Studies: Belief in God relieves depression?

  • #26
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I dropped atheism I have been a much happier person.
Label this IMO please. Atheism is basically a belief in nothing - correct? On the surface that has a hopeless feel to me (again IMO). I think a belief in anything positive would be better than a belief in nothing - hopeful is better than hopeless. (IMO)
 
  • #27
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Sorry "IMO"
 
  • #29
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It is true that believing in God (and any religious believe) relieves depression, anxiety, and many other mental disorders. Stressors affect a person, and how that person reacts to the stressor is called stress... now, how that individual perceives stress is called distress. Religiousity acts as a mediator between stress and distress.. and what causes religion to mediate stress is the various social supports that one gets from their religious institution. Lets say that Anna is very distressed from her job and three children that she has to take care of. Anna becomes depressed over the course of a few days, but then Sunday comes around, and she and her three children are off to church. Now, when she gets to church, she asks her church family to pray for her, because she is so distressed from her job. The church responds by maybe comforting her in her time of need, cooking food to take to her house, perhaps take up a special offering for her (I've seen this done many times). This is why religion relieves stress, because of the social capital she has invested with her religious institution. This, of course, is from a sociological perspective. Now, from a psychological perspective, her relationship with God may cause her to release certain hormones and natural pain killers when she prays that relieves her stress and anxiety and makes her feel better. Idk about that one, though.. psychology isn't my field of study :) One of you psychologists get on here and describe the psychology involved.
 
  • #30
149
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It is true that believing in God (and any religious believe) relieves depression, anxiety, and many other mental disorders. Stressors affect a person, and how that person reacts to the stressor is called stress... now, how that individual perceives stress is called distress. Religiousity acts as a mediator between stress and distress.. and what causes religion to mediate stress is the various social supports that one gets from their religious institution. Lets say that Anna is very distressed from her job and three children that she has to take care of. Anna becomes depressed over the course of a few days, but then Sunday comes around, and she and her three children are off to church. Now, when she gets to church, she asks her church family to pray for her, because she is so distressed from her job. The church responds by maybe comforting her in her time of need, cooking food to take to her house, perhaps take up a special offering for her (I've seen this done many times). This is why religion relieves stress, because of the social capital she has invested with her religious institution. This, of course, is from a sociological perspective. Now, from a psychological perspective, her relationship with God may cause her to release certain hormones and natural pain killers when she prays that relieves her stress and anxiety and makes her feel better. Idk about that one, though.. psychology isn't my field of study :) One of you psychologists get on here and describe the psychology involved.
You've described the support provided by a social or community group.
 
  • #31
moodalert
That's one of the Lord's miracles. Taking away the pain if you accept the light. If you for once believe that's a placebo effect all the "magic" is lost and that herein proves that He's for real.
 
  • #32
lisab
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Label this IMO please. Atheism is basically a belief in nothing - correct? On the surface that has a hopeless feel to me (again IMO). I think a belief in anything positive would be better than a belief in nothing - hopeful is better than hopeless. (IMO)
There's a lot of misunderstanding of what atheism means.

Atheism is not the absence of hope; atheism is simply not believing in the supernatural. I'm atheist, and I still have hope, even in hopeless situations. When an ambulance goes by with its siren blaring, I still say a prayer for the person inside - even though I fully realize I'm not, in any way, affecting what's going on inside that ambulance. The prayer, I suppose, is an expression of hope. Part of my humanity, I guess. But I'm quite clear that there is nothing supernatural going on there.

All IMO :smile:.
 
  • #33
Gokul43201
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On a cloudy day, does it give you comfort to think of the sky as blue?
Perhaps it does. I doubt there's been a scientific study. What's your point?
 
  • #34
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Perhaps it does. I doubt there's been a scientific study. What's your point?
You might have to go back up-thread to keep this in context with respect to definitive proof. jduster stated "There is no certain evidence that there is a God that exists in reality to relieve depression. Belief in God is solely a matter of taking a leap of faith as one cannot be completely sure if there is a God or no. " Accordingly, I ask, is the sky really blue - or does it just look blue?

Another way to look at it is this, if you think of the sky as blue (and that makes you feel better than when it's cloudy) should you then remind yourself the sky really isn't blue - what would be the point of needing proof. If the thought of something positive makes you feel better - why not enjoy the moment?
 
  • #35
Gokul43201
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You might have to go back up-thread to keep this in context with respect to definitive proof. jduster stated "There is no certain evidence that there is a God that exists in reality to relieve depression. Belief in God is solely a matter of taking a leap of faith as one cannot be completely sure if there is a God or no. " Accordingly, I ask, is the sky really blue - or does it just look blue?
I don't follow. Can you make your point about belief in God directly, without resorting to analogy?

