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DieChecker

Thicker brain sections tied to spirituality:

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http://ca.news.yahoo.com/thicker-brain-sections-tied-spirituality-study-191414460.html

For people at high risk of depression because of a family history, spirituality may offer some protection for the brain, a new study hints.
While the new study suggests a link between brain thickness and religiosity or spirituality, it cannot say that thicker brain regions cause people to be religious or spiritual, Weissman and her colleagues note in JAMA Psychiatry.

It might hint, however, that religiosity can enhance the brain's resilience against depression in a very physical way, they write.

Very interesting. Another reason that Spirituality and Religion are not bad for you.

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the study seems... i don't know. the conclusions they take seem to involve a lot of maybes and possiblies. at least the article does acknowledge that.

with depression... i think that whatever helps the individual person in a healthy way is fine. and i hope the conversation here isn't insulting to people who deal with depression.

for me, in my experience, my depression was just as hard when i was a believing, spiritual catholic as it is now that i'm atheist. but that's me.

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I don't know of any one person that is not depress, and wants to commit suicide, but get on with it because what you leave to others is to give up instead of strength , is it really what you want to leave the earth ?We all have to go though hell, a ribble efect

Edited by docyabut2

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The fact that most depression can be treated with pharmaceuticals proves to me that it is a chemical matter. Two people each faced with the same difficulties: one is happy the other depressed. What one happens to believe is largely a matter of happenstance and personality.

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Makes sense to me. If you feel that some entity is controlling your life or everything or that everything works out when people die then that seems like it would make it harder to be sad about things.

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Makes sense to me. If you feel that some entity is controlling your life or everything or that everything works out when people die then that seems like it would make it harder to be sad about things.

It makes sense but probably is not the way things really work, since the hardest atheist can be cheered up with a regular dose of Prozac, and lots of firm believers get suicidal.
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er... i don't quite agree with that. chemical imbalances may be one of the primary contributors to depression, but there can be other factors involved as well, and narrowing it down to "you just need medication" doesn't quite sit well with me for some reason.

i mean, i do need medication, personally. i'm not against medication.

maybe i'm not disagreeing actually, i don't know.

see, here's a thing with depression that i don't know how spirituality would be able to help. depression can make it very difficult to think clearly. i swear i had a point to this post when i started it.

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It matters not whether you are happy or sad ... it is the things you do and keep doing when you are happy or sad ...

It matters not if you love or love lost ... it is the things you do for love and to keep love from being lost,

but never never hate, hate is the mental equivalent of murder and killing except hate murders ones own self and is a manner of killing oneself slowly ~

~

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It makes sense but probably is not the way things really work, since the hardest atheist can be cheered up with a regular dose of Prozac, and lots of firm believers get suicidal.

I lean more on the cognitive psychology side. Cognitive psychologist feel the way to fix a lot of problems is to change the way people think about them, hence the cognitive part.

For example lets say someone spills a drink on their brand new jacket. Depending on how we choose to think and react to it, that spill can either be the end of the world and ruin the rest of our day or it can be no big deal.

There is defently a chemical effect but we have to remember it is a two way street. For example long-term meditation changes the way our brain is wired, making us happier and more relaxed. So if we put an effect in to relax and let go we can re wire our brains to make us cope better with things.

Edited by spartan max2
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Oh I don't doubt for a moment that cognitive work can help and that some depressions may not be chemical. I still think pharmaceuticals should be the first avenue of work, combined with good counseling. The key word here is "good."

Perspective is all. How you look at things; the color glasses you wear; half empty or half full; all that. I know I went through horrible depression during and after my wife's death, so I had a good excuse to be depressed, but no number of monks and priests and psychologists and others helped and some harmed. After about six weeks of Prozac things changed -- subtly -- I was hardly aware but the stuff I swear works and I have to have it.

Hate is a funny thing: I don't know if I am capable of it. I went through the American war and never once hated Americans, even though they did some pretty bad things. I think I could see things from their point of view and kinda understood what was going on in spite of everyone's good intentions.

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Our ability of expression with or without hinderance decideds how you feel. So the idea of medication is to create a concoction that stimulates the brain to act "normal" as if you were typically expressing yourself which is easier said than done. The problem is when you keep taking them and the side effects build up.

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The main side effect is what? Loss of libido? For a seventy year old man that happens anyway, and maybe I could use it. Sex is a pain when you are old and short and fat and your wife has died and any thought of someone other than her is just impossible.

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That explains why athiests are always such mean bitter people.

