St. Thomas Aquinas' 5 Remedies for Depression

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St. Thomas Aquinas

Learn 5 remedies for depression from St. Thomas Aquinas.

Summary by:
Dr. Marcel Lanahan

Dealing with sorrow or depression can be difficult, and St. Thomas Aquinas, one of history's great thinkers, offered insights on this in his Summa Theologiae. Here are his five remedies:

  1. Pleasurable Activities: Engage in things you like or enjoy, be it food, music, or other pleasurable activities. Aquinas believed this counters sorrow's physical effects and rejuvenates the spirit. However, this doesn't mean we escape into something unhealthy that could make us feel worse in the long run.
  2. Express Through Tears: Crying can be therapeutic. It releases bottled-up emotions, and Aquinas emphasized the importance of sharing such moments with a trusted friend.
  3. Seek Friendship: A comforting friend can provide sympathy and advice, lightening the weight of sorrow. Aquinas regarded friendship as one of life's most valuable treasures. You might hesitate to do this for fear of being a burden, but true friends really value listening to you, getting to know you through your vulnerability, and feeling the strengthening of the emotional bond between you.
  4. Contemplate Truth: Reflect on eternal truths, especially those related to God. For Aquinas, this lifted the mind above temporary troubles, bringing joy and peace.
  5. Rest and Relaxation: Simple acts like sleeping or taking a bath can restore balance to the body and soul, offering a respite from distress. Whatever you do for the mind redounds to the soul.

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