Correlation between Religion and Mental Illnesses

Apr 14, 2016

In terms of my current EBSCO research, I sought to focus less on specifically delusion driven mental illnesses like schizophrenia, and more on the ways in which various different illnesses and disorders express religion or are rooted in religion. These illnesses include bipolarity, trauma disorders, paranoia, personality disorders in general, post traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, general depression and anxiety, substance abuse, obsessive compulsive disorder/ obsessive compulsive personality disorder, and even illness induced dementia. Among this broad range, the expression and effects of religion were much more varied than with just schizophrenia. Not only did religion manifest after illnesses in some cases, but it also was directly tied into the source/generation of other illnesses. This evidently shows that religion and spirituality are not always bad when coinciding with mental illness, but not always good either. It serves a variety of different purposes for both rehabilitation and stress generation. It can be both construed as a source of self discovery and purpose or conversely a source of guilt and self hatred and frustration. Among these diverse results, a common pattern reveals that the more serious the illness, generally the more negative the effects of religion seem to be when left unchecked. Naturally, the lower the ability a person has to control and contain their inherent delusions/obsessions/compulsions, the less they can control the tendency of inherent deviance when exploring religion. In this sense, religion can sadly serve as a means to spiraling behavior and resistance to treatment.

Bonelli, Raphael, and Harold Koenig. "Mental Disorders, Religion And Spirituality 1990 To 2010: A Systematic Evidence-Based Review." Journal Of Religion & Health 52.2 (2013): 657-673. Academic Search Premier. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.

Rogers, Steven A., et al. "Changes In Attitudes Toward Religion Among Those With Mental Illness." Journal Of Religion & Health 41.2 (2002): 167. Academic Search Premier. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.



Submitted by Amy_Cremer on Fri, 2016-04-15 14:50.

I think that you did a great job of informing the reader of the many different mental illnesses and what effect they have on religion, as well as being a result of varying religions. I had always believed that it takes a certain mindset to not believe in God and that that has a certain affect on the mind, but had never thought that your religion could negatively effect you mentally. Well done!