Mental Health: Is Wearing Our Heart on Our Sleeve Good for the Soul? 

Comment:

News commentators are enjoying dissecting the ITV documentary interview with Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, generally known as “Harry & Meghan”, in which they both speak very openly about the negative impact of their royal public life on their mental health. 

 The reaction from viewers has been mixed.  Given that they are able to travel the globe at taxpayers’ expense, and use the camera and thick column inches in newspapers to lecture us all not to do the same (in the interests of saving the planet), there has been lots of criticism along the lines of “hypocrites”. 

However, whether true or not, that’s not the purpose of this discussion. We can all be hypocrites on occasion.   Right now, we are much more interested in the growing custom within once “stiff upper lip” British society, of just about everyone – royal or not – wearing their hearts on their sleeves and claiming poor mental health at every turn.

The following point was made in conversation with a friend on the topic earlier today:  what, at one time, a Catholic would have offered up in silent prayer for the sake of his/her own soul, and the souls of others in spiritual danger, is now considered a matter for counselling and/or medication.  Stress, anxiety, depression, you name it, there seems to be an increased sensitivity, to the point of hyper-sensitivity in many, if not most people, for – more often than not – trivial/no good reason.  Lamentably, that includes Catholics.  Surely, Catholics should be living on a rather higher level – notwithstanding that there will be, of course, those with genuine, diagnosed, mental health illness.

Or is the above assessment a bit too hard? Harsh, even?

Should Catholic Faith & Spirituality Protect Against Poor Mental Health? 

There’s hardly a day goes by, but the mainstream media do not cover the issue of mental health to highlight problems experienced by just about every group in society, where stress and anxiety – and even the temptation to take one’s own life – appear to be on the increase. Click here to read a previous discussion on the subject of suicide and then listen to the young man in the video offering his ideas on how Catholics might deal with anxiety… 

Comment: 

In a documentary aired on BBC last night,  Tony Blair’s former spin doctor, Alistair Campbell, spoke about his battles with drink and depression, and his ongoing battle with depression.   He was very open and honest, and, in the end, concluded that – in his view – despite his investigations into various treatments, and his use of anti-depressant tablets, he must reconcile himself to a lifetime of suffering depression.  But then, famously, Alistair Campbell doesn’t “DO God” so maybe Catholics suffering from the same anxiety and depression have something more positive ahead? 

Today is the Feast of St Rita of Cascia – a wife, mother, nun – who is patron of, among other things, impossible causes, so if you are suffering from mental health problems, or you know someone who is suffering in this way, you may consider praying to St Rita.

Share your thoughts – should our Catholic Faith and spirituality (sacraments, for example; rosary, for example; lives of the saints, for example) enable us to overcome, more easily, the affliction of poor mental health?   Or is that to misunderstand the nature of the problem? 

The Depressing Truth About The Pill

From the Spectator…

sadsilhouettedepressedwomanThe Pill has been linked to depression. Why isn’t this more of a scandal?

Because it is a sin to suggest that oral contraceptives may not be the greatest gift ever given to womankind

A study came out last week that should have caused great alarm. For 13 years, researchers at the University of Copenhagen studied more than a million women between the ages of 15 and 34 who were taking a type of drug — one that is popular in all developed countries. Taking this drug, the researchers found, correlated with an increase in the risk of depression. The correlation was particularly strong in adolescent girls, who showed an 80 per cent higher chance of being diagnosed with depression.

Usually when a story about women’s health and depression breaks, a phalanx of activists and campaigners pop up all over the media to ‘raise awareness’ of the issue. Last week, however, barely a peep — the papers carried the story and a few online sites ran delicately objective surveys of women on the pill, but there were few howls of outrage.  Read more here

Comment:

Perhaps the many Catholic women who have, sadly, opted to defy God’s natural moral law and take these dangerous pills will realise the error of their ways,  repent, and turn away from this sin once and for all.  Or are they more likely to continue on, with reckless disregard for their health – both mental and physical