The Depression Epidemic: Followup by John Cali

We received some great feedback on our last blog post, The Depression Epidemic. The comments from one of our readers reminded me I had perhaps been a bit insensitive, albeit unintentionally, toward people who’ve found antidepressants helpful.

Here, slightly edited, are some excerpts from the comments, plus my responses:

Reader’s comments:

“I notice Dr. (Andrew) Weil is quoted as saying that drug-based medical solutions don’t work for half the people who take them. I am a member of the other half, and in my experience, when these drugs are appropriately prescribed, they do indeed treat the cause, rather than the effects, of severe depression. I am very grateful to live at a time when the delicate nature of brain chemistry balance is understood to the degree that relatively simple adjustments (such as with fluoxetine) create for me the possibility of having a productive, happy life.”

My response:

“Thank you very much for sharing your experiences. In our article I mentioned family members taking antidepressants. What I didn’t mention was some of them had positive experiences with the drugs, as you did. And, as Dr. Weil clearly implied, many folks were helped by the drugs. So thanks again for sharing.”

Reader’s additional comments:

“For me, mindfulness, prayer and other techniques for staying connected to spirit require a degree of self-awareness. Without pharmaceutical balancing assistance, I am robbed of this faculty. So antidepressants are helpful for me in offering a baseline, from which I can begin the same kind of work we all strive to do when mood problems diminish our experience. I will also say that my experience helps me to be more compassionate with others who are troubled.”

My response:

“I understand. I appreciate your additional comments. I would never tell anyone it’s wrong to rely on drugs or doctors. In many cases, such as yours, that reliance is the path back to physical and spiritual balance and health. For others, it is not. But none of us have any right to judge or criticize another’s path. All we can do is offer our own perspective. So thank you again for sharing yours.”

As a final note here, I am not against doctors or prescription drugs. What I am uncomfortable with is seeing folks relying exclusively on doctors and drugs, and ignoring their own inner guidance.

Abraham, in speaking of drugs, once said this:

“Anything that causes you to allow what you desire is the process of coming into alignment. And so, we’re not, in any way, validating or invalidating anything….We applaud anything that assists someone in allowing the Well-being, that they so much want and deserve, to flow.”

A while back, in a discussion of addiction, my spirit guides said this:

“We’ve said this before, but as bizarre as it may sound, we believe addictions are a good thing. Because they temporarily take you away from your pain and help you feel good. You will — you must — ultimately come to the point where you know you don’t need anything or anyone outside yourselves to feel good. But, in the meanwhile, any light is better than the darkness.


Please share your thoughts with us below.

We welcome your comments and thoughtful opinions. Please keep them kind and compassionate. If needed, we’ll edit for clarity. Also, we’ll delete anything we consider inappropriate.

4 Responses

  1. Wendy Iredale

    Hi John,

    Just wanted to say that I think you are being a bit hard on yourself. If we’re too worried about someone thinking we are being insensitive, we probably would have to stop talking altogether. When we put forth our thoughts (especially as gently as you do), it gives us all more perspectives from which to look at things

    As for antidepressants, seems to me it is probably not an all or nothing sort of situation. Actually, hardly anything is for me.

    love and hugs,

    • John Cali

      Thank you very much, Wendy. I was not worried about what anyone thought, nor was I being hard on myself — I gave up those bad habits long ago. 🙂 I just realized, after I re-read what I wrote, I had been a bit insensitive. No one had complained about it. It was only only my realization that I could have said what I said a bit more kindly.

      I agree with you — neither antidepressants, nor anything else, are “all or nothing” situations. It was exactly that realization that prompted me to say I’d been insensitive.

      Love and hugs to you too,

  2. rosa

    Hello to you all, I’m Rose and I am 62 years old .. In all my spiritual journey I have learned to work with my body, talking to my cells and glands ..
    The body listens when we are connected with it ..
    That ‘was my experience and medicines do not take anything, maybe I take some homeopathic remedy …

    All this work with my body led me to connect with my soul and I am joyful and light in this time of great change ..

    I wish you all love and light in your experiences … Hugs .. Rosa.

    To use the translator to write .. I hope it is clear .. Thanks ..

    • John Cali

      Hi Rosa,

      Thanks very much for sharing your experiences. If more people could do what you’re doing, we’d probably have a lot fewer depressed people.

      Your translation is clear, and I appreciate you taking the time and energy to share with us.


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