Sunday, January 26, 2014

Spirituality, Depression, and Recent Events

A brand new post is up over at Psychology Today: Brains, Spirituality, and Depression. It discusses the links between…well, guess. There are some interesting anatomical findings in the brain that correlate with both increased spirituality and a reduced risk of depression, but go read to find out more.

Thanks for comments and donations! I've not always been on top of the comments situation, and given the vagaries of gmail, I can't have my comment-approval gmail open at work…sometimes it takes me a week or two to approve a comment, and some get missed in the avalanche of spam. Excuses excuses…

I'm on track to writing more, though new article/science stuff will probably end up on Psychology Today first to be a more effective use of my time, because I have to blog monthly over there to get paid. :-). Other recent activities include freezing, hiking, a lovely Brazilian steakhouse dinner with Chris Kresser, Mat Lalonde, Sarah Johnson, and Diana Rogers and registering the youngest for…gasp…kindergarten.

Chris Kresser's book is out, btw! Great addition to the paleo book menagerie. And you might find the author of the Foreward to be familiar.

Too cold unless you are these guys

Meltwater on the ice-covered pond at Stony Brook


  1. A lot of the religious right wingers I meet around here seem to be either depressed, angry, addicted or all three.

    1. Religious and spiritual aren't necessarily the same thing.

  2. I can only offer my personal, anecdotal report. I was depressed for years because of my IBS. When Paleo lifted the illness, I felt much better mentally. However, I still had some ups and downs, especially when I was prescribed hormonal drugs for a surgery last year. Then, in May of 2013, just a few days after my 40th birthday, I became spiritual due to surprising circumstances, after over 10 years of atheism. I should make it clear here that I'm still not religious, spirituality sits somewhere between the two in my worldview.

    For me, spirituality is more about learning your place in the universe, and understanding that universe better, and also, getting *personal* proof for these beliefs (as opposed to dogma for religious people, or need for scientific proof in atheism). I must say that I now see the world with completely different eyes than I used to. I see it more as a cosmic experiment that is both serious and a joke. I realize now that everything just is, and everything exists exactly for the experience of existence. Basically, I figured, the meaning of life is life itself. When I understood these concepts, they made sense to me, and there was instant liberation of existential angst. I have absolutely none anymore.

    So, I'd theorize, there are three kinds of depressions: chemical, situational, and existential. I've been through all three (particularly situational), but it's the existential one that sets you completely free when it's finally cleared up. At least it was the case for me.


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