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Can religion act as a non-pharmaceutical form of anti-depressant?


There is no physical benefit to being devoutly religious, at least in this life, but I do see a mental benefit. Often times those who have attempted suicide will find that religion is their only cure, or those who lose loved ones will turn to religion. Do you think that religion (any religion) can act as an anti-depressant because of it's hopeful nature and belief in something good in the afterlife after struggles in your present one, and is it a better alternative to physical medication?

 

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