Another way to look at it is this, if you think of the sky as blue (and that makes you feel better than when it's cloudy) should you then remind yourself the sky really isn't blue - what would be the point of needing proof.
Lost me again. The quote above from jduster says nothing about needing proof.
 
  • #36
Evo
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There's a lot of misunderstanding of what atheism means.

Atheism is not the absence of hope; atheism is simply not believing in the supernatural. I'm atheist, and I still have hope, even in hopeless situations. When an ambulance goes by with its siren blaring, I still say a prayer for the person inside - even though I fully realize I'm not, in any way, affecting what's going on inside that ambulance. The prayer, I suppose, is an expression of hope. Part of my humanity, I guess. But I'm quite clear that there is nothing supernatural going on there.

All IMO :smile:.
Atheists are emotionally stronger than religious people because they have morals without threats and can cope with bad situations without an emotional crutch. I understand that many humans are too weak to cope with adversity on their own and need a crutch, they need support of other people that believe as they do and even need a belief in the supernatural. I'm fine with that if that's what they need, as long as they keep that need within their group and don't try to insist other people have the same weaknesses.
 
  • #37
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I totally respect you opinion Evo, but sometimes it also takes strength to believe as well. For example, I used to be an atheist, and when I started looking at what I felt was evidence for things of a spiritual nature it did cause some resistance in me. Even though I am not a scientist or part of the scientific community I have always wanted to keep my beliefs in line with what current science teaches. I had also spent a lot of time in my life arguing that the spiritual aspects of reality were not really real. I had to really make a bold step and break away from the current thinking of things by science. I do admit though that it does give me comfort to believe, but I would not believe if I were not convinced of what I felt was evidence, and I am still always questioning and looking for new data. There is a lot of data that I have come across, but I am not going to post it here because it was not gained by normal research at a university.
 
  • #38
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I agree and disagree with Eve. I think that religion can give you strength, and that it can take strength to believe as well. I think that certain people, irregardless of their beliefs, are "weaker" or "stronger" than others. People that can't handle life typically find something or someone to fall back on, be it religion, a friend, drugs, whatever.
 
  • #39
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I don't follow. Can you make your point about belief in God directly, without resorting to analogy?

Lost me again. The quote above from jduster says nothing about needing proof.
Is it rational to feel better when you think of a blue sky on a cloudy day? You know the sky isn't blue - yet it makes you feel better - how is that possible?

A few posts up-thread, Lisa said she's an atheist - yet she also says "When an ambulance goes by with its siren blaring, I still say a prayer for the person inside - even though I fully realize I'm not, in any way, affecting what's going on inside that ambulance. The prayer, I suppose, is an expression of hope".


My point is this, a belief in anything you personally believe is positive - whether it's God, a blue sky, or hope - can make you feel better. You don't need proof of something for it to help you feel better.
 
  • #40
lisab
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Is it rational to feel better when you think of a blue sky on a cloudy day? You know the sky isn't blue - yet it makes you feel better - how is that possible?

A few posts up-thread, Lisa said she's an atheist - yet she also says "When an ambulance goes by with its siren blaring, I still say a prayer for the person inside - even though I fully realize I'm not, in any way, affecting what's going on inside that ambulance. The prayer, I suppose, is an expression of hope".


My point is this, a belief in anything you personally believe is positive - whether it's God, a blue sky, or hope - can make you feel better. You don't need proof of something for it to help you feel better.
The point of my post was, you don't need to believe in the supernatural to have hope.
 
  • #41
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The point of my post was, you don't need to believe in the supernatural to have hope.
My guess is your "prayer" goes something like this "I hope they are ok" - am I close? If hope makes you feel better - it makes you feel better - no further analysis required (IMO). If I'm REALLY feeling down, I sometimes think of this song - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrwhfhncPfM&feature=related

It makes me feel better.

On the other hand, this version doesn't work as well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZldHDOCNgo&feature=related
 
  • #42
lisab
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My guess is your "prayer" goes something like this "I hope they are ok" - am I close? If hope makes you feel better - it makes you feel better - no further analysis required (IMO). If I'm REALLY feeling down, I sometimes think of this song - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrwhfhncPfM&feature=related

It makes me feel better.

On the other hand, this version doesn't work as well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZldHDOCNgo&feature=related
Yes, an expression of hope and goodwill to whoever is in there.

Nice song :smile:.
 

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