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Distributed for University of Scranton Press

The Drug, the Soul, and God

A Catholic Moral Perspective on Antidepressants

With The Drug, the Soul, and God, John-Mark Miravelle examines the stance of the Catholic Church regarding the prescription and consumption of antidepressants. After a careful investigation of Catholic moral theology and philosophy, Miravelle argues that treating depression with medication alone fails to address the underlying causes of the depression and does not facilitate the cognitive, interpersonal, and environmental changes necessary for a patient’s long-term health. In addition, he suggests that such medication may deprive sufferers of providential opportunities for personal and communal conversion and sanctification. This controversial volume will engage theologians and medical professionals alike.

150 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2010

Psychology: General Psychology

Religion: Comparative Studies and History of Religion

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Table of Contents


I.  What Are Antidepressants?
- The Phenomenon of Depression
- Brief History of Antidepressant Development
- Lithium and Electroconvulsive Therapy
- Status of Scientific Efforts to Coorelate Depression as a Biological Disorder
- The "Biochemical Imbalance" Theory
- Clinical Psychopharmacology in Current Practice
- Summary

II.  The Role of the Emotions
- The Objectivity of the Passions
- The Physicality of the Passions
- Control over the Passions
- Aquinas’s Discussion of Pain and Sorrow
- Thomistic Therapies in Relation to Sorrow
- Summary

III.  Basic Moral Principles
- The Principle of Integrity
- Magisterial Pronouncements against Certain Violations of Human Integrity
- The Basic Human Good of Inner Peace
- Summary

IV.  Formulating Guidelines
- Various Inadequate Objections to Antidepressants
- The Potential for Antidepressant Misuse: Attack on Inner Harmony
- Proximate Effects of Antidepressant Misuse
- Legitimate Uses of Antidepressant Drugs
- Summary

V.  A Thomistic Model of Psychiatry
- The Repressive Disorder
- Emotional Deprivation Disorder (EDD)
- An Appraisal of the Work of Terruwe and Baars Relative to Depression and Antidepressant Drugs
- Summary

VI.  Faith, Suffering and Depression
- Reconciling Divine Goodness with the Reality of Suffering
- The Supernatural Benefits of Suffering from the Perspective of the Individual
- The Relationship of Suffering to Christ and the Church
- Summary


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