Is This My Dark Night of the Soul?

Or just a case of the blues

<em>Edit Article</em> Is This My Dark Night of the Soul?

Illustration Credit: Glimmer by Amy Alice Thompson

I had wrestled with depression for 40 years. This was not depression.Yes, some of the symptoms were the same: the lack of motivation, the boredom with hobbies, the never-ending fatigue. But the sadness was missing. So, in fact, was emotion of any kind. In its place were calm, stability, and clarity of thought that transcended feelings.I wondered if I’d stumbled onto something that sages have written about for centuries: the dark night of the soul.Today, many people use the phrase dark night of the soul to refer to an episode of depression. But experts who know both conditions take care to distinguish the two. John of the Cross, the sixteenth-century mystic, devoted a chapter of his classic Dark Night of the Soul to discerning the dark night from depression. Noted psychiatrist Gerald May, MD, has written extensively on the topic as well.The distinction even shows up in research. A 2010 study in Transcultural Psychiatry, which focused on 10 Spanish nuns, observes:The nuns’ descriptions of the Dark Night of the Soul coincide with Font’s … observations of the ‘salutary’ religious depression, which he differ …

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DepressionSelf-HelpWisdomInner Knowing