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

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  1. thebeast02 profile image81
    thebeast02posted 7 years ago

    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?

  2. slaffery profile image61
    slafferyposted 7 years ago

    I definitely think it can.  Look at how some addicts are able to stay sober?  I think religion plays a huge part

  3. Seeker7 profile image95
    Seeker7posted 7 years ago

    Very interesting question and in theory I think, yes it could work for depression instead of medication. However, I think it would depend as well on what form of depression it is. For example some clinical depressions - according to some theories - could be caused by chemical imbalances and so medication would be best I think. There are also the major mental health illnesses, that involve depression at some stage that require treatment by a doctor. But for depression caused by negative thinking, low self esteem and life events - yes, I think having a belief system could help.

  4. MsDora profile image94
    MsDoraposted 7 years ago

    Concerning your first sentence, I'd like to propose that mental health influences physical health; so if religion helps one, it helps the other.   Depressed people should consider both spiritual and medical cures.

  5. suzettenaples profile image89
    suzettenaplesposted 7 years ago

    Yes, I think it can.  It depends on the person, situation and his/her chemical makeup.  A person may need medication because of a chemical imbalance in the brain or body.  Then, no amount of religion or counseling with work without the medication.  But, if religion can help a person through dark times and give him/her hope and help, then I see nothing wrong with it.

  6. cejae profile image61
    cejaeposted 7 years ago

    This is a question about which one could write a thick book.  I have a few thoughts, 

    One - a devoutly religious person may very well be a more physically healthy person.  Religion teaches that our bodies are temples and as such should be well cared for - so this may bring a person to eat better, exercise more and in general take care of their physical health. 

    Two:  Depression often is the result of actual physical chemical imbalances in the brain and if that is the case, pharmaceutical anti-depressants are called for - or other supplements or a diet change.

    Three:  Sometimes a religion can become an addiction to a person who already suffers from some unhealthy emotional or mental issues.  So in this case the religion becomes a substitute for true health and the depression may lift, but not be cured. 

    Fourth:  It is my belief that a right relationship with God through religious beliefs can lead us to search for meaning and search for reasons for our depression - even lead us into professional therapy.   A deep searching for oneself can bring us to find answers and lift the illness of depression.  In addition, a relationship with God teaches us that we matter to God and that we are loved - an acceptance of this will work against the depression on an emotional and spiritual basis.

    As I said this is not a quickly answered question as it has many sides to it.

  7. whoisbid profile image70
    whoisbidposted 7 years ago

    It is kind of strange that we have so many people teaching that being religious has nothing to do with physical medication. Does it or does it now? I will not answer that but would like to point out that the apostle Paul is regarded by many as a miracle worker but he did say to Timothy "Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses" 1 Tim.5-23
    I wonder how many people have ever thought about that kind of religious advice?

  8. wilbury4 profile image67
    wilbury4posted 7 years ago

    My opinion on this is that it probably could relieve depression, BUT, wouldn't you agree that deep involvement in religion could prove stressful and probably cause depression?

  9. peterxdunn profile image60
    peterxdunnposted 7 years ago

    Religion is a narcotic mindset that completely numbs the critical faculties. I suppose some people do get 'high' on religious fervour but then others begin to hear voices: they think they are listening to god when it is actually the onset of schizophrenia.

    To call religion a 'cure' for anything is to miss the point entirely. Religion prevents people from perceiving reality; this is precisely what it was designed to do 6,000 years ago. So you could say that - in this way - religion acts like an aspirin and takes away the pain of perceiving the World as it truly is: full of war, poverty and inequality. It might take away the pain but it can never 'cure' the condition. Not least because religion is one of the core causes of the condition.

  10. Attikos profile image76
    Attikosposted 7 years ago

    It is impossible to separate mind, body and spirit. They are the three legs of living. If one is weak, all is weak. Strengthen one, and all is strengthened. Religious faith can, I would say most often does, provide real benefits in life and not merely esoteric ones.

  11. profile image0
    darknight444posted 7 years ago

    well i m e beliver but i wont just speak aboute my religion
    religions of ibrahim ''' judaisme _islam_crisiatnity-  can give you peace with,in because thy are built to it e way to free humans from thise life because
    ---- human dont controle evry think in there life like there thy are born there appairence there color there parents and those are very important part that decide human life ,,,, remeber thise it s very important
    the 3 religions are diffrent but thy share thise
    1 you have faith in god and in desteny and thise will free you from e ot of thinks like thinking and blaming youre self for what you dont hae controle at

    2 and you have e practices that truly give you peace like pray for god and fasting and giving mony for the poor and helping others soo it will relay help you
    and you will be with ppl that look for goodness in the house of god like moseques and churches soo it s e good practice


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