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Home » Lisa Miller on Depression & Spiritual Awakening: Two Sides of One Door (Transcript)

Lisa Miller on Depression & Spiritual Awakening: Two Sides of One Door (Transcript)

Lisa Miller

Full text of Lisa Miller on Depression and Spiritual Awakening: Two Sides of One Door at TEDxTeachersCollege conference.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here: MP3 – Depression and Spiritual Awakening – Two Sides of One Door by Lisa Miller at TEDxTeachersCollege


In the dark of the night, 4 a.m., I look over and my husband’s not there. I look further, and I find him flat on his back, looking at the ceiling, arms out. “Our lives are hollow and meaningless without children.”

It had been two-and-a-half years of hopes and prayers and failed fertility treatments. No one had come. And the despair that ripped through our hearts woke us night after night — to the point where friends and family called just to see how we were doing. Because we so clearly were depressed.

As a clinical psychologist and scientist, I had been trained to see that depression is a disease. Much like cancer or diabetes, depression as a disease had symptoms of despair and isolation. And yet that simply did not explain the road we were traveling, nor did it explain the depression that follows loss of a spouse, miscarriage, trauma, or the natural transitions sophomore slump, mid-life crisis, portholes in passages — chapter breaks that seemed core to who we are — were not aberrant illnesses. They were not diseases.

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