I'm kidding please dont kill me!

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That explains why athiests are always such mean bitter people.

I'm kidding please dont kill me!

Some kind of fail-safe device planted by our creators? They didn't want to create a completely autonomous war-like race, I guess.

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Depression, it's so prevalent in our modern society. Brought on by what? Chemical imbalance, situation, heredity.... all of the listed.

It's big business now isn't it, the treatment thereof. There are a myriad of drugs to treat the symptoms of "depression", there are a myriad of "professionals" that offer assistance and a myriad of scientists studying the "whys and hows" of depression.

It's all on an individual need basis, really. If believing in a higher being helps, then so be it. As long as no one is being hurt by it.

I only hope that the individual relying on religion alone realizes that you cannot sit on your butt and wait for your higher power to do your work for you. This has been my experience with many family members and friends who are depressed and are hyper-religious. They may be outwardly happier because they think they have a lot of support from fellow church members and, of course, their god, but:

Will your god help you find a job if all you do is sit around feeling depressed about not having a job?

Will your god help your husband/wife stop drinking when you are the one to go out and buy the booze to keep him/her from becoming violent?

Will your god help you accept your past when you can't even bare to think about it?

Some people need chemical help, some people need religion, but all need to take responsibility for their own mental health (unless you're mentally incapacitated and can't, of course).

There's not just one solution.

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I lean more on the cognitive psychology side. Cognitive psychologist feel the way to fix a lot of problems is to change the way people think about them, hence the cognitive part.

For example lets say someone spills a drink on their brand new jacket. Depending on how we choose to think and react to it, that spill can either be the end of the world and ruin the rest of our day or it can be no big deal.

There is defently a chemical effect but we have to remember it is a two way street. For example long-term meditation changes the way our brain is wired, making us happier and more relaxed. So if we put an effect in to relax and let go we can re wire our brains to make us cope better with things.

Yup! Cognitive Behavioural Therapy actually is about changing negative and repetitive thoughts. It's a good way to come off anti depressants for many people.

Edited by Star of the Sea
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the study seems... i don't know. the conclusions they take seem to involve a lot of maybes and possiblies. at least the article does acknowledge that.

with depression... i think that whatever helps the individual person in a healthy way is fine. and i hope the conversation here isn't insulting to people who deal with depression.

for me, in my experience, my depression was just as hard when i was a believing, spiritual catholic as it is now that i'm atheist. but that's me.

I do agree that Correlation is not Causation. Just because there appears to be a link between being spiritual and lowered chance of depression does not mean those things equal each other, but only that some variable that exists amoung the group called Spiritual and the group called Depression Resistive are the same. Might be having lots of good friends, or might be from reading (the Bible) a lot... who knows. But it is interesting...

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Depression, it's so prevalent in our modern society. Brought on by what? Chemical imbalance, situation, heredity.... all of the listed.

It's big business now isn't it, the treatment thereof. There are a myriad of drugs to treat the symptoms of "depression", there are a myriad of "professionals" that offer assistance and a myriad of scientists studying the "whys and hows" of depression.

It's all on an individual need basis, really. If believing in a higher being helps, then so be it. As long as no one is being hurt by it.

I only hope that the individual relying on religion alone realizes that you cannot sit on your butt and wait for your higher power to do your work for you. This has been my experience with many family members and friends who are depressed and are hyper-religious. They may be outwardly happier because they think they have a lot of support from fellow church members and, of course, their god, but:

Will your god help you find a job if all you do is sit around feeling depressed about not having a job?

Will your god help your husband/wife stop drinking when you are the one to go out and buy the booze to keep him/her from becoming violent?

Will your god help you accept your past when you can't even bare to think about it?

Some people need chemical help, some people need religion, but all need to take responsibility for their own mental health (unless you're mentally incapacitated and can't, of course).

There's not just one solution.

Like you said, if they have the support of a lot of people getting through any of those situation is actually going to be easier. It is doing those situations alone that will mentally kill you very quickly.

And I agree it is an industry. Just like the increased labeling of kids with ADHD and Autism, depression is an easy label to slap on a patient and hand them some meds.

Edited by DieChecker

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It makes 100% sense that having a spiritual life relieves depression. Any time I am feeling out of sorts, and believe me I do understand what depression is.... I know where I can go to get my peace and that is into my prayer corner. This allows me to think more clearly and see the larger picture. Feeling love from the creator, expressing love for all life is healing and is exactly why spirituality and religion exist and are popular. We are made to be in connection with the divine source, the relationship is medicine. Depression and other "mental disorders" including alcoholism and drug addiction are cured by the holy spirit every single day. The reality of the conclusion this article has made is a no-brainer.

