Exploring the spiritual dimension in mental health

“Could it be that depression is not purely a physical sickness but a spiritual malaise?” asks Elizabeth Farrelly in her article, “Finding the black dog’s spiritual lead” (The Sydney Morning Herald, 26-27 August 2017 , p.30).

“Perhaps we should see it less a personal issue than a societal indictment, less a treatable pathology than a spur to spiritual recovery.”

I believe the same pondering and reflections could be directed towards the field of eating disorders/disordered eating and indeed, all of mental health.

Prof Ian Hickie spoke (in the last podcast), of the protective factor of social connection in mental health and how loss of this over the last 50 years is “one of the most important sets of issues,” for us to consider as we seek to improve mental health and “best cope together” with the challenges of 21st century living.

Elizabeth Farrelly writes of the complexity of the mind-body interaction and questions the way modern medicine resolves this by ‘pretending it’s all physical.’ But, she says, “we still don’t know how atoms and molecules generate laughter and poetry. We see that a connection exists, but not how it works, or why.”

I love this and concur.

There is a place for mystery, for wonder, for the exploration of spirit and the Divine. A sacred place. A hunger that science cannot fill;  a thirst that lies deep in our soul.

I believe exploring this spiritual dimension is key to our recovery from disordered eating and other mental health challenges.

I include an exploration of the spiritual dimension in my work (where invited) and in my model of eating disorder development and recovery. To view the model and see how I work with eating disorders, click here.

To watch a video exploring the Spiritual Dimension in Anorexia and Eating Disorder Recovery (included as an optional extra in the 4×4 Freedom Express), click here.

Questions and feedback welcome.

About the Author

Michelle is a physiotherapist and professional counsellor with lived experience of anorexia, EDNOS and binge-eating in her teen and early adult years. Founder of Women Worth their Weight, and author of Illuminating Anorexia Michelle is passionate about helping people recover from these health and life consuming problems.