Thursday, February 25, 2010

Medication for Depression? Yeah: The Catholic Church is Okay With That

Updated (February 27, 2010)

Another celebrity-related suicide, apparently:
"Marie Osmond's son commits suicide"
Entertainment/, Today, MSNBC (February 27, 2010)

"Entertainment Tonight reports teen battled severe depression"

"Marie Osmond's teenaged son, Michael Blosil, has killed himself by leaping to his death around 9 p.m. Friday in Los Angeles, reports Entertainment Tonight, which quotes Marie's brother, Donny Osmond, as saying, 'Please pray for my sister and her family.'

"According to ET, Michael left a note explaining he intended to end his life after a lengthy battle with severe depression that left him, he said, feeling as if he had no friends and could never fit in...."
Even if I felt like it, I can't write a 'saner than thou' screed about how Michael Osmond should have 'risen above' his depression because it was 'all in his head.' This is a sad time for the Osmond family.

No pressure, but praying for them couldn't hurt.
I don't, as a rule, follow celebrity news, but a few names in this article caught my eye:
"Missing actor's body found in Vancouver park"
CNN (February 25, 2010)

"Actor Andrew Koenig, who had been missing since February 14, committed suicide, his father told reporters after his son's body was found Thursday in a park in Vancouver, British Columbia.

" 'My son took his own life,' Walter Koenig said at a news conference in the park.

The body of the former 'Growing Pains' star was found by several friends who conducted their own search of Stanley Park, where Andrew Koenig liked to walk, his father said....

"...He had stopped taking medication for depression about a year ago, his father said...."
First, my sympathies and prayers for the Koenig family, and everyone who is in a situation like this.

Needing Medication: It's Okay

I don't know what was going on inside Andrew Koenig's mind, or why he stopped taking mediation to control depression.

That detail jumped out at me, because I was diagnosed with major depression a little while ago (by my standards). I have been taking medication to control the physical side of that condition ever since. And, God willing, I am not going to stop taking medications that keep my brain working properly.

I don't like the idea of needing to constantly medicate myself: but I don't have to like it. I do, however, have an obligation to maintain my health.1

'Relying on God:' and Not Being Stupid

You'll read, once in a while, about some bunch of particularly religious people who don't believe in medicine: on the assumption that "God will provide." They generally hit the news when one of their number drops dead of a treatable condition, and it gets into the courts.

'Relying on the Lord' is a very nice notion - and appropriate. In some cases.

God could, if He wanted to, keep me alive and nourished even if I never touched another piece of food with my hands. He could, again if He wanted to, put the food in my mouth and let me take if from there - or even skip the whole digestion process with a sort of Divine IV setup.

Somehow, though, I don't think it would be prudent to try a stunt like that. Not without orders from upstairs.

I've got hands, and a brain. I figure I'm expected to do something with them. Like feed myself, while I'm able.


Seriously? If you're taking medications for depression of anything else: keep it up. It really is okay. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2288-2291)

Related posts:In the news:
1 I pretty much have to 'rely on God,' since God continually upholds and sustains all of creation. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 301) Life and physical health are a gift from God, so I've got a responsibility to "take reasonable care of them." (Catechism, 2288)


Ronald and Melissa said...

Thanks a lot for the text... I made a depression 10 years ago... Was only 20 back then, took medication for it. Everytime I am trying to get off the medication I have to go back. Started feeling guilty about it... But you are right, we are responsible to take care of ourselves- that's what the lord wants for us.
Thanks again.

Brian H. Gill said...

Ronald and Melissa,

My pleasure. I'm glad you're still around. I think I can relate to the 'feeling guilty' thing: I do not like the idea of not being able to handle something like depression 'on my own.'

But I've also got a brain and hands - and I've said that before.

Thanks very much for the comment - and please hang in there.

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Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.