Which Came First? Religion or Depression

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Ohg Rea Tone is all or nothing. He is educated and opinionated, more clever than smart, sarcastic and forthright. He writes intuitively - often disregarding rules of composition. Comment on his posts - he will likely respond with characteristic humor or genuine empathy. He is the real-deal.

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Which Came First? Religion or Depression

There’s a cartoon with a chicken and an egg in bed together. The chicken is smoking a cigarette with a very satisfied expression on his face, and the egg is restless and disgruntled. The caption above the egg says, “Well, I guess that answers the question.”

That’s how I think of the relationship between depression and religion.

I can’t say which came first in my life because they were both there from the start. And you need only read through a few of the lives of the saints or walk the exhibition aisles at the Religious Booksellers Trade Exhibit to see that holy people aren’t all that happy much of the time. In fact, Beliefnet approached me to write Beyond Blue two years ago because they learned that so many of their readers suffer from depression. I’m not making this up or exaggerating. Reported in the “American Journal of Psychiatry,” researchers today are using high definition brain scans to document a biological underpinning for religiosity and spirituality related to the neurotransmitter serotonin.

Saint Augustine once wrote, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.”

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