Religion is a mental illness

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Podcast: Religion and Mental Illness

religion is a mental illness

Treating mental illness with medicine and religion in India

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Studies have shown there is a complex connection between religion and mental issues. A study found that people who believe in a vengeful or punitive god are more likely to suffer from mental issues such as social anxiety, paranoia, obsessional thinking, and compulsions. According to Dr. The American Psychiatric Association issued a mental health guide for faith leaders to help those preaching the word differentiate between devout belief and dangerous delusion or fundamentalism. The guide includes sections discussing how a person with a mental illness might believe they are receiving a message from a higher power, are being punished, or possessed by evil spirits, and notes the importance of distinguishing whether these are symptoms of a mental disorder or other distressing experience. In May this year a report released as part of the Vietnam Head Injury Study found damage in a certain part of the brain was linked to an increase in religious fundamentalism.

At 20 years old, Yashi Brown began feeling depressed. A few years later, she started having delusions. Manic highs followed. Then thoughts of suicide. It became clear she needed treatment.



Religion and mental health

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Religious and cultural beliefs may discourage many Latinos in the United States from seeking treatment for depression and other mental health disorders, a Rutgers University-New Brunswick study finds. Mental health providers and researchers should therefore engage with faith-based organizations and other community venues to help them address the stigma associated with mental illness and to encourage people to seek help, said Susan Caplan, an assistant professor at the Rutgers School of Nursing. Latinos report experiencing mental health issues at about the same rates as white non-Hispanics in the United States, but they are only half as likely to seek treatment, largely due to stigma influenced by cultural and religious views , according to the study. While she was developing a mental health literacy and engagement program for faith-based settings, Caplan surveyed Latin American members of three churches in the northeastern United States about the ways their religious and cultural values influence their beliefs about mental illness. Many respondents recalled growing up in communities where mentally ill people were ostracized and where families refused to talk about mental illness or even acknowledge it might exist within their family. Many expressed the belief that depression and other disorders were caused by a lack of faith or prayer, the influence of evil spirits or a parent's wrongful actions.

From leisure activities to politics to relationships , people tend to be influenced by their religious beliefs. In this episode, Gabe and Michelle discuss the pros and cons of religious influence when it comes to treating mental illness and explore whether it is helpful when trying to reach recovery.

Mental health stigma, fueled by religious belief, may prevent latinos from seeking help

This article has been retracted. Retraction in: Indian J Psychiatry. In this chapter, the relation between religion and mental health and vice versa has been described. From primitive times different religions have different beliefs and systems of worshipping. Every religion with their belief system has implications on mental health and illness.

A neuroendocrinologist called Robert Sapolsky, a professor at Stanford University, is a self-described atheist. When accepting the Emperor Has No Clothes Award in from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which is given for recognition of "plain speaking" on the shortcomings of religion by public figures, he said:. I was raised in an Orthodox Jewish household, and I was raised devoutly religious up until around age 13 or so. In my adolescent years, one of the defining actions in my life was breaking away from all religious belief whatsoever. He's also, during footage of one of his lectures , compared religion to a shared schizophrenia, argued that the behaviours exhibited by "prophets" in religious texts are diagnosable acts.

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