Article

Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 56, Issue 5, pp 521-532

First online:

Disconnection, Depression, and Spirituality: A Study of the Role of Spirituality and Meaning in the Lives of Individuals with Severe Depression

  • Siroj SorajjakoolAffiliated withSchool of Religion, Loma Linda University Email author 
  • , Victoria AjaAffiliated withSchool of Religion, Loma Linda University
  • , Beverly ChilsonAffiliated withBehavioral Medicine Center, Loma Linda University
  • , Johnny Ramírez-JohnsonAffiliated withSchool of Religion, Loma Linda University
  • , Art EarllAffiliated withBehavioral Medicine Center, Loma Linda University

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Abstract

This qualitative study explores the role of spirituality and meaning among 15 participants suffering from severe depression. During the time of this study, all the participants were in treatment at Loma Linda University Behavioral Medicine Center. The emerging themes are: (1) depression creates a sense of spiritual disconnection. Participants indicated feeling disconnected from God, the community, and oneself; (2) spirituality plays an important role in coping with the pain of depression; (3) there exists a deep yearning for a sense of meaning and a struggle to make sense of one’s pain; and (4) coming to terms with one’s circumstances and one’s depression at some level assists in the healing process.

Keywords

Spirituality Meaning Depression Disconnection Acceptance