…I did not work by the Christian Rationalist Doctrine, I had not the happiness to get to know it and I could not; but my spirit as I was always a fighter, that faced difficult situations, I have known how to take advantage and how to improve. So today I work in the Higher Astral Pleiad… Martin Luther King Jr.

The Narrow Limit between Depression and Obsession - by Dra. Glaci Ribeiro da Silva

Click to HEAR the
Psychic Cleansing
Obsession is one of the most distressing woes of mankind. (…) it must be admitted that, to a great extent, the victims themselves are to blame. This is because, while still sound, they harboured thoughts that facilitated the formation of attractive currents for obsessors. (Christian Rationalism, available at http://www.christian-rationalism.org/ ebooks/christian-rationalism.pdf)

In the last decades, science has evolved a lot, even though it has still been basically materialistic. And by not recognizing the incorporeal life, its evolution has been lower than it could have been.

The so-called obsessive-compulsive disorder – also known as OCD – is one of the most challenging mental illnesses for science; and science has dedicated many investigations to it, lately. However, if we analyze this disorder from the Christian Rationalist perspective, it will be easy to verify that its messenger is, actually, an obsessed person.

On the description of this pathology, it is observed many characteristics that are described in the essential book, Christian Rationalism, chapter “Obsession”, which symptomatology, the studious of the doctrine know very well. The conventional science detects the obsessive and compulsive symptoms (or incontrollable symptoms) present in this mental illness, but it can’t properly explain it, recommending that, to control them, the patient uses some medicines and submits himself to a cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy.

This group of patients presents a very intense depression and a high suicide level. It is also observed a certain degree of anxiety in them.

Historically, the modern medicine has adopted, as mission, the cure of the symptoms of a disease, ignoring the sick person, who is the one having a daily relationship with a disease. And this behavior is reinforced by a medical model that completely chases away the hypothesis that mind influences the body in a considerable way.

In 1974, the psychologist Robert Ader discovered that the immune system, like the brain, could learn. This was a shock to the scientific community because until that time it was believed that only the brain had this capacity. Ader's findings led to the investigation of what are turning out to be myriad ways in which the central nervous system and the immune system communicate.

The presence of these biological pathways connecting the brain and the immune system shows the existence of a very intimate interconnection between mind, emotion and body. This study is done by Psycho-neuro-immunology, a discipline of modern Neurology, which has been very evident lately. The denomination of this discipline is a recognition of connections between psycho, mind; neuro, neuro-endocrine system (which includes the nervous system and the hormonal system); and immunology, immune system.

Recently, investigators of this area could better understand the role of stress in anxiety and depression. Below, we describe the conclusions reached by these investigators. Nevertheless, because of the convenience, we are adding some observations about obsession to these conclusions. These observations appear in the conclusions within parenthesis in italic.

Our body is in homeostatic balance when many physiological indicators – such as temperature, glucose level, heartbeat rate, and others – are as close as possible of an “ideal” level. A stressor agent is anything capable of taking the body away from this homeostasis, and the response to stress is a sequence of physiological adaptations that end up reestablishing the balance.

This response mainly includes the secretion by the suprarenal glands of two types of hormones: adrenaline and glucocorticoids. These two hormones prepare the organism to face an imminent danger (“fight-or-flight”) mobilizing energy to the muscles, raising the cardiovascular tonus so that the oxygen can be transported faster through the blood circulation, and inactivating the not so essential functions for that time.

This response to stress can also be mobilized by mere anticipation. So, when somebody wrongly imagine (possible intuition given by an obsessor) that a treat to his or her homeostasis is about to happen, he or she could get into the so-called psychological stress (possible activator of obsession).

The pioneer works about psychological stress were already done in the 50s and 60s of the XX century. It was discovered that stress is exacerbated if there is no outlet for frustration, no sense of control, and no impression that something better will happen. So, it is much less probable that a rat will develop an ulcer in response to a sequence of electric shocks if it can gnaw an entire wood, because it has an outlet for frustration. Similarly, a person will become less hypertensive when exposed to painfully loud noise if he (or she) believes that he can press a button at any time to lower the volume, because in this case he has a sense of control.

But suppose such buffers are not available and the stress is chronic. Repeated challenges may demand repeated bursts of vigilance, leading an individual to conclude that he must always be on guard (constant presence of an obsessor), even in the absence of the stress. And thus the realm of anxiety is entered. Alternatively, the chronic stress may be insurmountable, giving rise to feelings of helplessness, even in circumstances that a person can actually master (the obsessor has total control of her spirit). Depression is upon him.

Anxiety seems to wreak havoc in the limbic system, the brain region concerned with emotion. One structure is primarily affected: the amygdale, which is involved in the perception of and response to fear-evoking stimuli. Interestingly, the amygdale is also central to aggression, underlining the fact that aggression can be rooted in fear – an observation that can explain, for example, the generally very aggressive behavior of people with inferiority complex, because the fear predominates in them.

In contrast to anxiety, which can fell like desperate hyperactivity, depression is characterized by helplessness, despair, an exhausted sense of being too overwhelmed to do anything (psychomotor retardation) and a loss of feelings of pleasure. Accordingly, depression has a different biology; the chronic release of glucocorticoid hormones induced by continuous stress decreases the noradrenalin level in another region of the brain – the Locus Coeruleus – provoking, then, the psychomotor retardation. Stress also produces depression, acting in the mood and pleasure pathways of the brain. In this case, there is a decrease of two hormones release: serotonin and dopamine; the first is important in the regulation of mood and sleep cycles, and the second is the main currency of the pleasure pathway.

