When people talk about spirituality, maybe it sounds like a sales pitch. Everything in your life will improve once you connect with Spirit. Can spirituality cure depression? “Sure it can! With God, all is possible!”
Now, ask me that same question. Can spirituality cure depression? Really?
Real answer? No. Maybe for some lucky individuals, but not for me. Having faith in God or the Universe won’t heal all your ailments, let alone mental illness. You won’t suddenly awaken to all the abundance and gifts you’ve been awaiting.
Building a spiritual practice is not a substitute for pursuing other forms of health and self-care. You shouldn’t walk into this realm expecting every wish to come true, like a genie in a bottle. That’s just not the purpose, and if that’s your intention for spiritual growth, you will be disappointed.
But let me share with more about what spirituality can do for you, what purpose it can serve in your life. Although spirituality cannot cure diseases like depression, there is a plethora of beauty inherent in faith.
Beginning the journey toward a more spiritual life won’t directly cure you, but you’ll likely see the groundwork laid for you to become wiser, stronger, and more resilient.
can spirituality cure depression?: my mental health story.
The entire reason I began writing on an online platform was mental illness. Depression, anxiety, and anorexia were the key facets of my life for a long time.
My entire time spent in high school and college was dominated by me understanding and trying to manage my mental health. It felt like carrying a hundred-pound weight on my shoulders for at least eight years (the very minimum).
These dark years are pretty blurry now in my memory. For that, I’m grateful. My mental health certainly ebbed and flowed, but at its very worst, suicide was on my mind.
Thankfully, as I grew older, I became more self-aware and directly fought against the constant depression. I can and still manage chronic anxiety, and I still have disordered-eating thoughts, but the major depression is really what drags me down in every sense of the term.
what can help depression?
For many people, their depression is situational: once present things improve, their mood lifts. However, many other people are like me and chronically face waves of depression for what feels like no good reason. One day, we’re great. The next, we can barely lift our heads off the pillow, let alone our mood.
The many aspects of our health, such as physical, mental, and spiritual, all influence one another. But only addressing one won’t necessarily improve the others. If only humans were less complicated, right?
I could list the many ways you can help manage your depression, but I’m not a qualified mental health worker. That’s where to start. Medication, therapy, and a combination there of will inevitably lead to positive progress. Please reach out for support.
but…can spirituality cure depression? (or be helpful?)
This is where spirituality can accompany you on your mental health journey. No, it’s not cure, but it can be a very valuable tool to enhance the other forms of treatment you pursue.
Medication and/or therapy will only be as effective as you allow it to be. Those resources lay the foundation for you to make progress and do the hard work involved in positivity. That’s the space for spirituality to manifest.
Depression makes us feel worthless, unlovable, and unfit to exist. I’ve found spirituality has a clear antithesis to that narrative, uplifting our inherent worth and value as a sentient being made of a Divine essence. You have a greater purpose for being in this world. We are all One unitive consciousness, connected through Spirit. You’re not alone.
I’m not about to prescribe you with a certain way to believe or practice your spirituality. That’s for you to discern. Explore the innumerable possibilities out there, and you’re bound to find a spiritual home.
Maybe you find a church and religious sanctuary to join in community. Or maybe you incorporate daily meditation and prayer into your routine. Spirituality is not one-size-fits-all, and that’s the true beauty of it.
so, can spirituality cure depression? no, but it can significantly help.
The answer to this big looming question of, Can spirituality cure depression?, is no. Religion or faith cannot and should not replace therapy, counseling, and medication. You cannot pray away the depression. There is no “cure” beyond major mental and emotional work.
Let’s paint a more accurate picture of spirituality’s role in mental health. In “Can spirituality cure depression?”, replace “cure” with “significantly help.” Interacting with the Divine can be a truly impactful next step once you feel stable in your current mental health treatment. It can act as a proactive measure to continue on your road of recovery.
That constant reminder of knowing your insurmountable worth and potential can move mountains. Expressing such love toward yourself and others can do wonders beyond measure. All it takes is that first step of curiosity and open-mindedness.
May you carry this valuable message with you wherever you go, however you may be feeling and thinking at this very moment: you are so deeply loved and valued. You possess the Divine within you. At least one person can look at you and see God in your eyes. Preserve your light. This world would be much darker without you.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie
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