During her presentation, Miller shared that a ten-year study on religiosity and major depression revealed that despair was often correlated with spiritual awakening. She mentioned that those on spiritual quests sound very similar to those suffering with depression.
“Suffering,” Miller said, “is a direct porthole to spiritual awakening. Spirituality and depression are essentially one journey. And those who experience spiritual awakenings are ninety percent less likely to suffer depression again.”
Dr. Miller spoke in Houston of the neuro-correlates of spirituality. She mentioned studies that showed how spirituality improved brain functions. She also shared that the brain patterns of study participants who had symptoms of depression showed similar activity between those given Prozac and those utilizing forms of spirituality.
Miller also explained that girls’ outward signs of puberty grew in sync with their becoming more aware of the sacred. Spirituality and depression co-emerged.
Miller then asked conference attendees how they could help adolescents with developmental depression. And she answered for them, “We must support their spiritual emergence. Their quest must be taken seriously.”