Doctors of the Soul or How Sigmund and his Progeny ended up in my Bible Study
It seems as though everyday we find some news article or scientific journal report or study attempting to tell us that they’ve found a biological link to one thing or another. Things once thought to be spiritual or social problems or matters of improper upbringing, parenting, and discipline have now been labeled as ‘brain problems’ or ‘biological deficiencies’.
In our culture blame shifting and victimization certainly do overcast personal responsibility. ‘Sin’ is quickly becoming an artifact and self-esteem therapy still coats the social fabric.
However, what saddens me about this trend is not its appearance, but rather its infiltration into the Church where psychology-thinking has taken over far too much ground. Next to the scam of ADD/ADHD where thousands and thousands of children are consuming daily doses of Schedule II psychotropic drugs as parents and educators have been convinced that their child’s ‘condition’ is actually a real ‘disease’ ( instead of a description of collected behavioral traits), perhaps the biggest example of this is depression.
Depression has become the new disease.
Now there are two things that I want to say at this point. First, I know people truly struggle with depression so this is not about bashing them or belittling them or attempting to in any way condescend. This commentary is not a condemnation of seeking solutions even when I do not personally agree with the remedy. I understand the deep valley.
Secondly, I know that there are cases where biophysical factors do play a role in our moods – e.g. female monthly cycles, true disabilities, not getting enough sleep, poor diet, etc. So this is not a refutation of the impact of those things on our attitudes and behavior. I know about those things as well.
What this post is about is a challenge to think beyond what is normally touted as fact. Here are some quotes for you to consider and meditate upon.
- The U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment of the United States Congress (1992) published a report titled The Biology of Mental Disorders. The report concludes: “Research has yet to identify specific biological causes for any of these disorders” (p. 14).
- In a psychopathology textbook used for second-year medical students, the authors state, “psychiatry is the only medical specialty that…treats disorders without clearly known causes” (Maxmen & Ward, 1995, p. 57).
- In a consensus conference sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in November of 1998, the panel of experts concluded: “There are no data to indicate that ADHD is due to a brain malfunction” (p.2). In their report they went on to state that the same can be said for “most psychiatric disorders, including disabling diseases such as schizophrenia” (p.2).
- Dr. William Wirshing (1999), a researcher and professor of psychiatry at UCLA, stated to a room full of psychiatrists that “we have been lying to everyone for years concerning the chemical imbalance model.” No one in the audience challenged him
- Dr. Ty Colbert, President of the Center for Psychological Alternatives to Biopsychiatry: “Believe it or not, it is freely admitted even within the ranks of psychiatry that no conclusive evidence exists to show that any form of mental illness is biologically caused…In contrast, there is considerable scientific evidence to show that psychotherapy can be more effective than psychiatric medication for disorders such as depression, mania, ADHD, anxiety, and even schizophrenia.”
- “The hope of psychological science became indistinguishable from the fact of psychological science. The entire subsequent history of psychology can be seen as a ritualistic endeavor to emulate the forms of science in order to sustain the delusion that it is already a science.” (“The Image of Man in Encounter Groups,” Sigmund Kock, The American Scholar, 1973, p. 636)
Think about these things. Think about them carefully. Do your own homework. Pray. More on this later.