As now I have so much time without baby Yannis around to do my babysitting, I want to come up with answers to questions I think depression patients would tend to ask and feel traumatised about. So I will get a bit technical this time, to talk more on the link I see between depression and philosophy/religious studies. Sorry that this post is gonna be quite long!
The art, or the annoying thing about philosophy and religious studies is that there is no definite answers/open to any interpretations, and I bore with such subjects for 2 years. (Not sure which public exam you did exactly in order to graduate from secondary high school, I did the U.K. A-levels, and one subject in which I took was ‘Religious Studies & Philosophy’). Before I write more, let me point out the slight difference between philosophy and religious studies, as well as the interaction between them.
Philosophy asks questions such as, is this world infinite (yes, then you talk about the Big Bang theory and the black hole). You can also ask if there is life after death, then this philosophical question can invite religious studies to the scene, which means you can use the religious teaching that you buy to give your answer to the philosophical question, e.g. you can say there is a life in heaven after death because it is written in the Bible. Religious studies, as the name suggests, is to learn about different kinds of religions, which is theology at university level.
When many depression patients ask if our existence is wrong, it means in other words: philosophically speaking, what is the purpose of life? In ‘Depression&Me 抑鬱症&我‘, I remembered how due to missing my love ones I gave up on suicide. Then again I tried to figure out whether my existence is wrong in ‘Relapse 舊病復發‘ .
Today without the need to talk about philosophical theories, I think the answer is as simple as that: to love and to be loved. Words cannot describe the greatness of love. There is the love I receive from those who care about me when I was lost in each of my emotional breakdown, neither could I describe how great it was for me to have the capacity to love them in return.
If a depression patient has a belief that there is a greater force up there, so the ‘boss’ of their religion, I think 9/10 of us will ask, has this greater force forgotten or abandoned us. This is to ask, religiously speaking, why has the greater force allowed suffering (depression) to take place on us. When I was studying for my A-levels exam, I remember I memorised many different religion based theories. There is this philosopher (I forgot his name LOL) saying that we need to suffer in order to identify the different between good and bad; St Augustine made reference to the bible that suffering shall happen due to Adam & Eve. I think for this question, the answer has to be personal.
Yet one thing for sure, please seek the appropriate medical treatment as to get the possibility to put an end to the suffering you face, just like how I have to attend my psychiatrist appointment weekly.
Next, I personally see a link between my clinical depression and Christianity.
Psalm 42:3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
詩篇 42:3 我晝夜以眼淚當飲食，人不住地對我說：「你的神在哪裡呢？」
I would be inclined to draw biblical reference to the question about suffering. I had asked God if He wanted to condemn me so I have depression, or He simply forgot about me and let the devil seized hold of me.
In ‘Sorceress&Transgender 神婆&變性人‘, I came to my own personal conclusion that I just could not explain why God allowed depression to find me, but I don’t intend to find the answer, because of Ecc 3:11 ; I don’t think God has forgotten me or handed me over to the devil, as I personally think that should this be true, I will be either having people to visit my grave right now, or at least not even in the transition period (please refer to ‘Depressed transition 抑鬱過渡期‘ + ‘Still in transition 還在過渡中‘).
在 「Sorceress&Transgender 神婆&變性人」，我個人結論，就是我是無法解釋為何上帝允許抑鬱症找上我，但我不打算去尋找答案，因為傳道書3:11; 我不認為上帝已經忘記了我或是把我交給魔鬼，因為我個人認為，這要是真實的話，我要不就有人們現在給我掃墓，或至少不能進入過渡期( 請參閱「 Depressed transition 抑鬱過渡期 」+「 Still in transition 還在過渡中 」)。
Ecc 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart, yet no one can find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
Then I found out I basically reiterated my religious faith in ‘Trust or Distrust 相信和不相信‘, but out of it I also expressed that I am reluctant to go to church/be in religious community regularly anymore. For people who may be urging me to go to church again in the future (I am not saying that I swear that I won’t go back one day), I now give my justification. In Hebrews 10:25, I see the meeting for the purpose to uphold the Christian faith does not have to be going to Sunday services, because of Matthews 18:20. I figure out that I will listen to sermon recordings online, and will seek my close Christian friends on bible studies matter.
後來我發現我基本上在「 Trust or Distrust 相信和不相信 」重申了我的宗教信仰，但我也表示我不願意定期去教堂/在宗教團體。大家可能會催促我將來再次去教堂（我不是說我發誓我不會有回去的一天），我現在說一下我的理由。在希伯來書10:25，我想，為了堅守基督教信仰這目的而去的聚會不一定是去做禮拜，因為馬太福音 18:20。我會聆聽網上的講道錄音，並且會尋求我親密的基督徒朋友去說聖經學習的事。
Hebrews 10:25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
希伯來書 10:25 你們不可停止聚會、 好像那些停止慣了的人、 倒要彼此勸勉． 既知道那日子臨近、 就更當如此。
Matthews 18:20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
馬太福音18:20 因為無論在那裡、 有兩三個人奉我的名聚會、 那裡就有我在他們中間。
Wish you all a peaceful and joyful mind!