Mental health challenges can be stressful and overwhelming to deal with. Finding the right approach can also be difficult, especially if you’re religious. However, turning to your faith and talking to the right people can provide you with some form of solace and guidance.
Incorporating your religious beliefs into your mental health care can be complex. To help you, we’ve provided information on how religious individuals deal with mental health challenges while also staying true to their faith. When you understand these unique perspectives and strategies, you can gain insights into the intersection of faith and mental well-being.
The Benefits of Relion for People with Mental Health Challenges
Studies in the U.S. have shown that people who practice religion have had positive outcomes in dealing with mental health issues. Kenneth Pargament, a professor at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, states that if people have a loving and kind perception of God, they experience benefits.
Furthermore, studies show that people who believe in God responded positively to medication that treats anxiety and depression. Dr. Harold G. Koenig, who works at Duke University Medical Center, found that religious people had fewer symptoms of depression.
Religious people also seem to cope better with stress. This is because religion gives people a sense of hope and meaning. Religion also helps individuals make sense of what’s happening to them so they can take proper steps to heal.
Ways Religious People Deal With Depression and Anxiety
The way religious people deal with depression and anxiety will depend on the type of religion they’re practicing. For instance, the Dalai Lama recommends practicing compassion therapy and meditation for dealing with depressive symptoms.
On the other hand, Christians may pray or read verses in the Bible to help them with their condition. Christians may also speak to leaders of their church to provide guidance and comfort. Hindus may deal with depression and anxiety by performing mantras or helping others.
Seeking Council From Christian Practitioners
One of the most important aspects for Christians is seeking help from people they trust when dealing with mental health challenges. Fortunately, nowadays, there are Christian psychiatrists who can help people who suffer from depression, anxiety, and even agoraphobia.
If you or someone you know suffers from major bouts of depression, then check for online Christian counseling that accepts insurance. You or the person you know can then seek professional assistance that won’t impact finances.
Christian counselors can provide healthy guidance so that you don’t feel trapped, ashamed, or lost when dealing with your mental health issues. Speaking to people you trust and who practice the same religion as you can give you hope and help you heal spiritually.
Can Religion Be Harmful to Your Mental Health?
Although there are studies that show religion can be beneficial for patients who have depression and anxiety, it can also be harmful to others. There are people who have negative religious beliefs that include the following:
- God is punishing them for their sins
- God has abandoned them
- Everyone is going to hell
- God allows demons to attack them
- Guilt for not following religious scripture
- Fearful that God is angry at them
These negative thoughts and beliefs can amplify their depression and anxiety because they may not experience the feeling of hope and joy like other Christians do.
What’s more, people with bipolar disorder may believe that they have a special connection with God or that he is talking to them. These experiences may make bipolar patients do certain things that are out of character. Religious people may also refuse to take medication because they believe God will heal them.
Seeking Help from People Around You
Another way to deal with mental health issues is to seek assistance from your community or your loved ones. If you’re feeling depressed, you can talk to someone you trust, like a friend or your parents, to guide you.
If you struggle with more severe mental health challenges like bipolar, you can ask your neighbors to keep an eye on you and help if you have a manic episode. Be open and honest with people about your condition so they know how to assist you the right way.
Consider volunteering at your local church so you can help young Christians who are also suffering from mental health concerns.
Religion can have a positive and negative impact on a person’s mental health, depending on how they perceive God. You can seek professional help from a Christian practitioner if you’re having negative thoughts or beliefs when it comes to your faith.
Overall, it’s important to speak to someone you trust about your depression so that they can help you with the right methods, medication, and guidance.