A 32-year-old member asked:
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can you tell me if that religion may aid a person with mental illness?

2 doctor answers
Dr. Pamela Pappas
42 years experience Psychiatry
Sometimes it can: Some research shows that religious people who also participate in church have better mental health. http://tinyurl.com/n5qvbq8 they may handle stress better, have more well-being and hope, be less depressed and anxious, be more socially connected, drink less alcohol, etc. That said, religious ideas may also be incorporated into psychotic thinking, such as feeling intensely guilty or "bad.".
Answered on Apr 14, 2016
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Dr. Mark Fisher
34 years experience Neurology
And the opposite: 1 feature of "temporal-lobe personality" (Geschwind syndrome) is hyperreligiosity. Temporal-lobe abnormalities are also implicated in many psych diseases eg schizophrenia. Several of my seizure pts have bizarre personalities & religious ideas including that seizures are demonic possession (quoting the New Testament!). Leads me to wonder if religion & mental illness aren't 2 sides of the same coin.
Answered on May 21, 2016
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2 comments
Dr. Mark Fisher
Dr. Mark Fisher commented
34 years experience Neurology
Provided original answer
Quite true. There is systematic evidence that prayer fulfils a powerful emotional need. It's the act of prayer that has the effect. Whether the object of belief or prayer - a deity, supreme being, idol, the Mongols' Eternal Blue Sky - is real, a figment of the believer's imagination, or a collective delusion, doesn't seem to matter. Faith means belief without proof. Humans are good at that.
Sep 26, 2014
Dr. Lois Freisleben-Cook
41 years experience Pediatrics
However faith in something greater and a benevolent force.in the universe can offer comfort and hope. Do feel free to turn to your faith when you feel a sense of despair. Prayer helps many cope with mental and physical ills.
Sep 26, 2014

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