Resuming, while anxiety is characterized by a skittish: torrent of fight-or-flight signals; depression is characterized by apathy, torpor and lack of desire to live (ideas of suicide are intuited by the obsessor).

It is interesting to notice that antidepressant drugs boost levels of serotonin in the gaps between neurons (the nervous synapses) and are capable to reduce the obsessive-compulsive symptoms, suggesting, thereby, that depression is the backdrop of the obsessive-compulsive disturbance.

It’s important not to mistake these two mental pathologies with fortuitous episodes of anxiety and depression that anybody could have. So, it is perfectly normal to have anxiety when somebody faces a new and unknown situation, for example: starting a new job, taking an exam to enter college, defending a thesis, etc. Similarly, one could have a depression caused by the death of a loved one or by the end of a relationship, for instance.

There is a narrow limit separating anxiety and depression that are considered normal and the ones that are pathologic. These two events, even when are normal, provoke stress. And, as we explained before, stress inhibits the immune system; in continued stress, this system can be suppressed, rendering the organism totally defenseless. Thus, even if these phenomena are caused by a normal reaction, they should last as few as possible in order to avoid stress to become chronic. For that, it is important that a person uses the power of thought activated by will. These are the two most powerful weapons we all have to avoid obsession.

The essential book, Christian Rationalism, dedicates an entire chapter to obsession. Bellow are some phrases taken from that chapter:

Only the enlightened ones who are aware of the value of the powerful forces of Will and Thought are capable of keeping obsessors at distance.
How often does the mere departure of a loved one to eternity – something rather natural - leads to unconformity, distress and despair! The best that the incarnate can do on behalf of those who depart from Earth is to lift their thoughts up to the Superior Forces, with firmness and conviction. In this way those who disincarnated will be enveloped in the tender warmth of friendly irradiations and helped in breaking through Earth's atmosphere before leaving for the worlds where they belong.
Whenever there is deep affinity, obsessors do not part with their victims, because they enjoy staying where they fare well.
[…] a psychic disorder caused by improper use of free will, ill-guided will, sexual unrestrained and intemperance, lack of control in everyday life, uncontrolled nervousness, unrestrained desires, inordinate ambition, and headstrong temperament [are] the ways that lead to obsession.

Although there is not yet a consensus, many scientists have investigated the spiritualist ideas of Buddhist philosophy, lately. This is the case of Francisco Varela, an important Chilean psychoneuroimmunologist, author of many books about this topic. He lived the last years of his life (he died in May 2001) in France, where he was Professor of the Polytechnic School of Paris.

With the rapid worldwide expansion of Christian Rationalism during the last decades, it is very probable that, in the medium term, its spiritualist teachings about incorporeal life will be assimilated by others scientists, benefiting a big part of humankind who have obsession.

The Narrow Limit between Depression and Obsession
by Dra. Glaci Ribeiro da Silva


Dra. Glaci Ribeiro da Silva (portuguese)

Visit us - Free for anyone

ADAMS, R. D.; VICTOR, M. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 10. ed. Japan: Mcgraw-Hill, 1983. Derangements of intellect, mood, and behavior: p. 136-145.
ADER, R.; FELTEN, David; COHEN, Nicolas (Eds.). Psychoneuroimmunology. Philadelphia: Academic Press, 2001.
BALDESSARINI, R. J. Biomedical Aspects of Depression. Washington DC: American Psychiatric Press, 1983.
CORDIOLI, A. V. Vencendo o Transtorno Obsessivo-Compulsivo. 1. ed. Porto Alegre: Artmed, 2003. As Prováveis Causas e o Tratamento do TOC: p. 2-18.
CORDIOLI, A. V. Vencendo o Transtorno Obsessivo-Compulsivo. 1. ed. Porto Alegre: Artmed, 2003. Psicofarmacoterapia do Transtorno Obsessivo-Compulsivo: Uma Revisão. p. 125-180.
RACIONALISMO CRISTÃO. 36. ed. Rio de Janeiro: Centro Redentor, 1986. A Obsessão: p. 194-202.
REICHLIN, S. Secretion of Immunomodulatory Mediators from the Brain. In: ALDER, Robert; FELTEN, David; COHEN, Nicholas (Eds.). Psychoneuroimmunology. Philadelphia: Academic Press, p. 345-365, 2001.
SILVA, Glaci Ribeiro da. Bases científicas dos ensinamentos do Racionalismo Cristão sobre o cultivo do bom humor. Gazeta do Racionalismo Cristão, November 2003 [Link at www.racionalismocristao.org .] (See chapter 3 of this book.).
SOLOMON, G. F. Emotions, stress, the central nervous system, and immunity. Annals of the Academy of Sciences, v. 164, p. 335-343, 1969.
VARELA, Francisco. Neurophenomenology: a methodological remedy to the hard problem. Journal of Conciousness Studies, v. 3, p. 16-40, 1996.
VARELA, Francisco; SHEAR, Jonathan (Eds.). The view from within: first person approaches to the study of sonciousness. Exeter: Academic Imprint, 1999.