Depression:One of the Seven Deadly Sins?

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by Zurkhardo, Jan 2, 2009.

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  1. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    For any of us that have struggled with depression, nothing adds more to the burden than the feeling of oppression and misunderstanding levied on us by society. Those that endure melancholy also endure accusations of weakness and mental fragility and are left to feel guilty and shameful of their sadness, even if they can't help it.

    This may very well have its origins in the Judeo-Christian heritage of the western world. Since the Old Testament of the Jews, 'idleness,' whether by laziness or by 'sadness,' was repeatedly viewed as a grave sin, namely because it wasted the lives given to us by God. There was a cultural reason as well, since at that time and for much of history as well, it took a lot of work to survive as well support one's family. As such, lack of working and contribution, regardless of the reasons, was always deemed as especially evil.

    Fatigue and sadness were often correlated, since they both led to a lack of 'productivity' and were often interconnected (when sad, you are tired, and visa versa). In fact the two were combined into the sin of Sloth, one of the Deadly Sins, for just that reason. Not only did sadness lead to one's wasting of their own lives, but as the logic goes, to despair was to lack faith in God, an obviously grave offense. The indifference and apathy that are also symptoms of depression were also viewed as evil, leading people to allow evil and injustice to proper. For all these reasons, sloth, a rather broad and complex sin, was viewed as among the most terrible.

    For centuries, depression, which was until recently known as sloth or melancholy, was treated as a moral corruption or even as the work of the devil. Those that were sad were not only separated from God, but they brought themselves closer to the devil, who could exploit their despair and weak minds for his own evil. In fact, one 'cure' for depression often included an exorcism!

    I postulated that the legacy of this explains one of the reasons why depression is still so stigmatized. For centuries our culture, so influenced by Christian tradition, view depression as something to be abhorred and shunned, something dark and even evil. This was, and still is, especially the case in Protestant countries with puritan heritage, namely the US and to some degree the UK (which, coincidentally, have one of the highest rates of depression). Its only recently that depression has been viewed as something medical and psychological rather than as a moral and spiritual failing...but old habits die hard...
  2. BH Manners

    BH Manners Member

    I have heard and read about these arguments before.

    It is argued that depression is due to a lack of faith and trust in Allah and this lack of faith is what is causing the sense of hopelessness and apathy and sadness.

    This may be true in *some* cases but by no means all. It has now been proven that certain parts of the human brain which regulate emotion can malfunction and cease to work properly resulting in much of the depression we see now. In my opinion I think the reason the problem is endemic here in the US is because of our cultural and moral values that state we have no intrinsic value simply because we are a human being but have to always be "competing" and clawing our way up or at least not fall behind. You can't trust anyone, everyone is alienated from everyone else and we act like animals towards each other. Over time this just wears us down mentally because by nature most of us are supposed to be social and empathetic Being forced to go against this nature really wears and tears us down. We are told there is something wrong with us when there really isn't and never was. The problem is the people who do not love and having no empathy for others controling the value system of the culture we live in.
  3. Stranger1

    Stranger1 Forum Buddy & Antiquities Friend

    :blink::hit::yikes::bash::whack:eek:ver my head!!! But thats not hard to do!!!LOL!!!
  4. ThoseEmptyWalls

    ThoseEmptyWalls Well-Known Member

    I saw this on tv today.. The seven deadly sins arent listed anywhere in the bible. They were made up by a monk and then in 500 something a.d were made famous by a pope. The monk was sent into exile for having a romantic affair with someone elses wife and made up the list of things to avoid for his brother monks. Sorry that descriptions not very clear :huh:
  5. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    I know of that interesting tale (in fact I recently saw that same show), but despite their lack of Biblical bearing they were strongly influential and likely explains, among other reasons as identified by BH, this societal stigma against depression.

    Thanks for the input guys (even you're crazy one stranger :p)
  6. ThoseEmptyWalls

    ThoseEmptyWalls Well-Known Member

    Sorry- I didnt bother reading any of the other replies. I get lazy like that sometimes. I never really believed in any of that seven deadly sin crap. I have read the bible from cover to cover. Granted I cant remember most of what I read I do remember none of those so called seven deadly sins were listed in the bible. Personally I think they were ways for the church to controll and keep their power and influence. Just my oppinion though.
  7. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Indeed you're correct. None of them are in the Bible, although a few are loosely alluded to. They were essentially fabricated, perhaps for that reason. I was merely noting the likely influence of much of the anti-Depression mentality of people in Western society.
  8. Rosenrot

    Rosenrot Forum Buddy

    Depression is a mental illness. You can't just decide, oh, I'm not depressed anymore, so if it's one of the seven deadly sins, then god's a selfish prick because he should know you can't just cure depression by flipping a switch.
  9. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Yes, hence why it's man's fabrication. I refuse to believe in an omnipotent force that would damn his creations for feeling sadness.

    Humanity, however, seems different. Depression has always been a taboo throughout most societies, as evidenced by it being deemed a damning sin for much of history. This only proves the bizzare--perhaps animalistic-opposition to sadness.
  10. Hurted

    Hurted Well-Known Member

    Bible is the biggest crap ever written :)
  11. cinZamurai

    cinZamurai Well-Known Member

    Interesting read, thanks for sharing :)
  12. SAVE_ME

    SAVE_ME Well-Known Member

  13. Hurted

    Hurted Well-Known Member

    amen to that!:biggrin:
  14. the fleet asleep

    the fleet asleep Well-Known Member

    yeah, the sin of sloth is the combinantion of a few things, one of which being depression. the 7 deadly sins (started off as 8, then laziness and sadness were combined to form sloth) doesnt appear in the bible, and i think was written something like 300 years after the bible was compiled.

    the saddest part is that the devoutly religious consider depression as sinful as they do. they figure that a belief in god should inherently make you happy; that sadness must mean that youve either not fully accepted god, or that a demon must be dwelling within you. we know thats not the case, but thats just how some people see it.

    one thing to keep in mind too, though, is that sadness/laziness had more serious implicactions back then. if you were too depressed to work in your community, then everyone around you would suffer. if you didnt tend the fields, your family starved. if you didnt keep the walls sturdy, invading heretics murdered your people. in bible times, sloth was as dangerous as anything. these points dont ring true this day and age, but a real bible thumper, one who takes the bible in every literal sense, would argue against that.

    depression may make me a sinner, but it doesnt make me a bad person. anybody who uses the bible to tell me the opposite only does so because they feel a need to fit in with a certain croud, and fight a battle against common sense to prop up their adapted identity. i feel bad for anyone who believes depression is a choice, or caused by demons, so their opinion could only be used as a fuel for my pity
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