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can religion help mental health
September 20, 2000
1:38 pm
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grins
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I am trying to see how religion, any religion, can help a person mentally. Can someone in depression or in something of the sort be helped or even healed by relgion?

September 20, 2000
11:50 pm
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doggg
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Yes, Christanity is a positive force that's powerful enough to rule-out all manner of disease. However, this God requires a relationship, we must love Him enought to let Him do the job. Notice, we maynot be able to love Him as much as He loves us, but He has given us an opportunity to love Him enought to submit our whole, body-mind-spirit over to Him.

September 24, 2000
8:38 pm
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mcc
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I think that is a very valid question. I do think the persepctive of a higher being loving us and being concerned about our wellbeing is a powerful one. I do however think that some disorders such as major depression or DID call for medication as well as a new perspective about the individuals lovability and their right to be alive because God created them. Any religion that promotes the reality of grace and redemption is a wonderful thing.

September 25, 2000
12:26 pm
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Cici
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Yes, yes, yes. It's funny because in practice we learn not to mention spirituality in the therapeutic process.

Jung in his theories of archetypes said that within the collective unconscious, those memories shared by the entirety of humanity because of our genetic code, there is an archetype for Godhead, the idea of a God. According to Jung, we must satisfy these archetypes to avoid neuroses.

I reject the contradictory nature of Christianity, though. For personal reasons (I grew up Catholic, went to Catholic school for 10 years, I've been to Baptist, Unitarian, Anglican, Episcopalian churches).

I am drawn personally to the idea that we all worship the same God, but with different rituals and different names because of regional differences. The idea of evangelicism is jsut plain repulsive. Why persecute another person's idea of God? Isn't it good enough that we all worhip God in our own way, even if we have different names or symbols? Sanatana Dharma (What we call Hinduism) and some sects of Buddhism accept that there are many paths to the same end.

The idea of spirituality within the context of therapy is very valid, and often employed. Mostly in the west, where we are all about diagnoses and neat, packaged cures, we neglect the lack of spirituality in everyday life. Christianity, with the idea of confession for your sins, makes it much too easy to live life in a non-spiritual way and sequester all faith-related emotions to one day a week.

Fulfill whatever urge leads you to God. Do your own research. Find your own way.

September 26, 2000
12:28 pm
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lover2000
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My answer to you would be yes. Religion can help mental health, and I know this because I ama living witness. A while ago, I suffered from a case of mild depression and I prayed to the Lord. Not only did I pray, but I fasted and sought earnestly. On one occasion, I just feel in the floor and cried out to God. Within a year, I was doing a whole lot better. I'm not completely healed, but I do not have much longer to go before I am. What I will tell you is that God says in his word "Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest." He also says that He will never put more on us than we are able to bear. And God is not a man that He should lie. So yes, religion does help mental health. And I would just like to encourage you that if you are going through something, to pray over it, God will see you through and before you know it, your blessing will be on the way.

September 26, 2000
1:26 pm
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i have seen strong people who are not religious. religion has nothing to do with the quality of a person. its a perception. its not sure that it will work for you. if u think it works, then do it. i had a religion but i left it and there's no going abck for me now, cause it doesnt satisfy my logic. my religion pus so many constraints on me. i realized that noone including god.. has the right to command me. there are so many different types of people. u'll see unhappy people in religion, happy ppl with no religion, happy ppl with relgion and unhappy ppl without religion. so it doesnt matter, this relgion. but if it works for you and makes u happy, then nothing like it, go for it. just do what u think will satisfy you. you will not be punished for not having a relgion. god is not so egotistical that he'll burn you in fire if u dont beleive in him. its not possible. just do what works for u. like cici said too.

October 1, 2000
8:52 pm
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dudet
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that all depends on you. religion is hurting me. i don't know what to believe in and i don't know who to trust. if you can unconditionally believe in something than religion is right for you and can help you but if you can't accepts things for the way they are and need answers to unanswerable questions (like me) then religion might not work so well for you.

October 1, 2000
9:57 pm
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dudet, i'm like you, it hurt me too.

