Depression: Physiological or Psychological?
When it comes to depression, I still very much struggle with accepting the physiological aspect of it. Doctors don’t order MRIs and blood tests to diagnose a severe bout of depression; it’s based solely on affect and the patient’s report of symptoms (e.g., fatigue, loss of interest, suicidal thoughts). As I mused in “Should psych drugs be avoided at ALL costs?“, I wasn’t anti-medication then and I’m not anti-medication now. I just don’t see it as something that will help me. Lamictal, when I was on it, made me stable but I suffered from poor cognitive functioning, fatigue, and dizzy spells. The Abilify has been better in terms of cognitive functioning but I suffer from lethargy something serious.
The reason I began this post is to wonder about depression in the Christian’s life: is it physiological, is it psychological, or is it a mix of the two? (And of course, why would it be any different in a Christian’s life than in a non-Christian’s life?)
I’ve been grappling with the idea that maybe if I pray more, read my Bible more, and grow closer to Jesus, I’ll feel better. Although I know that’s not necessarily true. But I also don’t buy into the idea that if I get the right combination of medicine into my system, I will feel better. My psych wants to put me on a combination of Abilify and Prozac. Oh boy. I’m afraid to try life on an SSRI again. Although according to an old post about fluoxetine (Prozac), the worst side effect I suffered was somnolence (sleepiness) and I didn’t report any problems with suicidal thoughts after withdrawal so it might be safe to take.
I am still no closer to answering the question of whether depression is physiological or psychological. I lean toward psychological, but is it really just mind over matter? What do you think?