There are a lot of problems in the world and people get depressed either because of their biochemistry or because the world can be a pretty hard place to live in at times. Atheists often don’t have the support network that religious believers often have and so we can sometimes feel isolated and discouraged. But there is hope.
I was thinking about this over the weekend for two reasons. Last week, I had a post about suicide and atheism. While I got a lot of positive feedback from that post (far more than I expected), I also got a few negative comments from people who misinterpreted what I was saying. The point that I wanted to bring out was that we have to start building a better community to deal with the problem of suicide.
The other thing that got me thinking about the subject matter was my visit to a bookstore over the weekend. I saw that they had a pretty big section called, “Christian Inspirational.” That’s the section where Christians find books to help them pretend that their problems aren’t real and that Jesus will magically save them. It’s the drug section of the bookstore.
While that kind of stuff doesn’t usually appeal to atheists, we could use some books on how to deal with the issues of depression in a less clinical way. We need an atheist inspirational. We need something that might appeal to people who are starting to transition away from religion and who need answers to the existential questions that Christianity avoids. We also need something that will let people know that some depression is biological and is not a result of God’s wrath. This seems obvious to most of us, but to some people who have lived in the Christian bubble and are just starting to leave that bubble, this can be very reassuring.
What tips would you give to atheists who are either suffering from depression or who are transitioning away from religion and having problems adjusting? What’s your atheist inspirational?