Since R/S involvement has been associated with greater altruism, gratefulness, forgiveness, marital satisfaction, less delinquency/crime, better school performance, less substance abuse, and more disease prevention activities , it would make sense that this should result in fewer life stressors. If R/S involvement is related to less depression, less anger and hostility, lower rates of substance abuse, greater social support, and better coping with stress, it should not be surprising that R/S is also related to less suicide. Computer literature searches using Medline and PsychInfo databases were conducted to systematically identify studies on the depression-religion relationship by entering the search words “religion,” “religiosity,” “religiousness,” and “spirituality,” and cross-referencing these with the search term “depression." Veterans in the religious-spiritual group also had a greater innate sense of gratitude and purpose in life. Why would this be the case? H. G. Koenig, D. E. King, and V. B. Carson. Depression rates were highest among young people, leaping by 63 percent for teens and 47 percent for millennials. Indeed, depression—along with anger, need for control, and impulsiveness—is psychological state often associated with suicide attempts and completed suicide . Spirituality is distinguished from all other things—humanism, values, morals, and mental health—by its connection to that which is sacred, the transcendent….Spirituality includes both a search for the transcendent and the discovery of the transcendent, and so involves traveling along the path that leads from non-consideration to questioning to either staunch non-belief or belief, and if belief, then ultimately to devotion, and finally, surrender . For high risk participants (those with depressed parents) with high exposure to NLEs, religious attendance reduced the likelihood of major depression on follow-up by 76% ( In order to distinguish religiosity from spirituality, Vittengl compared combined scores of religion and spirituality (S+R) with scores of religion subtracted from spirituality (S-R). As this happens, the relationship between spirituality and depression described here is likely to flip. Posted Jan 26, 2014 Among men ( Interestingly, there weren’t large differences in spirituality versus religiosity as a function of age, gender or ethnicity. A recent national survey of USA psychiatrists found that 56% never, rarely, or only sometimes inquire about religious/spiritual issues in patients with depression or anxiety, and when inquiry does occur, it often is done in the context of R/S as a cause for the psychopathology [52, 53]. Confiding In Others Improves Your Health, But How? ,000), finding that 92 percent of people in 32 developing countries indicated religion was an important part of daily life . ). NC 27710, USA, Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3400, Durham, NC 27705, USA, Department of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University (KAU), Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston,
In other words, people of Jewish descent may be more likely to report depressive symptoms and seek help from mental health professionals rather than turn to maladaptive means of coping with emotional pain (e.g., people of Jewish descent also demonstrate lower rates of alcohol abuse ). According to Statistics Canada's 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) on Mental Health, 5.4% of the Canadian population aged 15 years and over reported symptoms that met the criteria for a mood disorder in the previous 12 months, including 4.7% for major depression and 1.5% for bipolar disorder. , 95% CI 1.14–3.97) and on any psychiatric disorder (interaction ( Pew Research defines millennials as … In either case, this could create a self-selected higher risk spiritual-but-not-religious group. "Losing My Religion: Exploring the Relationship Between a Decline in Faith and a Positive Affect," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer; International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 8,14 Religious factors become more potent as life stress increases. Krause N & Pargament KI. There are certainly many factors that influence the risk of depression besides R/S, including genetic, developmental, and environmental factors. ). Religious involvement is also common today, with surveys showing that a significant proportion of the world’s population has religious beliefs and practices that are important to daily life. The majority of studies (61%) find less depression or faster recovery from depression for those who are more R/S or a better response to an R/S intervention compared to other treatments or controls. In some populations or individuals, however, religious beliefs may increase guilt and lead to discouragement as people fail to live up to the high standards of their religious tradition. , 95% CI It also mentioned two additional studies, one apparently related to prayer and treatment of cardiac patients, and the other related to the success of I… , 95% CI 0.01–0.92). The average effect size (correlation) was small ( Willard AK, Norenzayan A (2017). Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today. One study of suicide in Finland (which has some of the highest suicide rates in the world) found that recent life events were documented in 80% of suicides . I know a lot of atheists, myself included, would all like to believe that atheists are happier people than religious believers and in many ways we are. 17. Why are so many people drawn to conspiracy theories in times of crisis? Systematic review on depression and religiosity/spirituality (1962–2010). People seeking spiritual answers may be coming from a position of distress, searching for answers or looking for relief from mental suffering. As useful components get translated into clinical approaches (including self-care and wellness-oriented models), more people can benefit from secularized spirituality without the downsides which turn off some people. At 4-month follow-up, depressive symptoms were significantly higher in the SD group compared to the TAU group ( Mental illness is not a sin. For example, in one study of 330 consecutively hospitalized patients to the general medicine, cardiology and neurology services of Duke Hospital, when asked an open-ended question about what enabled them to cope with the stress of their illness, 42% spontaneously reported that it was some aspect of religious faith or activity . Future work can look more deeply at when spirituality is associated with depression, and what spiritual practices may be more useful for those seeking meaning outside of formal belief systems. More recently, psychiatric epidemiologists at Columbia University have examined whether religiosity protects against depression in high risk individuals . , trend). The depression rate drops to 6.8 percent among those age 65 and older, however, suicide rates in elderly men are higher than other age groups, perhaps due to untreated depression … Using this approach, information on depression was compared with religious and spiritual belief, controlling for variables including age, sex and ethnicity. In a second report from this study, where the sample was expanded from 114 to 185 participants, investigators examined differences in relationships between R/S and future depression episodes based on level of exposure to negative life events (NLE) . Depression Brains, Spirituality, and Depression Does being religious protect the brain from depression? Sharma V, Marin DB, Koenig HK, Feder A, Iacoviello BM, Southwick SM, Pietrzak RH. Alternatively, R/S beliefs may also create high standards that are difficult to live up to, resulting in a sense of failure and guilt. Higher rates of depression in Pentecostals may be due to people with emotional problems self-selecting themselves into Pentecostal groups because of the latter’s strong focus on overcoming emotional problems (many uplifting hymns, strong emphasis on socialization, and positive content of sermons) . For example, black women have lower rates of depression than white women. Attendance also reduced the effect that parental depression had on mood disorder (interaction Higher rates of depression in those lacking a religious affiliation may be due to the absence of social support from a faith community or lack of commitment to a belief system that makes sense of traumatic events and difficult life stressors. A large and growing volume of research suggests that religious or spiritual (R/S) beliefs and practices may be used to cope with or adapt to stressful life circumstances. At least 444 studies have now quantitatively examined these relationships. Likewise, a survey of developed countries by Angus Reid Strategies involving 5,800 adults in Australia, Britain, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Republic of Korea, Spain, Turkey, and the United States found that 48% of respondents said religion is a “very important” component of their daily lives . However, Glicksman in studies examining response styles suggests that Jewish people of Eastern European descent are much more likely than Irish or Italian Catholics to express negative affect . When people experience a decline in faith, they report a decrease in positive emotions connected with several factors, including reducing religious practices, moving away from positive core religious beliefs, reduced social relationships related to service to others, and a loss of positive emotion generating meaning in life from service to others (Krause & Pargament, 2016). Since we are discussing research, we use the terms religion and spirituality interchangeably (R/S) for two reasons. In contrast, only 6% report greater depression. In the Handbook’s systematic review of research on R/S and social support, 82 percent of quantitative studies (61 of 74) reported significant positive relationships between the two . , trend). A relatively recent meta-analytic review by Smith and colleagues found between-treatments effect size of 0.51 overall and 0.96 for studies which assessed for positive as well as negative outcomes . Depression is a well-established risk factor for suicide. Overall levels of religion and spirituality together did not predict depression, but were highly correlated, making it difficulty tease them apart in term of depression risk. In contrast, only 6% reported greater depression in those who were more religious. Cooper