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Author Interview: Psychiatric Medicine and Spirituality
Tuesday May 22nd 2018, 7:33 pm
Filed under: medicine and religion,spirituality and mental health

Though psychiatric medications are widely used, their diverse effects upon all aspects of patients’ lives are still understudied. In her groundbreaking book Psychiatric Medication and Spirituality: An Unforeseen Relationship, Dr. Lynne Vanderpot focuses her attention on the positive and negative ways that psychiatric medications affect the spiritual and religious experiences of patients.

Alexandra Nichipor of the Initiative on Health, Religion, and Spirituality was able to ask Dr. Vanderpot some questions about her recent book. 


Alexandra Nichipor: One of the most interesting things about your book was the diversity of experiences among interviewees. What were some of the different ways that your interviewees described the impact of psychiatric medications on their spirituality? 

Lynne Vanderpot: It’s really true that the people I interviewed for my research shared a fair range of experiences. There’s an obvious reason for this—each participant had a subjective understanding of spirituality and what it meant to them, so perceptions of how psychiatric medication impacted spirituality were also therefore unique. Modern expressions of spirituality have shifted from their traditional location, and beliefs may come from a variety of religious and non-religious sources. It’s been said that no one has been able to articulate the hodge-podge spirituality that our culture has produced, and yet through research we know it is a significant, even crucial, aspect of recovery from mental illness for many patients.