October 2, 2000
11:27 am
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Jaskid
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Grins, I really don't like the word religion, but I will say this...The sovereignty of God is All sufficient! With Him all things are possibly. He can move mountains with his Breath. And I truly believe that if a person would put their trust and faith in the one who created them, their lives will change. He is my hope and calming in the darkest fears of my life. Why can't it be so simple? Religions are so complicated. God is God, and he made us, and He is in control of all things and has the power to do anything He wants. A life without God on the outside could look nice but in the end, on the inside will be very lost.

Jaskid

October 2, 2000
12:31 pm
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Absolutely;

I don't know that religion is as important as having faith that there is a Divine Spirit that dwells inside of you and knowing that you can draw strength, wisdom and receive guidance by believing that you are one with the Divine. Although, religion may help you to better understand how God works in your life. Depression, though a state of mind, must be treated as an integrated unit with mind, body and spirit. A healthy spirit is a spirit that is united with a power greater than their human self, God. People who are depressed have lost their zeal for living, God can replace that zeal. Our bodies can break down and become sick and unhealthy, but a healthy spirit will keep the mind strong. God provides healing to our minds, bodies and spirit. It only requires faith.

October 2, 2000
1:26 pm
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Brenda
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God is not outside of us or a seperate entity, god is within us and all that is. Quantum physics proves this, we are all vibrating energy, the energy of creation. When our minds are sick, our souls is sick.

October 3, 2000
11:18 am
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Cici
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I left my old religion, too, guest. Catholocism is famous (or should I say infamous) for instilling the God-given right to fell GUILTY about EVERYTHING. I went to Catholic school for 9 years without feeling that the religion properly addressed my idea of God.

I've always felt that there is god, though. Something primal and spiritual inside of me. When I lived without it, while addicted to drugs, I was more depressed. When I found that spirituality in me again, I felt better. So I just do what makes me feel good. Maybe you're a masochist and enjoy feeling bad?

October 3, 2000
1:20 pm
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masochist? i enjoy feeling bad? why would i do this?
good for u that u left ur religion.

October 3, 2000
1:28 pm
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Cici
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It's a weird psychological disorder. Most people associate it with S&M (sado-masochists).

Sadists enjoy inflicting pain on others, masochists enjoy being in pain. It's sometimes used as a catch-all phrase for people who seem to find themselves unhappy in every situation. It all goes back to how each individual is responsible for his or her own reaction to things. And optimism and Pessimism.

Sure, pessimists have a more realistic view of themselves, but they often don't seek out medical attention when they need it, they die sooner and have a higher incidence of heart attack and stroke!

I left Catholocism and found a new path, kind of unitarian, kind of Hindu. definately with Buddhism (which is not really a religion, thankyouverymuch, but a way of living) intertwined.

October 3, 2000
1:47 pm
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Brenda
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I think guest identifies himself with his abusive past, this brings him lots of attention but unfortunately keeps him stuck in "woundology"

October 3, 2000
5:23 pm
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thats interesting. i want to be in pain so i can cry out for help, that way i'll attract attention. maybe? that sounds absurd or funny. maybe i just cant take care of myself thats y? well ok, how do i stop being a masochist? brenda what do u mean by that i identify with my past? i didnt get that. ahhh. i'm gonna start group counseling in a few days.

October 15, 2000
9:26 pm
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drhunk
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A brief perusal of this discussion might point one to the conclusion that the answer is "yes & no." There are definitely situations where religious faith helps. Belief in our Higher Power can sustain us in the midst of the dark valleys of life. "MCC" was clearly right in saying that medicine may be needed in addition to one's faith.

I've known depression personally & I am a minister. My faith has been the key to my life being positive, yet medicine was necessary also.

Yet, the experience of many, as reflected in this discussion, has been that religion had a negative impact on their lives. "God forgive us!" Those of us with leadership roles have often failed them. Remember, though, the failure is ours, not that of our Higher Power.

October 15, 2000
10:28 pm
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thanks drhunk...
can u tell me what was the source of ur depression and are u still taking medicines?

October 16, 2000
6:27 pm
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guest_guest.

G'day, ol' mate. How's the world treatin' you these days? Still firing on all cylinders, I see.

drhunk:
"Ecology is the who's eating whom in life. Everything is either eating or being eaten."- Rutger Hauer from the movie Artic Blue.

