Ophelia’s Funeral: Suicide and The Church

ophelia

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Public Square 2014 Summer Series: Conversations on Religious Trends. Read other perspectives from the Patheos community here. In 1915, my great grand-aunt Emma Annie Rabig died at the age of 24. I have a copy of her death certificate. Next to “Cause of death” is written “Body viewed.” Nothing more. There’s a [Read More...]

Mental Illness and the Notion of “Choice”

2choices

In the wake of the shocking death of Robin Williams, there’s been a lot about depression and suicide in the news and social media, some of it very good, much of it sheer nonsense. I don’t think we’ve ever had a national moment quite like this, in which a beloved entertainer, known for making people laugh, [Read More...]

Michael Lichens on Depression

When I write about mental health issues and depression, I tend to do so obliquely, so I know how difficult it is for Michael Lichens, Editor of Catholic Exchange, to write about it as well as he does. An excerpt I wanted to point out that depression touches many lives, whether we know it or not. [Read More...]

Sadness Is Not Depression

depression

I awoke today with a deep sadness. My beloved dog, after a brief and terrible illness, died yesterday. Before the morning fog cleared from my head, I was waiting for her to stand, stretch, and put her front paws on the bedside, as she did every day. And she wasn’t there. One day I hope [Read More...]

Ft. Hood Shooting: Let’s Not Blame the SSRIs, Okay?

Ft. Hood shooter Ivan Lopez

Before starting, my prayers go out to the victims in the Ft. Hood shooting, including the shooter himself, who appears to have been suffering from mental illness. Their families are dealing with an unbearable and senseless loss. May God hold them in His hands and comfort them. This post, however, is about something else. I [Read More...]

New Imaging Reveals Unexpected Order in the Brain

National Institute of Mental Health Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D. calls the image above “a high resolution wiring diagram of our brains.” Well, sort of, but I won’t fault the guy for reaching for a bit of overstatement in order to produce a pithy soundbite, and what the team has accomplished is pretty dang amazing. [Read More...]


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