|Black Mustard glowing in SoCal.|
It becomes crucial, then, that depression not be anesthetized or extinguished. Rather, we should listen to it. If it has been silenced by those who declare it a “disorder,” we are compelled to assist it in reclaiming its voice. And what if even the cry has ceased, or the sigh is no longer discernible? Might there be a form of depression, especially in societies demanding cheerfulness and compliant productivity, that no longer exhibits the expected mood?"—Dr. Bruce Rogers-Vaughn in “Blessed are Those Who Mourn: Depression as Political Resistance”
We honor our friend and elder Bruce Rogers-Vaughn who is retiring from Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville this month. He wrote an amazing book a few years ago called Caring for Souls in a Neoliberal Age. In it, he writes about being a psychotherapist for the past thirty+ years and bearing witness to major differences in the way clients are navigating the world now compared to the 1990's. One aspect is a deep-seated depression that so many of us are experiencing. Family, economic, social, political and religious systems are more disorganized, dysfunctional and destructive than ever. And our souls are paying a heavy price for it.