Reflection upon this statement illuminates its truth for humanity as well.

You said, "Those of us with leadership roles have often failed them". In regard to this statement, I see that it is the incongruity between Hauer's reality - as experienced by so many people - and the concept of a 'loving' god as expressed in the tenets of Christian 'message' that has 'failed' them, not you as the 'messenger'. You sound like a very good person.

October 17, 2000
12:49 pm
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Cici
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What we term "hindu is actually called "sanatana dharma" by those who practice the religion. A brief study of this complex religion can give us insight into all religions. It still holds most of the basic precepts set forth over 6,000 years ago (unlike Christianity adn the like) and give historical significance to the questions that come to bear here.

Sanatana Dharma (eternal truth) is an interesting term. I explain all this because the origin of religion is importnat indetermining personal significance. Why is has developed can key us in to why we as a race continue to seem to need religion in our various cultures.

The sanskrit root for dharma (truth) is "dhr" - to support. Religion is exactly that. A support system, either culturally or personally reinforced through experience.

Basic point of fact is that those who are atheistic or believe in nothing are by and large more miserable than those who do believe in something. It's hard to believe in such a highly abstract principle as religion. I think in day to day practice we try to avoid this by simply having "faith". Complex philosophical questions are not for the faint of heart.

Religion exists as a function of societal reinforcement, a source or moral guidelines and eithcal principles as well as an explanation for teh inexplicable. Without this support, you are left to answer these questions on your own. A difficult prospect for those of us not blessed with great philosophical insight into the nature of the universe.

October 17, 2000
2:41 pm
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hi tez how r u.

October 17, 2000
7:02 pm
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tez, not so well.
cici, sorry that was too hard for me to understand. i'm slow right now. 😐

October 19, 2000
4:59 pm
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Guest_guest

I'm going great. Doing lots of things like riding my motor cycle (1100cc Yamaha Virago) with my buddies and ballroom dancing. (It wasn't always this way with me, I can assure you.)

Your not having it so good? Do you think that there is a hard core of loneliness deep inside of you that seems to perpetuate itself by driving others away and at the same time always telling you that you are no good?

Do you yearn for the love of a good woman who will see you for who you are and then cherish that human being by meeting all your needs? If so then you are suffering from a most common male 'human condition'. The more 'macho' we men are, the more, I suspect, we suffer from this condition. 🙂 You are probably one of the more honest and open ones.

We can sometimes become too obsessed with this low self esteem 'thing' or we can let go of 'it' and get out there and have a 'fling' at life, take risks, and dare to become who we really are.

Who we were yesterday, is not who we are today and not who we will become tomorrow so what the bloody hell! We can seize the moment and rejoice at being alive whatever our circumstances. Or... we can just sit and be bloody miserable. It's our call.

What are you going to choose for today, matey?

October 19, 2000
5:19 pm
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Cici.

You gave a well written as usual.

If a religion doesn't explain to our satisfaction, who we are, what life is about and where we are going, of what use is it?

For most of humanity, having given up hope of finding unconditional love, religiosity, I think, is driven by the yearning to find at least the conditional love that so few of us found in our childhood and yet seem so desperately to need. I'm talking about those who haven't walled up their feelings completely.

I suspect that religion is just another one of humanity's ways of combating fear; fear of not surviving, fear or suffering, of damage to our 'selves', fear of non-existence, of non-signifigance, of non-lovability, of imperfection ... on and no and on. But most of all religion, I think, is an attempt to combat the terrible fear of not knowing, the fear of not being in total control of our own future.

But is religion about the search for truth? I think not. It seems to me to be about enjoying the illusion of 'possessing' the 'truth', as if such a thing were humanly possible.

More grist for the mill?

October 19, 2000
10:43 pm
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tez i took a risk. i ate my first anti-depressant today, even though i was so against medicine. this week i had my first group therapy session. i told a girl i meet in real life, that i liked her. i hadnt done that too before.
arent these all risks? what type of risks should i take?
i dont want anyone to love me. i just want this stupid low self-esteem and state of numbness and social anxiety and lack of energy, to go away.

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