will  appear in a future print edition. One surprising finding was th … [Read more...]

Is Atheism A Mental Illness?


Sean Thomas at the London Telegraph seems to think so....Thanks to a couple of surveys, it’s being put about in certain circles that atheists have higher IQs than believers. That may or may not be the case, but...Let’s dispense with the crude metric of IQ and look at the actual lives led by atheists, and believers, and see how they measure up. In other words: let’s see who is living more intelligently.And guess what: it’s the believers. A vast body of research, amassed over recent decades … [Read more...]

Catholics and Mental Illness (An Ongoing Series): Michelle–A Woman with Depression Suffers Alienation in the Church

St. Dymphna, Patroness of the Mentally Ill, Pray for Us.

A new post in our "What’s Your Experience?" Series,  in which People-of-Faith share their experience of depression, anxiety, and other mental illness as they relate to their parish and their Catholic faith.  Today, Michelle writes of her experience with crippling depression.Dr. Greg,  I was amazed when I came across a link for your article on Facebook because I have spent the past few days wondering about "What is my place in the Church?" as a mentally ill Catholic.I have been thinking a … [Read more...]

Catholics and Mental Illness (An Ongoing Series)– W. A Woman with Anxiety/Intermittent Explosive Disorder


A new post in our What’s Your Experience?  Series,  in which People-of-Faith share their experience of depression, anxiety, and other mental illness as they relate to their parish and their Catholic faith.  W.  a young woman in her 20's writes of her experience with a disorder that leads to overwhelming and violent bouts of anxiety and anger.I'm a young adult, in my early 20s. It was only in college that major emotional wounds inflicted by my father manifested in what certain Catholic psych … [Read more...]