emphasized the definition of variables, validity, and reliability of measures, how representative the sample was, quality of the research methods, how well the execution of the study conformed to the design, appropriateness of statistical tests, and the interpretation of results. Spirituality, religion and depressive symptoms. Religion, spirituality, and mental health of U.S. military veterans: Results from the National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study, Journal of Affective Disorders , 2017, Volume 217 , 197 - 204. Among persons aged 15 to 44 in the USA, major depression is now the leading cause of disability days . Finally, RCT resulted in significantly better social adjustment scores (SAS) compared to the WLC ( However, in the majority of studies, everything else being equal, R/S involvement is related to less depression, particularly in the context of life stress. Review articles are excluded from this waiver policy. Finally, there is also evidence that use of R/S therapies for depression does not have to be restricted to R/S therapists. Religion and depression. Depression is a serious problem with in the greater atheist community and far too often, that depression has led to suicide. Of the 178 most methodologically rigorous studies, 119 (67%) find inverse relationships between R/S and depression. Of those, over 60% report less depression and faster r… After controlling for the covariates gender, age, history of depression, and risk status (based on parental depression), those who indicated that religion or spirituality was highly important to them were 73% less likely to be depressed ( Evidence of this sort, and the development of R/S forms of psychotherapy for depression, might increase access to therapy for many depressed persons who consider R/S important in their lives, yet fear seeking secular therapy because they are concerned that their R/S beliefs will not be respected. Substance abuse is another factor, along with life stressors. Depression rates also vary a lot state by state, with Rhode Island having the highest rate of depression at 6.4 percent. Fifty-nine subjects were randomized to these four groups and received 18 therapy sessions over 3 months. Religious measures at baseline were personal importance of religion or spirituality, frequency of attendance at religious services, and denomination. The studies’ abstracts were then examined to determine if they were qualitative or quantitative. The 12-month prevalence of major depressive disorder is 6.7% in the United States and is 2.0% for severe depression . Direct correlation between two separate raters (Pearson’s r) was 0.57. Depression "Spiritual But Not Religious" Is Associated With Depression Recent research shows that spirituality predicts depressive symptoms. R/S involvement has also been associated with positive emotions, such as greater life satisfaction, well-being, hope, optimism, and meaning and purpose in life, feelings which help to neutralize the negative emotions that underlie depression and suicide. 2012, Article ID 962860, 8 pages, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/962860, 1Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology, Sigmund Freud University,
The Mental Health of Atheists and the "Nones". Religious and Spiritual Factors in Depression: Review and Integration of the Research, Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology, Sigmund Freud University,
Religion involves beliefs, practices, and rituals related to the transcendent, where the transcendent is God, Allah, HaShem, or a Higher Power in Western religious traditions, or to Brahman, manifestations of Brahman, Buddha, Dao, or Ultimate Truth/Reality in Eastern traditions…Religion is a multidimensional construct that includes beliefs, behaviors, rituals, and ceremonies that may be held or practiced in private or public settings, but are in some way derived from established traditions that developed over time within a community …. In order to explore the possible differences between spirituality and religion when it comes to major depression, in the Journal of Nervous Disease study author Jeffrey Vittengl (2018) looked at epidemiological data from the United States Midlife Development survey. Nevertheless, a number of high-quality studies show that R/S involvement may increase the risk of depression in certain populations (those with family problems) or may worsen the prognosis of depression (a single study in substance abusers). This has been reported in hundreds of both quantitative and qualitative studies where individuals enduring stressful life circumstances are asked what enables them to cope with the stress [35, 36]. While religion represents deeply rooted belief and practice, usually coming from family and cultural background, spirituality represents a departure from that traditional, familiar support. Experiencing depression can give people compassion or perspective in a way that actually makes them excellent leaders. Subjects were randomly assigned to either a spiritual direction intervention or to a treatment as usual control (TAU) group that received behavioral counseling and education. 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