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The number of depressives increases every year. About 5% of the world’s population suffers from depressive disorders. More than half the overall number of psychologically ill consists of persons with varying expressions of depression syndrome. Millions of people throughout the world take special medicines (antidepressants, neuroleptics, relaxants), to gain spiritual comfort and well-being. One can hear discussions about depression, despondent moods, melancholy, suppression everywhere: in public transportation, at work, among acquaintances… Today, many consider depression to be an illness of civilization, with its demands on life and on humans.

Science knows many reasons for the rise of depressive states, but among scientists, it is not acceptable to speak of sin. But that is precisely the reason for many forms of abnormal depression and despondency. Both the Holy Scriptures and the holy fathers speak of this. The millennia of Orthodox experience witness this.

Depression — is, in its way, a signal to the soul about its calamitous state. This particularly applies to those depressions, which are not connected with the worsening of living conditions. A person suffers from sorrow and hopeless melancholy. As a doctor, I try to relieve these persons’ suffering with medication, discussions and human sympathy. But satisfaction during the sick person’s visit only comes when the discussion turns to the soul, faith and repentance. Then, with the consent of the patient, we try to evaluate the symptoms of the illness from a spiritual viewpoint.

I will not enter into details. I will only say that the Lord will not leave helpless those patients who find the road to church, repent of their sins and begin to live as Christians. Some recover; others, with God’s help, learn to fight their passions and, in this manner, control their disability.

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