I’ve been a little scared of losing God most of my professional education and practice life. Everyone knows that no one can make it through psychiatry and still believe in God. And those that do make it through psychiatry and still believe in God, don’t get it. Or so the opinion goes.
When I started medicine, I thought I’d most likely go into psychiatry. I read my Bible every day. I was crushed by landslides of information I had to learn. With the equivalent of dirt in my hair, broken bones, and blood, I participated in prayer groups and Bible studies. I had to sleep eight hours a night. If I didn’t, I couldn’t lay down knowledge and I couldn’t cope. You may be one of those lucky persons who only need four to six hours of sleep at night to be human. This an advantage equivalent to getting a silver silk parachute airdrop of food, medicine, and weapons in the Hunger Games. I graduated from medical school and still had God.
Psychiatry residency opened up and I got closer to the the lions den.
What I found is that if you believe in God you are distrusted by colleagues. If you believe in God you are distrusted by Christians because you’re a psychiatrist. And by Scientologists.
Innocents seem to be fine when they enter into psychiatry residency. Then they come out totally changed. It disappoints Dad. Surrounded by cerebralists. It changes the plans sponsors have made for the psychiatrists. The psychiatrist doesn’t get invited to speak at church. The sponsors think they must have let him or her down. And the sponsors thought the psychiatrists let them down.
Psychiatry is very high risk to the psychiatrist. Why is it harder for them to keep God? It’s just generally not taught to utilize God in remedial processes with broken people. “And yet that is what God does best,” says my orthopedic buddy. He says, “Psychiatry breaks down interpersonal relationships rather than include the spiritual. Unless the psychiatrist feels very comfortable with the healing and revitalizing powers of God, they don’t use it for themselves in practice.” Is there a God-desensitization process built into their education.?
When studying where emotions and behaviors come from, God can’t be scaled. There is no way to measure God.
We delve into human behaviors and emotions so intimately in psychiatry. Once you realize that those things we used to moralize our life parameters with, once we realize that a perception of God is that “easily explained,” we don’t know what or who God is if not that. Psychiatry deals with the mind and spirit and not the musculoskeletal world. They are are right in the middle of breakdowns in that field where good bones and joints don’t make the difference. They are right there where good behaviors and emotions are valued, and explained in terms of grey matter. Psychiatrist come to understand that everything is modular in the brain. At that point, there is no need for God anymore.
Why do people lose God? Parents blame themselves. “I’ll never forgive myself.” They know what they’ve lost.
Remember that song by Sting, “I hope the Russians love their children too“? God v the Modular Brain might become a war.
My next book is going to be about God and psychiatry. Wish me luck. Recommendations, opinions, (no crude gestures,) and silver silk parachutes airdropped are all welcome. Don’t hate me. Keep on.
I look forward to your book. I grew up at a time when it was fashionable to follow Jean-Paul Sartre ” l’existence de l’homme exclut l’existence de Dieu”. As one gets older and hopefully wiser, I realized that not only does GOD exists, but He is kind enough to allow “Sartre et al.” to questions his very existence.
helloooo! Thank you so much Mike for commenting and connecting here. I love the French and philosophy-touch. très chic (I had to look that up for spelling and to make sure I had it right in context.) “He is kind enough to allow “Sartre et al.” to questions his very existence.” I’m holding that with me. Thank you again dear mike. keep on.
Hello my Friend!
Very interesting post.
I’m not so sure if it is that God has left psychiatry. As long as you look for solutions for patients, that have so many variables that they can’t be all considered when arriving at a solution, and the default choice is to intervene pharmacologically then we then take God out of the solution.
With all due respect to your profession, when the solutions don’t include the depths of the person’s soul and what is being said to the patient by the soul, then I think the profession has excluded God.
The phenomenology that induces conditions such that a person needs to utilize the services of a psychiatrist are almost always not considered.
Each person is uniquely made up. Yet we treat people like they are automobiles that need certain replacement parts.
The 15 minute session or 30 minute session every six weeks is not sufficient to get any sort of understanding of the psyche or even the emotions of the individual. I was talking with a friend of mine today who said that she goes and sees a psychiatrist for her psychotherapy. She then volunteered, without me requesting it, that she knows that that’s unique in today’s world.
I hope you understand that my criticism is not of you personally. It’s of us and how we look at the world of “mental health.”
You can be treated for cancer or some other disease almost until the cows come home. But you only get 10 visits or whatever the number is per year to see a psychologist?
We have taken the soul out of our culture and replaced it with heaven.
I support you and cannot wait to see your book. I would love a signed copy.
Jiiiim! thank you from deep in me for your support. signed copy en rout! 😉
“we treat people like they are automobiles that need certain replacement parts.” – we do this to Me, to ourselves. your comment refreshed me. keep on.
I lopk forward to your book.
Thank you M! I need the steam. I can’t believe how much yahoo news i have to catch up on every time i sit down to write! 😉
I’m surprised that God is taken out of psychiatry. The brain is powerful and when a person believes in a higher power, they have a great sense of hope, don’t feel so alone in the world, feel loved, and can heal, because of positive enlightened experiences. Believing that there is more on the other side, that our loved ones will be seen again, and that there is a community of people who believe in something that cannot be held or touched brings people comfort and hope.
Thank you so much Esther. Many are surprised by this under-culture. You comment largely on the functionality of “God.” I don’t believe the “under-culture” in psychiatry has any stick with that. Are they comfortable with the functionality? Or maybe the functionality of God is a bigger worry. Maybe it is the functionality of religion. What do you think?
Your comment is helping me tease my thoughts. Many thank yous. Keep on and keep talking.
I am a psychiatrist and psychology professor at a Christian university. I think that psychiatry and psychology has had a history of antagonism with religion because it has been populated with skeptics and materialists. It is good to know, though, that although this may be the majority (or an exceptionally vocal minority, possibly), we are not alone.
I am more concerned that the deterministic, computational, modular model of the brain that is used by many psychiatrists (and other medical professionals) not only marginalizes God but is an impoverished view of the brain and diminishes humanity. One problem with models is that they rarely model the entire objects they aim to. As one famous engineer said, “The best model for a cat is a cat — and preferably the same cat.”
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hello Dr. Casada, getting your comment is an honor to all of us. Thank you! Resonating is one of the best experiences of life. Can we even know our self-value without connection?
Who populates our professional world is part of the differential, indeed, as to the dissonance we discuss here together. Good point.
However, my collective self stood up and gave thunderous huzzahs! over this eloquence, “marginalizes God but is an impoverished view of the brain and diminishes humanity.”
Thank you again. Keep on.