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The fact that most depression can be treated with pharmaceuticals proves to me that it is a chemical matter. Two people each faced with the same difficulties: one is happy the other depressed. What one happens to believe is largely a matter of happenstance and personality.

There are two basic forms of depression and one is certainly just as you describe.

The other is not a clinical or chemical imbalance but an emotional and intellectual state of mind caused by environmental factors, personal history and experiences such as a death in the family or another form of loss, or ongoing chronic pain This form of depression can be altered with counselling, support, practical measures such as improving personal circumstances, and also by faith and belief, but is not amenable to altering the body's chemistry, because there is nothing wrong with it, or out of balance, to begin with. Some people simply have a greater resilience of mind; a condition which can be taught/learned, and do not get as depressed by circumstances as others do; because they have skills to readjust their mental attitudes and look at life more rationally without blaming them selves or others.. Mind gym is a programme offered online by the university of Sydney to help people develop greater resilience to depression.

Edited by Mr Walker

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It makes sense but probably is not the way things really work, since the hardest atheist can be cheered up with a regular dose of Prozac, and lots of firm believers get suicidal.

Exceptions to the rule merely help establish the rule.

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The main side effect is what? Loss of libido? For a seventy year old man that happens anyway, and maybe I could use it. Sex is a pain when you are old and short and fat and your wife has died and any thought of someone other than her is just impossible.

My commiserations Frank, but also I cant help liking this post and your honesty.
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Depression, it's so prevalent in our modern society. Brought on by what? Chemical imbalance, situation, heredity.... all of the listed.

It's big business now isn't it, the treatment thereof. There are a myriad of drugs to treat the symptoms of "depression", there are a myriad of "professionals" that offer assistance and a myriad of scientists studying the "whys and hows" of depression.

It's all on an individual need basis, really. If believing in a higher being helps, then so be it. As long as no one is being hurt by it.

I only hope that the individual relying on religion alone realizes that you cannot sit on your butt and wait for your higher power to do your work for you. This has been my experience with many family members and friends who are depressed and are hyper-religious. They may be outwardly happier because they think they have a lot of support from fellow church members and, of course, their god, but:

Will your god help you find a job if all you do is sit around feeling depressed about not having a job?

Will your god help your husband/wife stop drinking when you are the one to go out and buy the booze to keep him/her from becoming violent?

Will your god help you accept your past when you can't even bare to think about it?

Some people need chemical help, some people need religion, but all need to take responsibility for their own mental health (unless you're mentally incapacitated and can't, of course).

There's not just one solution.

Actually the answer to all those questions is a qualified yes. God sometimes gives us much more than we deserve.Basically however I agree with you. People should look at mental health, like heart disease and other physical diseases like diabetes.

Learn how to recognise symptoms. Get help early, Do everything you can proactively so you do not get these diseases, and use the most effective methods to ameliorate their effects.

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It makes 100% sense that having a spiritual life relieves depression. Any time I am feeling out of sorts, and believe me I do understand what depression is.... I know where I can go to get my peace and that is into my prayer corner. This allows me to think more clearly and see the larger picture. Feeling love from the creator, expressing love for all life is healing and is exactly why spirituality and religion exist and are popular. We are made to be in connection with the divine source, the relationship is medicine. Depression and other "mental disorders" including alcoholism and drug addiction are cured by the holy spirit every single day. The reality of the conclusion this article has made is a no-brainer.

This is absolutely true, but people should always also avail themselves of the best medical and professional advice they can find or afford.

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This is absolutely true, but people should always also avail themselves of the best medical and professional advice they can find or afford.

Not all doctors are good ones and sometimes the spiritual life truly is sufficient. Being able to communicate with God helps determine what it is you need and opens up doors for proper provisions. This empowers your ability to think rationally and healthily about your position.

Edit: church is totally free and if you find the right one it is much better than expensive therapy. It is not always about drugs, our brains and the way they think produce chemicals and we can also find balance through diet, exercise and other activities, like art and music for example.

Depression occurs when peoples insides are rejecting what is going on on the outside. There is a clash of emotions involving many factors. It is great to find relief but terrible only to mask or dumb down the real problem.

It sucks on an individual level because to submit to a true spiritual life is vigorous. But if done correctly is very rewarding, not only for you but many generations.

Edited by SpiritWriter

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