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If religious believers are crazy, …

… is it also true that they get better faster than non-believers? So some shrinks say.

A Harvard psychiatric hospital study claims:

In the study, published in the current issue of Journal of Affective Disorders (PMID 23051729, DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2012.08.030), David H. Rosmarin, PhD, McLean Hospital clinician and instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, examined individuals at the Behavioral Health Partial Hospital program at McLean in an effort to investigate the relationship between patients’ level of belief in God, expectations for treatment and actual treatment outcomes.

“Our work suggests that people with a moderate to high level of belief in a higher power do significantly better in short-term psychiatric treatment than those without, regardless of their religious affiliation. Belief was associated with not only improved psychological wellbeing, but decreases in depression and intention to self-harm,” explained Rosmarin.

The study looked at 159 patients, recruited over a one-year period. Each participant was asked to gauge their belief in God as well as their expectations for treatment outcome and emotion regulation, each on a five-point scale. Levels of depression, wellbeing, and self-harm were assessed at the beginning and end of their treatment program. More.

Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose

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3 Responses to If religious believers are crazy, …

  1. Let’s see having no real hope,,,

    The absurdity of life without God (1 of 3) by William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJqkpI1W75c

    as to having a sure hope,,

    Mandisa – Overcomer (Lyric Video)
    http://www.vevo.com/watch/mand.....UV71301156

    ,, Yes, to the extent that atheists are able to live consistently in their worldview, it is not hard to see how that type of life would have a very negative psychological impact on a person.

  2. This isn’t new information. In a 1974 issue of the American Medical News, Dr. R. J. McFerran of Orange, California, says: “It has been my experience that patients with an active, positive religious faith do get better faster and are not ill as often. Believers do have hang-ups, neuroticisms, and organic illness, but as a psychiatrist once quoted to me when I asked him his feelings on religion and psychiatry, ‘I feel that the battle for return to good mental health is 50% accomplished at the beginning of therapy if the patient has a faith on which to structure treatment.’”

    See also, “The Role of Spirituality in Health Care” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC1305900/)

  3. 3

    If its the true faith then god probably helps out a little more. This must be factored in.
    Yes believing in god gives more hope as god likely is more willing to help one and so we are more confident.
    Christians of the true faith also are more likely to be stronger before some breakdown and so recover quicker,
    The more confident or the more faith the more likely the better results in recovery.
    Its not every deity believer.

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