Remembering Holy Week

Religious holidays seem to have psychological meaning in terms of processing internal and external oppression.

Psychiatry & Society

Due to an unexpected conflict, we will show a rerun from about a year ago as we are entering a similar religious holiday season. However, this year Holi is already over, but we are in the midst of Ramadan, the Islamic holiday time. We have just passed Good Friday, Passover, and Easter.

As we discussed last year, these religious holidays seem to have psychological meaning in terms of processing internal and external oppression, among other meanings. Ramadan has always impressed me for the soul searching that occurs during the month.

This year, certainly an external oppression that has received our attention and concern in the United States is the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing morbidity, mortality, and infrastructure destruction. For internal oppression, we’ve been through quite a lot of societal trauma in the past year in terms of the continuation of the pandemic, xenophobia, and climate instability.

And, speaking of our climate, Friday, April 22nd is Earth Day, which I will get back to commenting on a little later. We should not feel free to continue to adversely change our climate. For those who are prone to do so, it is a time to pray for external freedom and to work on our internal freedom from conflicts, grief, and trauma with resilience and new strength.

Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who has specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry. A prolific writer and speaker, he received the one-time designation of Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association in 2002. He is an advocate for mental health issues relate to climate instability, burnout, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism for a better world. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric Times™.