The Power of Social Support

One of the great lessons I learned in by episode of clinical depression is that one cannot overcome an illness like major depression (or any dark night of the soul experience) by oneself. The weight of the agony is too immense, even for the strongest-willed individual, to bear alone.
Having healthy relationships not only helps to alleviate depression, but also helps to prevent its recurrence. Isolation, on the other hand, makes one more vulnerable to mental and physical illness.
During my illness, two people close to me, a previous therapist and a fellow student of metaphysics, committed suicide in the midst of similar bouts of depression. The cause of their tragedies, I believe, lies in the words of Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno, who said, "Isolation is the worst possible counsel." My friends had retreated into environments in which they were cut off from family, friends and therapeutic assistance. Fortunately, many people in the Portland area extended themselves to me-the staff and patients at day treatment, my partner Joan, countless friends, and the prayer ministry of LEC. Without them I would not have survived.
It is my belief that the key "ingredient" in my healing was the presence of group energy. I had met and prayed with Mary Morrissey many times; I had prayed with other ministers and members of the prayer team, as well as with my therapist-and still I continued to decline. It wasn't until someone said, "Let's put all of your support people together in one room" that the healing power of prayer became fully activated. The combined prayers and positive thoughts of the group members set up a spiritual energy field through which Divine Love moved and healed my body and soul. Read more...

No comments: