Faith And Spirituality In The Lives Of People Who Have Mental Llness? (Solved)

Although some religious and spiritual beliefs may be empowering, some beliefs may be unhelpful. They may lead you to feel guilty or in need of forgiveness. This may have a bad affect on your mental health. Some religious groups may believe you are possessed by demons or spirits if you have a mental illness.


How does spirituality help with mental health?

There are several ways that spirituality can support your mental health: You may feel a higher sense of purpose, peace, hope, and meaning. You may experience better confidence, self-esteem, and self-control. It can help you make sense of your experiences in life.

Does spirituality or religion positively affect mental health?

The three interventions were found to induce similar levels of relaxation. However, the spiritual meditation group showed the largest gain in spiritual and religious variables, and also improved most with respect to well-being and distress. This suggests a causal relationship between R/S and mental health.

How does your spiritual self affect the way you view faith and life in general?

Spirituality is that part of yourself that helps you find meaning, connectedness and purpose in your life. It can include the practice of a philosophy, religion, or way of living. Spirituality seems to help people cope with illness, suffering and death. Spirituality also influences end-of-life decisions.

How does faith religion and spirituality affect health?

Religiousness, including formal religious affiliation and service attendance, is associated with better health habits, such as lower smoking rates and reduced alcohol consumption. Spirituality, including meditation and private prayer, helps regulate emotions, which aids physiological effects such as blood pressure.

What is the importance of spirituality in my life?

Healthy spirituality gives a sense of peace, wholeness and balance among the physical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of our lives. However, for most people the path to such spirituality passes through struggles and suffering, and often includes experiences that are frightening and painful.

What are the benefits of having faith?

Faith brings all the benefits of salvation into our lives (Ephesians 2:8,9). This includes healing, prosperity, peace, love, joy (1 Peter 1:8), deliverance from demons and the curse, sanctification of the mind and emotions (the salvation of the soul) and any other benefit which the word of God promises to us. 4.

How is religion different from spirituality?

What’s the difference between religion and spirituality? Religion: This is a specific set of organised beliefs and practices, usually shared by a community or group. Spirituality: This is more of an individual practice, and has to do with having a sense of peace and purpose.

What is more important religion or spirituality?

A recent TODAY survey indicated that 77 percent of participants see a difference between religion and spirituality, with more than 70 percent of respondents indicating it’s more important to be spiritual than religious.

Why is it important to distinguish between religion and spirituality?

Religion aims to build one’s character. It shapes one’s beliefs, attitudes, and actions by giving importance to the adherence of rules. This unites people who share a religion, as they share character traits and outlooks on life. On the other hand, spirituality concentrates more on each person’s individual soul.

What is spirituality in your own words?

Spirituality involves the recognition of a feeling or sense or belief that there is something greater than myself, something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater whole of which we are part is cosmic or divine in nature.

What are the positive effects of spirituality on an individual?

Spirituality can promote close family and friendship bonds and help people cope with physical or emotional pain and other life stressors. It can also offer people a strong sense of community, particularly for those who are part of a spiritual group or community.

How do you experience spirituality in your life?

Spirituality has to do with having a sense of peace and purpose in life. Here are some ways to express spirituality:

  1. Think about how you see yourself in relation to your friends, your family and your world.
  2. Identify what’s important to you.
  3. Try to describe your ‘authentic’ or ‘true’ self.

How does faith impact mental health?

Religion gives people something to believe in, provides a sense of structure and typically offers a group of people to connect with over similar beliefs. These facets can have a large positive impact on mental health—research suggests that religiosity reduces suicide rates, alcoholism and drug use.

How does religion affect health and illness?

Regular religious practice lessens depression, promotes self-esteem, and builds familial and marital happiness. Religious worship also increases longevity, improves an individual’s chances of recovering from illness, and lessens the incidence of many diseases.

What is the impact of faith on health?

Religion, not merely spirituality, is a profound predictor of health. Spiritual practices can reduce blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, and help stave off some effects of mental illness about as well as many drugs on the market.

Spirituality and mental illness

Spirituality and religion can play a significant part in your life, depending on your beliefs. This article discusses what spirituality and religion are and how they can be beneficial if you are suffering from a mental health problem. If you are a caregiver for someone who is suffering from a mental health problem or if you are a health professional, you may find this website beneficial.

If you would like more advice or information you can contact our Advice and Information Service by clickinghere.

  • There is a distinction between spirituality and religion
  • The importance that spirituality and religion may have in one’s mental health should be recognized by health care practitioners. Spirituality and religion may be beneficial in the management of your illness. You may discover that it provides you with hope and comfort. Spirituality and religion might be included into your treatment by your health experts. If you would like it to be included in your care plan, please ask your care coordinator to do so. You might prepare a written advance statement to inform health-care professionals of your religious or spiritual requirements. In the event that you lose the ability to make decisions about your own care and treatment in the future, professionals should review your advanced directive.

Need more advice?

To obtain further information or assistance, you can speak with someone from our Advice and Information Service.

What is spirituality / religion?

There are several ways to approach the subject of spirituality. One way of thinking about it is that it is the significance and purpose that you seek in your life that you are seeking. It should instill confidence in you and make you feel good about yourself. Spiritual practices might include items such as the following, for example:

  • Involvement in an organized religious group
  • Meditation and prayer Mental health professionals recommend mindfulness as an effective therapy, which is frequently provided through the NHS. It is founded on meditation
  • It is characterized by adhering to a set of principles that you have established for yourself. Consider, for example, how you interact with others. Putting a strong emphasis on spiritual principles such as honesty, love, optimism, and compassion

What is religion?

Religion is associated with a certain religious faith, tradition, or institution, among other things. If you are religious, you may have the belief in the existence of a deity. Everyone who adheres to the same religion will build their values on principles that are shared by everybody. Religion, on the other hand, is up to interpretation. Essentially, this means that even while people hold similar underlying views, they may hold divergent values. A religious leader’s role is to help you through the many stages of your religious journey.

For example, you may be required to perform particular tasks at a specific time, such as praying.

Are spirituality and religion the same?

The concepts of spirituality and religion are intertwined. Spirituality, on the other hand, can be more comprehensive and encompass a wide range of activities. Depending on who you ask, the phrase might signify different things. Alternatively, you might adhere to a widely held spiritual belief. Without being religious, it is possible to be spiritual. Religion and spirituality can aid in the development of inner strength, tranquility, hope, and optimism, among other things.

Can spirituality be helpful / harmful?

Spirituality and religion may be beneficial in coping with difficult life situations and in improving one’s mental well-being. There are several ways that spirituality and religion might benefit your mental health, including the following:

  • A spiritual or religious group may provide you with extra support and camaraderie
  • If you are a member of such a community It may be beneficial for you to experience a sense of belonging to something greater than yourself. It could be able to assist you in making sense of your experiences. As a result of your spirituality or religious beliefs, you may experience feelings of strength or hope. When you are sick, this may be more essential to you than usual. You may feel more at ease with yourself and with the people around you if you practice mindfulness.

Can spirituality and religion be harmful during mental illness?

A spiritual or religious group may provide you with greater support and camaraderie; if you are a member of such a community Having a sense of belonging to something greater than oneself may be beneficial. It could be able to assist you in making sense of your circumstances. Your spirituality or religion may provide you with comfort and hope. When you are sick, this may be even more vital to you. Possibly, you’ll feel more at ease with yourself and the people in your life;

  • Hateful
  • Harmful
  • Not shared by the majority of the population
  • Or against the law

This is hateful, harmful, not shared by the majority of people, and/or against the law;

Who can I talk to about my needs?

More than half of those who seek mental health treatment say that religion or spirituality has helped them to better manage their mental health problems.

However, people frequently find it difficult to bring up the subject with their health-care providers. If you wish to start thinking about or talking about your religious or spiritual needs, you might want to consider the questions below:

  • What gives you the strength to persevere during difficult circumstances
  • What do you want your life to be about
  • What do you consider to be essential
  • Has something happened to you that has caused you to reconsider your position? Do you have a sense of belonging and worth
  • Do you feel protected
  • Do you have a sense of purpose? Are you being listened to as much as you would like to be? That which helps you feel supported
  • That which makes you feel joyful

It may be beneficial for your mental health recovery to talk about how you feel you fit into the world and your own values with someone you trust. It may be of use in determining your sentiments, views, and attitude toward religion and spirituality, among other things. The converse is true: asking oneself “huge questions” may make you feel much worse. Consider carefully who you share your opinions and ideas with and how you communicate with them. You should discuss your concerns with someone you can trust and who respects you.

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Are my health professionals aware of spirituality and religion?

It may be beneficial to your mental health rehabilitation to talk about how you feel you fit into the world and your own beliefs. Your sentiments, views, and attitude toward religion and spirituality may be better understood if you take this quiz. However, asking oneself ‘huge questions’ may make you feel more worse than you already are. Consider who you share your opinions and ideas with before you do so. Speaking with someone you trust and who respects you is a wise decision. This may be a family member or a mental health professional who can assist you with your situation.

  • What impact the voices are having on your life
  • What you’re doing to make sense of things
  • What you’re thinking about. What you’re doing to deal with them

As part of your evaluation, your mental health professional should take notes on what the voices mean to you individually. They shouldn’t just record the symptom on its own without any context. Sharing your own ideas and values with experts might help them gain a better understanding of your perspective on the world. This may have an influence on the treatment strategy you develop. There are certain organizations, such as ‘The Janki Foundation,’ that are dedicated to assisting healthcare workers in understanding the significance of spirituality in their job.

The purpose of the forum is to assist doctors in exploring the spiritual problems that sometimes accompany mental illness.

Discussing spirituality if I lack mental capacity

How can I inform health-care experts about my faith or religion if I am unable to communicate due to mental illness? It is possible that you will not be able to make decisions or explain your choices to healthcare providers in some situations. This is referred to as the loss of mental ability. If you are sick, you may experience a loss of mental capacity. This might be for a short period of time or for an extended period of time. Not everyone who is sick will experience a loss of mental capacity.

A broad preference for your treatment and care is expressed in an advance statement.

Having this knowledge will be beneficial if others are called upon to make judgments in your best interests in the future.

Unless you have the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself, other people will make those decisions for you.

You may learn more about ‘Planning you care’ by visiting their website. Advanced assertions and advanced judgments are made in this section.

Useful contacts

‘Creating Space for Spirituality’ is the title of this article. The Mental Health Foundation has published a brochure titled ‘Making Space for Spirituality’ that can be downloaded for free. Written for health-care workers, it provides practical guidance on how to support and react to the spiritual needs of those who require assistance. The National Spirituality and Mental Health Forum is a non-profit organization. They have compiled a list of spiritual and religious resources as well as organizations that are associated with mental health issues.

  • National Spirituality and Mental Health Forum, 36 Greenacres, Hendon Lane, London, N3 3SF (National Spirituality and Mental Health Forum).
  • The address is BA/ APCMH, c/o St Paul’s Church, 5 Rossmore Road, London, NW1 6NJ.
  • Chizuk Chizuk’s mission is to assist persons and their families who are suffering from mental health issues in the Orthodox Jewish community.
  • The address for Chizuk is 91-93 Stamford Hill in London, N16 5TP.
  • Email:[email protected] A commitment to assisting persons within the Jewish community recover from mental illness has driven the Jewish Association for the Mentally Ill (JAMI) to be established.
  • mail:[email protected] Care for the Jewish People They provide a variety of services to Jewish individuals who are facing emotional challenges and discomfort, as well as those who are dealing with mental health issues.
  • Phone: +44 (0)20 8922 2222.

mail:[email protected] ISLAMIC Muslims’ Mental Health and Well-Being Their website is based in the United States and provides information on mental health concerns that is both professionally validated and beneficial to Muslims.

A nonprofit, the Muslim Youth Helpline (MYH), provides assistance to young Muslim persons in the United Kingdom that are faith-based and culturally sensitive in nature.

Open from 4 p.m.

Email:[email protected] SCN is an acronym for Spiritual Crisis Network.

Through the website, you may send an email.

(2001), a group of researchers led by Cook et al.

Religion and spirituality are two terms that are used interchangeably.

They are a charitable organization based in the United Kingdom that advocates for the integration of spirituality and healthcare.

Information can be obtained by calling (020 8459 1400) or emailing [email protected] This special interest group is for anyone who are interested in spirituality and psychiatry.

Here, psychiatrists may discuss the impact that spirituality and religion can have on their patients in a safe and confidential environment.

Need more advice?

To obtain further information or assistance, you can speak with someone from our Advice and Information Service.

Faith & Spirituality

As we understand more and more about the links that exist between the mind and the body, it becomes evident that spirituality, religion, and faith can assist some people in coping with mental health issues. During times of crisis, some individuals and families believe that faith may assist them in their recovery, while others find that spiritual activities can assist them in maintaining a positive mental health outlook.

How Faith Can Help

Several people believe that their religious beliefs and personal spirituality have a good influence on their physical and mental wellbeing.


Contemplative prayer and meditation are two practices that have gotten a great deal of attention recently. Many people have discovered that meditating for 10-20 minutes each day is good to their mental well-being. Other contemplative activities, such as yoga and meditation, have helped others to relax. Religions such as Islam’s daily ritual prayers and the Catholic practice of praying with rosary beads, for example, can elicit a contemplative reaction from the observer when performed properly.


Religion can also provide additional benefits for one’s mental health. Attending communal activities such as Sunday church, Saturday Torah readings, prayer groups, or full-moon festivities at Hindu temples are some of the most popular methods to engage with the community. These religious rituals in groups give structured social activities that are low in anxiety and have a direct positive impact on our health and well-being. Religious institutions may also provide a variety of tools and social activities that may be used to encourage and assist persons who are dealing with a mental health problem and their families, as well as provide extra advantages through links to the wider community.

A Sense of Understanding

For some, the most significant component of religion is that it provides frameworks for comprehending our own personal experiences. In their own way, the main global religions provide answers for why there is suffering in the world. Many people who are coping with disease find solace in looking for these kind of answers. The issue of “why me?” can never be completely answered by medical research, and some people find the answers they seek in religious institutions.

Helping Others

It has been shown that volunteering and being involved in our communities may have a good influence on our health and well-being. Most religious groups give chances to serve others, which can help to boost our mood and lower our levels of worry and stress.

What Makes a Good Faith Community?

Each global religion has its own set of concepts and rituals that distinguishes it from the others. In the event that you were raised in a certain faith and are comfortable with it, you may already have prayers and rituals in place that are beneficial to your health. In the event that you feel estranged from your religious roots, you may question whether or not you can profit from religion. The same way that learning more about your mental health problem has no negative consequences, studying more about religion or spirituality has no negative consequences either.

Consider how each congregation or community addresses mental health disorders while looking for a regular place to worship or practice your religion if you are seeking for a regular place to worship or practice your faith.

Above all, find a supportive environment where you may feel accepted and loved despite your mental health issues or struggles. Discovering a compassionate congregation that is accepting of and supportive of your recovery path is essential.

Actions That You Practice On Your Own

The advantages of religion do not stop at the threshold. Religion’s most potent health benefits may come from basic meditative activities that trigger the relaxation response, according to recent research. Some people find tremendous comfort and tranquility in spiritual activities such as surrendering to the will of God and contemplating the meaning and purpose of life. Your regular routine at home might be enriched by including these routines. Contemplative practices in your faith can be learned about via faith leaders, people in the faith, websites on the internet, or books from the library.

(Nichiren Buddhism).

Reading scripture, visiting holy locations, learning about key persons in your religion, listening to sacred music, engaging in solitary prayer, and joining prayer or discussion groups are all examples of ways to practice your faith outside of a congregation.

It Speaks to Your Needs

When it comes to organized religion, you may still reap the advantages of relaxation and find purpose in your life even if you are uncomfortable with it. Consider the locations, people, and experiences that have provided you with emotions of serenity, amazement, or a sense of higher significance. Some people discover more meaning in nature, at an art museum, or when listening to a favorite piece of music. Others find greater meaning in the workplace. Others may find consolation in poetry, science, or history books, among other activities.

How You Can Help Your Faith Community

Even while faith communities have begun to pay attention to mental health concerns, it is possible that they have misconceptions about the difficulties involved. It’s possible that your religious community is unclear of how to assist you. In order to begin engaging them, it is best to first meet privately with your pastor, priest, or religious leader and share with them the issues and struggles you are experiencing as a person of faith who is also struggling with a mental health illness. If you’re comfortable discussing your experiences with a larger audience, you may educate your faith community about mental health by forming a discussion group or a support group for those who are struggling.

By being honest about your mental health, you may be able to help others in your community who have been reluctant to speak out about their mental health in order to avoid stigma. By starting this dialogue, we can build a more resilient, healthier, and compassionate community.

Tools and Resources for Faith Community Leaders

Even if faith communities have begun to pay attention to mental health concerns, there may still be some misunderstandings regarding the issues. Perhaps your religious community is at a loss on how to assist you in your situation. In order to begin engaging them, it is best to first meet privately with your pastor, priest, or religious leader and share with them the issues and struggles you are experiencing as a person of faith who is also dealing with a mental health disorder. Educating your religion community about mental health may be accomplished by forming a discussion group or a support group.

You might also contact your local NAMI Affiliate, as many of them have contacts with the religion community in their respective areas that may be beneficial.

By starting this dialogue, we can build a more resilient, healthier, and kinder society.

Spirituality and mental health

A doctor or nurse may inquire about your spirituality since it may be an essential element of your life and can have an impact on your overall well-being and well-being (4). People’s feelings of emptiness in their lives might manifest itself in various ways, such as depression or drug abuse. It is only a mental health specialist who can identify the difference between a spiritual crisis and a mental disorder – although the two may occasionally occur together (5). It is critical to have a calm and leisurely attitude.

How to start

“Can you tell me what gives you hope?” the doctor or nurse would inquire. or alternatively, “”What keeps you going through difficult times?” or “What is truly essential in your life?” are questions that come to mind. Alternatively, “Would you describe yourself as spiritual or religious in any way?”” Simple questions like these might help you define your spiritual concerns and activities more clearly.

Talking about your spirituality

It might be challenging to know where to begin. Consider the following examples:

1. Beliefs and questions:

  • What exactly is the point of life? What gives you a feeling of significance or a sense of direction
  • In the event that you do believe in God, what is your understanding of your connection with God?

What is God’s personality like? What does he think of you, exactly? What would you ask God if you had the opportunity to do so?

  • “Why is this happening to me?” you may wonder. “Can I be forgiven?” you might wonder. “Am I lovable?” you might wonder. You could wonder. “Who can I trust?” you might wonder. When you die, what do you believe happens to your body? Do any aspects of your treatment plan make you uncomfortable because of your spiritual beliefs?

2. Spiritual practices

  • “Why is this happening to me?” you might wonder. “Can I be forgiven?” you might wonder. “Am I lovable?” you might wonder. Is there anything after death that you believe will happen? What aspects of your treatment plan make you uncomfortable because of your spiritual beliefs?

How may they be of use to you? Is there anything about them that bothers you? Is there anything about them that you dislike?

3. Spirituality and your community

With whom do you share your feelings about your support and/or difficulties: your family, friends, school/work, or spiritual group.

4. Spiritual experiences

Have you had any spiritual awakenings or awakenings? What was it that they meant to you?

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5. How your spirituality affects you

Which of the following statements describes how you feel about it: accepted and forgiven – or rejected, guilty, and embarrassed; safe or terrified. Taking some time to consider your spirituality After that, you might consider the following:

  • When it comes to your spiritual life, how might it help you recover? Do you have any spiritual questions that you’d want to investigate further? Is there anything about your faith that is burdensome or challenging
  • Is your disease having an impact on your spiritual life?

Spiritual care in practice

  • What kind of spiritual assistance could be beneficial to you in order to strengthen you and aid in your recovery
  • What kind of assistance would you require to obtain it
  • Is there someone who is looking out for you and with whom you may discuss your spiritual life?

Before you begin to organize your spiritual care, you may require assistance in answering the questions in the ‘Reflecting on your spirituality’ section.

You can do this on your own or with the assistance of family, friends, a faith leader, your mental health therapist, or a hospital chaplain, among other people.

Involving your faith leader

Speaking with your religious leader or asking them to be involved in your mental health care are both options.

Spiritually-informed therapies

A spiritual component is increasingly incorporated into a number of therapies. There are well-established 12-step programs for those who abuse alcohol and other drugs (6). In recent years, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for the treatment of stress, anxiety, and depression (MBCT) (7), compassion-focused therapy (CFT) (8), and forgiveness therapy (FT) have all gained popularity (9). Approaches to psychotherapy that are spiritually and religiously linked are also being created and investigated (10).


Chapel services in the United Kingdom have traditionally been Christian, but today encompass a wide range of diverse religion traditions, as well as providing assistance to persons who do not identify with any particular religious tradition. Chaplains are becoming more and more important members of the teams that offer care both inside and outside of the hospital. They are made up of clergy and volunteers from a wide range of religious traditions, churches, and humanist organizations. They can assist you with your spiritual well-being (11).

  • Cooperate closely with the mental health team in order to identify and meet any spiritual needs that may arise
  • Work in close collaboration with local clergy and religious communities
  • Make available information about local religious organizations, their traditions, and their customs
  • Recognize that, in some circumstances, an individual might become too preoccupied with religious ideas and practices to the point that they become useless – and even destructive
  • Provide guidance on tough themes like as personal encounters with paranormal influences, spirit possession, and the ministry of deliverance
  • And Make certain that patients are aware of this form of assistance.

For yourself: Because spirituality is highly individual, you should experiment to see what works best for you. Build on what you’ve learned so far, examine what hasn’t worked so well, and consider new alternatives. You may learn about spiritual practices and traditions through a variety of religious organizations, which can be found online. Secular spiritual activities are becoming more widely available and popular as time goes on. A spiritual or holistic component may be found in many complementary therapies.

What role do religion and spirituality play in mental health?

According to a 2012 Pew Research Center research, about 80 percent of Americans claim to follow some form of religion, with just around 20 percent, largely younger individuals, claiming to have no religious affiliation at all. In the coming days, religious festivals such as Passover and Easter will draw attention to how religion has had a significant impact on American society, regardless of whether one is religious, spiritual, or neither. PhD Kenneth I. Pargament is a recognized specialist in the psychology of religion and spirituality.

The ” American Psychological Association Handbook of Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality,” which was released in January 2013, was edited by him.

Two of his works are titled “The Psychology of Religion and Coping: Theory, Research, and Practice” (1997) and “Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy: Understanding and Addressing the Sacred” (2001).

A clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University, he is also a prominent scholar at the Institute for Spirituality and Health at the Texas Medical Center, where he works as a clinical psychologist.

The American Psychological Association has sent the following questions to Pargament regarding the psychology of religion and spirituality.

APA: You are known for research about the links between religion and coping. What are you discovering in your studies of the relationship between religion and psychological well-being and stress? What is the difference between positive and negative religious coping and its potential outcomes for patients?

Argument: The adage that “there are no atheists in foxholes” is not entirely accurate. Before, during, and after war, we can discover atheists who are steadfast in their belief in the existence of God. It is true, however, that people frequently turn to their religious beliefs for comfort and support during their most difficult times. In fact, some groups, such as the elderly and minorities, may be more inclined to seek assistance from their religious institutions than they are from family, friends, or the health-care system.

There are many different types of religious coping mechanisms, and some are more effective than others.

Positive religious coping methods include receiving spiritual support from God or a higher power, participating in rituals to help with life transitions, receiving spiritual forgiveness, receiving support from a religious institution or clergy, and reframing a stressful situation into a larger, more benevolent system of meaning, among other things.

Events in one’s life may disrupt and destroy a person’s spirituality, as well as their psychological, social, and physical well-being.

These spiritual conflicts have been related to higher levels of psychological discomfort, reductions in physical health, and even an increased risk of death in recent years, according to an expanding corpus of studies.

APA: How do psychologists use religion and spirituality in clinical practice today? Among the various approaches, which do you feel are most effective and why?

Observation: The classic adage that there are no atheists in foxholes is not entirely correct. Prior to, during, and after war, we can encounter atheists who are steadfast in their religious beliefs. It is true, however, that people frequently turn to their religious beliefs for consolation and support during their most difficult times. Rather of turning to family, friends, or the health-care system for assistance, some groups, such as the elderly and minorities, may be more prone to turn to their faith for assistance.

However, there are many different types of religious coping mechanisms, and some are more effective than others in dealing with stress.

Some of these positive religious coping methods include receiving spiritual support from God or a higher power, participating in rituals to help people transition through life stages, seeking spiritual forgiveness, receiving support from a religious institution or clergy, and reframing the stressful situation into a larger, more benevolent system of meaning.

A person’s spiritual well-being can be shattered by events in his or her life, just as they can be shattered by psychological, social, and physical events.

These spiritual problems have been linked to higher levels of psychological discomfort, reductions in physical health, and even an increased risk of death in recent years, according to an increasing corpus of research.

Consequently, it is critical for psychologists and other health-care professionals to understand the dual nature of religion and spirituality: they may be crucial resources for health and well-being, but they can also be sources of suffering.

APA: What is the difference between spirituality and mindfulness or meditation? Are gratitude and forgiveness within a religious or spiritual context different from the same virtues within a secular context?

Psychological subjects such as meditation, forgiveness, acceptance, appreciation, hope, and love have begun to be included and explored within the field of psychology in recent years. Each of these occurrences has significant origins in religious traditions and philosophical traditions from both the Eastern and Western worlds. Despite this, scholars and practitioners have taken care to treat these processes as though they were of a secular character. It has become something of a cliché in the literature that “you don’t have to be religious to meditate.” There has been a beginning of very important psychological and social discoveries emerging from research on various areas of life.

  1. However, when these conceptions are separated from their greater context, it is possible that something is lost.
  2. Other research have found that spiritual forms of support, meaning-making, and coping predict health and well-being in ways that are distinct from the impacts of secular forms of support, meaning-making, and coping (e.g., religious affiliation).
  3. Membership to a religious congregation is not the same as belonging to a service organization such as the Kiwanis or Rotary Club.
  4. Religion and spirituality, unlike any other aspect of life, place a singular emphasis on the realm of the sacred, which includes transcendence, ultimate truth, finiteness, and a profound sense of togetherness.
APA: What are some of the ethical issues that might confront psychologists who incorporate religion and spirituality in their patients’ treatments?

When it comes to religion and spirituality, there is no such thing as a neutral position. Atheists and agnostics, as well as theistic believers, can all benefit from following this broad rule of thumb, which also applies to psychologists and their clients. As a result of the intense sensations that religion and spirituality arouse in individuals and the fact that they speak to people’s deepest values, practicing psychologists must exercise caution while approaching these processes with understanding, compassion, and care.

  • This current condition of affairs must be changed.
  • Competent care is also a result of self-awareness and reflection.
  • Furthermore, they must take efforts to ensure that the customers’ decision-making independence and autonomy are safeguarded.
  • It is also extremely beneficial to consult with specialists who represent a variety of religious and spiritual traditions, as well as a variety of professional backgrounds.

When dealing with the sticky value and ethical dilemmas that might emerge when addressing religion and spirituality in practice, this can bring valuable perspective and knowledge.

APA: Given the vastness of the topic with so many differing views, how did you go about editing a two-volume handbook on psychology, religion and spirituality?

In this field, the times have changed, as demonstrated by the following paragraph. When I initially began out in 1975, I had the luxury of going to the library once a semester and carefully reviewing the journals to keep up with the latest developments in the field. That is no longer the case. It’s difficult to keep up with the rapid expansion of research in this area. The study of religion and spirituality is yielding research that has implications for every subdiscipline of psychology, as well as for a wide range of other subjects.

  • It presented a significant challenge to me when I was requested to serve as the editor-in-chief of the “APA Handbook of Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality,” namely, how to provide better consistency to this fast increasing body of literature.
  • In the first volume, we concentrated on the contextual, theoretical, and empirical underpinnings of the discipline.
  • Our discussion of current breakthroughs in the field of practice, as well as the drive toward an applied psychology of religion and spirituality, was included in the second book.
  • Based in Washington, D.C., the American Psychological Association is the biggest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the largest association of psychologists in the world.

The American Psychological Association (APA) works to advance the creation, communication, and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial, and Canadian provincial associations.

Religion and Mental Health: What Is the Link?

Christmas is almost approaching, and many people will be devoting their attention to spiritual concerns during this time of year.

A increasing body of research has studied the relationship between religious belief, religious practice, and psychological well-being, which is interesting. These research indicate a set of findings that are similar across the board.

What Do the Studies Say?

A growing body of evidence shows that having greater levels of religious belief and practice (also known as ” religiosity” in social science) is connected with having better mental health. Increased religiosity, according to the findings, is connected with decreased rates of depressive and anxious symptoms as well as drug use disorder and suicide ideation. Religious affiliation is also related with improved physical health and subjective well-being, according to the findings. Furthermore, research suggests that religion might benefit in the recovery from mental illness by promoting the flow of positive emotions.

How Does Religion Help Mental Health?

Some social scientists have drawn a distinction between public (or “extrinsic”) and private (or “intrinsic”) religiosity in order to better understand the differences between the two. When it comes to public religion, active involvement in a religious congregation is meant; nevertheless, private religiosity refers to religious belief and practice that takes place less obviously, such as at home or just deep inside the individual’s mind, is meant. It has been demonstrated that both kinds of religion are beneficial to one’s mental health.

  1. Additionally, many persons suffering from mental illnesses claim that private prayer, devotional readings and religious programs (on television, radio, or the internet) may bring peace and comfort, which can help them to heal more quickly and effectively.
  2. Eric Jarvis of Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital, who is a world authority on religion and mental health and who appears in the video below.
  3. Adversity, misery, and suffering are all situations in which this framework may be extremely beneficial to you.
  4. It appears that these findings are consistent with previous research suggesting that religiosity may be particularly essential at times of high stress and vulnerability, such as when dealing with a life-changing event like as divorce or bereavement.

Religion and Mental Health Services

Many studies have found that religious belief is rarely used as a resource for rehabilitation by mental health professionals in the ordinary course of their work. In truth, there is a continuous conflict between psychiatry and religion, which manifests itself in high percentages of atheism among mental health professionals, as well as skepticism towards religion among important historical leaders in psychology such as Freud, Skinner, and Ellis, to name a few examples. This condition can be destructive to all persons suffering from mental disorders, but it is particularly harmful to those who come from minority backgrounds.

By incorporating spiritual and religious approaches into mental health treatment settings, it may be possible to improve the poor rates of service usage, engagement, and adherence seen in this population.

Religious Competence

Many studies have found that religious belief is rarely used as a resource for rehabilitation by mental health professionals in the ordinary course of their work.1 In truth, there is a continuous friction between psychiatry and religion, which manifests itself in high percentages of atheism among mental health practitioners, as well as skepticism towards religion among important historical leaders in psychology such as Freud, Skinner, and Ellis, to name a few examples.

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Individuals suffering from mental diseases, in general, but particularly those from minority groups, may suffer as a result of this circumstance.

This group has poor rates of service usage, engagement, and adherence, and incorporating religious methods into mental health care settings may help to address these issues.

God Help Us? How Religion is Good (And Bad) For Mental Health

(Image courtesy ofa href=”/a”>praying hands image viaa href=”/a”) On his first visit to the United States, Pope Francis is attracting a massive audience and forcing millions of people to endure hours of traffic congestion this week in order to catch a sight of him. Those who are devoutly religious will find that the pope’s visit to the United States provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to receive papal blessings, experience compassion, and feel closer to God. However, even those devout Catholics who aren’t in the front row for Francis’ visit may get some rewards from their religious convictions.

  • A lot of studies have discovered that those who are devoted had less symptoms of despair and anxiety, as well as a greater capacity to cope with stressful situations.
  • Although religion may be a blessing in disguise, it can also be a curse: Studies have found that negative religious views — such as the notion that God is punishing or abandoning you — are associated with negative results, such as increased rates of depression and a worse quality of life.
  • While spirituality may have a positive impact on one’s life, “we are aware of its negative aspects,” Pargament remarked.
  • The benefits of religion on one’s mental health A vast amount of studies — notably among adults in the United States — has linked religious beliefs with favorable results in terms of psychological well-being.
  • Those who were in poor health and were not religious had the greatest levels of depression.
  • Dr.
  • Koenig, director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health at Duke University Medical Center, conducted another assessment of 93 papers on religion and health and discovered that persons who were more religious had less depressive symptoms than those who were less religious.

Koenig explains that one of the reasons is that it provides individuals a sense of purpose and meaning in their lives, which helps them make sense of the unpleasant things that happen to them.

Religion and the functioning of the brain Neuroscientist Dr.


According to Newberg, research suggests that meditation and contemplative prayer (such as prayer that repeats a specific phrase) stimulate parts of the brain that are involved in controlling emotional reactions, such as the frontal lobes.

They discovered that these long-term meditators had increased activity in frontal-lobe areas such as the prefrontal cortex when compared to people who had not practiced meditation for a long period of time.

It is likely that these changes existed before the meditators began their meditation practice, which means that these studies cannot conclude that prayer transformed the brains of those who participated in them.

According to him, the more that specific neurological connections in the brain are used, the stronger they get.

Consequently, you find yourself continually returning to these pleasant sentiments and emotions, which helps to relieve tension and anxiety, as well as lower stress hormone levels, says Newberg.

According to him, abstaining from these harmful practices may also be advantageous to one’s brain function in the long run.

Religion, on the other hand, does not always have a favorable impact on mental health; the impact is dependent on a person’s views as well as whether or not religion is largely embraced by the greater community, according to experts.

According to Newberg, this would theoretically activate parts of the brain associated with hatred, which would in turn raise tension and drive the production of stress hormones, among other things.

Pargament has also discovered that when people feel that God has abandoned them or when they question God’s love for them, they tend to experience greater mental pain and even a higher chance of dying early than they otherwise would.

It is unclear why some people have a positive attitude toward religion while others have a negative attitude toward religion, according to Newberg, who believes that more research should be done on the subject.

Rachael Rettner may be found on Twitter at @RachaelRettner.

The original story may be found on Live Science.

In addition, she holds a master’s degree in journalism from the Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program at New York University.

She also has a B.S. in molecular biology and an M.S. in biology from the University of California, San Diego, which she earned while working in the field. Her work has featured in a variety of publications, including Scienceline, The Washington Post, and Scientific American.

The Positive Effects of Religion on Mental Illness

My postpartum depression was severe enough that I had to be admitted to the hospital this past year. I felt useless and overwhelmed, and I felt like a complete and utter failure. My wife and I, as well as our two young children, were dealing with an extremely tough circumstance. As I recovered and formed relationships with other people who were suffering from mental illness, I began to notice a marked difference between those who were religious and those who did not adhere to a religious creed.

It appeared to me that the religious folks had more emotional and social support, a more optimistic perspective, and a larger sense of hope and drive to heal than the secular individuals.

A large number of studies have demonstrated that religion has a positive impact on one’s mental health.

3 In a similar vein, study released in 2006 discovered that there is an overwhelming positive association between religion and a wide range of measures of emotional well-being (including depression and anxiety).

4In addition, a 2015 review of over 3000 scholarly articles for the International Journal of Emergency Mental Health and Human Resilience discovered that religion/spirituality has a “positive effect” on a variety of health outcomes, including: “minor depression, faster recovery from depressive episodes, lower rates of suicide, less use, abuse, and substance dependence, greater well-being, and self-reported happiness.” 4 5It is worth noting that the study on the subject indicates that not all types of religiosity (i.e.

affiliation, engagement, church attendance) are beneficial to persons suffering from mental illness.

Among Canadians, a 2004 study examining the relationship between religious practice (worship service attendance), spiritual and religious self-perception, and importance (salience) and depression discovered that while “those who stated spiritual values or faith were important or perceived themselves to be spiritual/religious had higher levels of depressive symptoms.more frequent worship service attendees had significantly fewer depressive symptoms.” 10 Despite the lack of empirical evidence, religion has been shown to have a therapeutic effect on mental health by providing individuals with essential coping skills that are available “regardless of their socioeconomic, social, physical, or psychological situations.”” Religious organizations encourage healthy lifestyle practices (such as rest, monogamous sex, and moderation in all things), provide individuals with social support (resulting in a sense of belonging and being cared for by their group), and assist their adherents in developing cognitive frameworks that will aid them in navigating through life’s challenges.

As a result, religion strengthens believers’ internal locus of control.

Furthermore, religious individuals can counter negative tendencies brought on by their illness by engaging in religious practices like prayer or meditation, which can “reduce tension and anxiety, diminish self-blame, stabilize emotional ups and downs, and improve self-knowledge,” according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Improve the management of difficulties such as: “panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), sleeplessness; drug usage; stress; chronic pain; and other health issues.” Moreover, the favorable effects of religious coping on mental health are constant across all demographics (including age groups, races, genders, nationalities, and socioeconomic position), and they tend to be greater “for those who are under stressful conditions.” 19 As a result, religious coping is an extremely valuable resource for people who are suffering from mental illness, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds who face significant stress in their daily lives, have higher rates of mental disorders, and lack the social support and financial resources to seek treatment for their illness.

Unmarried moms are among the most vulnerable of these categories.

19At this time, the available information indicates that unmarried parents have greater rates of mental illness than married parents.

They also have a greater likelihood of experiencing such debilitating illness than married parents.

23 Additionally, the study discovered that unmarried parents were more likely than married parents to report “mental health and behavioral difficulties.” A 2009 study that looked at the risk of depression based on marital status discovered that “unpartnered pregnant patients” were nearly 10-times more likely to exhibit depressive symptoms than cohabiting pregnant women, who were “several hundred times” more likely to exhibit depressive symptoms than unpartnered pregnant patients.

  • 24 Furthermore, unpartnered moms were two times more likely to suffer postpartum depression symptoms, whereas cohabiting mothers were more than 20 times more likely to experience these symptoms.
  • Religious coping should be viewed as a valuable instrument in the healing process that is free, easily available, and highly successful.
  • 26 Maria Archer (Kaufmann) serves as Director of Youth Ministry at St.
  • She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona.
  • 1.
  • “According to research, religion and spirituality can improve mental health by encouraging constructive religious coping, providing a sense of belonging and support, and instilling positive beliefs.
  • Religion and spirituality have the capacity to either improve or deteriorate one’s psychological well-being.” The following is an excerpt from Koenig HG’s article “Religion, spirituality, and health: a review and update.” ADVANCED MIND-BODY MEDICINE, SUMMER 2015, 29(3):289.

“Religiousness and mental health: A review.” Stefano Lassi and Daniele Mugnaini, in Rev.

Psiquiatr., vol.

2, So Paulo, 2006, p.

In “The Role of Religion and Spirituality on Mental Health and Resilience: There is Enough Evidence,” researchers present their findings.

Behere, P.


B., Das, A., Yadav, R.

“Religion and mental wellness,” says the author.

G., Marcoux, E., et al (2004).

The Journal of neurological and mental disorders, volume 192, number 12, pages 818-822 Tepper L, Rogers SA, Coleman EM, “The prevalence of religious coping among persons with persistent mental illness,” Psychiatr Serv.

E., and Larson, D.

2001; 52: 660; McCullough, M.

B., “The prevalence of religious (1999).

The Journal of Twin Research, Volume 2, Number 2, Page 126; Keefe, R.


Mental Health, Religion, and Culture.

Weber and Kenneth I.b.

Issue 5 of Current Opinion in Psychiatry was published in September 2014 and has pages 358–363 (Volume 27: Issue 5: p 358–363).

“Religion, spirituality, and health: a review and update,” Journal of Religion and Health, vol.



Moreira-Almeida, F.

Koenig Harold, “Religiousness and Mental Health: A Review,” in Religiousness and Mental Health: A Review.


“The Role of Religion and Spirituality on Mental Health and Resilience: There is Enough Evidence,” by Stefano Lassi and Daniele Mugnaini, is available online.

661 in International Journal of Emergency Mental Health and Human Resilience, published by ISSN 1522-4821 in Vol.

3 (March 2015).

McCullough, M.


E., Larson, D.


Baetz, M., Griffin, R., Bowen, R., Koenig, H.



The Journal of neurological and mental disorders, volume 192, number 12, pages 818-822 The frequency of religious coping among individuals with chronic mental illness was investigated by Tepper L, Rogers SA, and Coleman EM in a study published in the journal Psychological Science.

52, no.


Marcoux, E.; Baetz (M); Griffin (R); Bowen (R); Koenig (H.

‘The relationship between spiritual and religious activity and depressed symptoms in a Canadian population,’ says the study.

Moreira-Almeida A, LotufoNeto F, and Koenig Harold G.

Journal of Brazilian Psychiatry, 2006;28(1).

Behere, P.


B., Das, A., Yadav, R.

“Religion and mental wellness,” says the author.

55, no.


E., and Larson, D.

McCullough and Larson (1999).

A review of twin studies, 2 (02), 126.11.

G.), and Marcoux (E.) (2004).

The Journal of neurological and mental disorders, volume 192, number 12, pages 818-822 Koenig, H.G.

Adv Mind Body Med.

Behere, P.

P., Das, A., Das, A., Das, A., Das, A., Das, A., Das, A., Das, A., Das, A., Das, A., Das, A., Das, A., Das, A., Das, A., Das (2013).

Indian Journal of Psychiatry, vol.

2 (supplement), pp.





“Religiousness and mental health: A review,” Moreira-Almeida A, LotufoNeto F, and Koenig Harold G.


In a 2012 interview with Psychiatry Weekly, sociologist Robin W.

Several researchers, including W.

Waite, and Alex Roberts, published a research brief for the Institute for American Values in 2007 that summarized the vast body of research on marriage and mental health to show that, on average, married men and women have better emotional and psychological well-being and lower rates of substance abuse and depression, as well as lower rates of suicide, than single or divorced individuals A 10-year study of 14,000 Americans concluded that “marriage is one of the most important predictors of happiness.” They mention this study as evidence.

Research Briefs on Fragile Families: Marriage Discrimination Among Fragile Families (Bendheim-Thoman, et al., 2000).



Ibid (2006).

“Marital Status Disparities in Maternal Smoking during Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, and Maternal Depression.” Ibid., p.

Ibid., p.

A substantial predictor of prenatal depression is cohabitation, according to the research of Podolska MZ1, Majkowicz M, Sipak-Szmigiel O, and Ronin-Walknowska E.

2009 Apr;80(4):280.



The authors (Miller, L., Warner, V., Wickramaratne, P., and Weissman, M.) (1997). “Religiosity and depression: a ten-year follow-up of depressive moms and their children,” according to the study. The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 36, no. 10, pp. 1416-1425

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