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J. P. Moreland: Anxiety and depression are largely habit

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Continuing his conversation with historian Michael Keas, Philosopher, philosopher J. P. Moreland recalls what he learned from fighting his way through a devastating anxiety disorder:

Keas To what degree does thinking affect feeling? To what degree is this similar to what physiologists refer to as “muscle memory”?

Moreland: Ah, what a question! Actually, thinking can really trigger emotions. In fact, the way we engage in self-talk—which is the way we talk to ourselves—we beat up ourselves and talk about how scary the future is. A lot of the time, this self-talk is subconscious. We’re not aware of it because we’re busy doing other things and then we end up nervous and scared to death and anxious and wonder why. And it’s because our thoughts shaped the triggering of certain anxiety emotions. And emotions can affect thoughts.

If you are suffering from anxiety and depression, I want you to know that you can change. I want you to have hope because there are things you can do to get better. The second thing that is probably one of the most important ideas in the book is that anxiety and depression are largely—not entirely but largely—habit. And those habits are ingrained in the different members of our body… “Can fitter brains help us fight depression?” at Mind Matters News

See also: Moreland also discussed these issues in an earlier podcast with Sean McDowell and Scott B. Rae. See: Moreland Theologian, battling depression, reaffirms the existence of the soul J. P. Moreland reasons his way to the evidence and captures his discoveries in a book

and also J. P. Moreland’s Model of the Human Self Survived the Ultimate Field Test Could the Christian philosopher rely on his model to help himself heal from psychiatric disorder?

His most recent professional work is Scientism and Secularism: Learning to Respond to a Dangerous Ideology (2018); an outline is available here.

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