About a year ago, I received a call from the father of a little boy whom I had treated several years ago. The father reassured me that his son was doing fine, but he wanted to talk with me about a problem of his own. In my office, he told me that he had been living under a black cloud of depression and anxiety for several years. He had consulted a psychiatrist, who had prescribed antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications for what the doctor thought was a chemical imbalance in the man's brain. The meds had helped for a time, but they weren't working any more. The psychiatrist had changed his medications several times, but nothing helped his depression for very long. He didn't understand why he was feeling so bad because he had a wonderful life--a successful and rewarding career, a wonderful wife, three beautiful children who were doing well, and no financial problems.
I worked with this man for several months. We looked into his childhood, his work, his extended family, his marriage. I kept running into a wall. Everything about his life seemed healthy and normal. When he said that he craved connection with a higher power, though he did not subscribe to any particular organized religion, I suggested meditation. A Buddhist meditation center had recently opened in our community and I had heard good feedback about if from other clients. He said this was a good idea and he would pursue it.