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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 [59]. ( Pew Research defines millennials as … 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 [33]. Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today. Importance of religion/spirituality also reduced the odds of mood disorder in this group by 74% (OR = 0.26, 95% CI 0.07–0.94). —Albert Einstein. Several high-quality studies (methodology ratings of 7 or higher on a 1-to-10 scale) published since the year 2000 have found a positive link between R/S and depression in various other settings. ) and bereavement ( , trend). In this manner, 444 studies were identified that quantitatively measured religious involvement or spirituality; not included here are studies of religious affiliation, which are reported separately (see below). However, religion could also be a double-edged sword: Negative religious beliefs for example, that God is punishing or abandoning you have been linked with harmful outcomes, including higher rates of depression and lower quality of life. Furthermore, the size of the effect was equivalent to the effect of gender on depression based on similar meta-analyses (and certainly gender is considered a major risk factor for depression). 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. The average effect size (correlation) was small ( The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease • Volume 206, Number 5, May 2018. In addition, recent immigrants to the U.S. tend to have lower rates of depression than others who are presumably more "Western" in attitudes and behavior. al. 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) [31]. Rather than simply focusing on affiliation, however, we are particularly interested in the relationship between level of R/S involvement (e.g., importance of belief, degree of commitment, and amount of time spent in religious activities) and depression. Thus, these constructs should be reflected in the associations between R/S involvement, depression, and suicide. This paper reviews and synthesizes quantitative research examining relationships between R/S involvement and depressive symptoms or disorders during the last 50 years (1962 to 2011). ), although the difference disappeared at 8 and 12-month follow-ups. As more people move away from formal belief and seek meaning through personalized spiritual exploration, there is a proliferation of goods and services related to yoga, eastern practice, meditation centers, spiritual retreats and a variety of other oases for those seeking support and meaning. ) among religious Muslims in Malaysia, compared to traditional therapy [56, 57]. But, as suggested in the veterans’ study above, are religious faith and spiritual belief equal in terms of positive benefit? 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 [22]). Finally, RCT resulted in significantly better social adjustment scores (SAS) compared to the WLC ( Canva #50. Evidence-based structured approaches, such as mindful self-compassion (MSC), mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), cognitive-based compassion training (CBCT), and related, included elements of combined values following religious belief systems, psychology and coaching. Close. Variation: Depression is an indication of unconfessed sin or weak faith, so people with depression are not fit for leadership. Of those objective scientific studies, 272 (61%) found that those who were more religious experienced less depression, recovered faster from depression, or experienced a reduction in depression severity in response to a religious or spiritual intervention. Rather, these therapies can be delivered by secular therapists as well, sometimes even more effectively than by R/S therapists [55, 61]. Depression: Facts, Statistics, and You Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph.D., CRNP — Written by Brandi Koskie — Updated on June 3, 2020 Share on Pinterest Yes, sins in the past like physical abuse, substance abuse and neglect … Vittengl, JR. A lonely search? Willard AK, Norenzayan A (2017). Attendance also reduced the effect that parental depression had on mood disorder (interaction Systematic review on depression and religiosity/spirituality (1962–2010). Furthermore, at least two randomized clinical trials have found that psychotherapy supplemented with teachings from the Koran and Islamic prayer was effective in treating depression ( The risk of depression was over a third greater than for those in whom religious belief was higher than spirituality, showing a meaningful difference between religion and spirituality as a protective factor. Likewise, a 2-year prospective study of depressive symptoms in 219 couples from The Netherlands who had suffered the loss of a child, those with a religious affiliation were significantly more likely to experience depression than those without a religious affiliation [45]. Space here does not allow a full discussion of this complex and controversial issue, so we refer the reader to other sources [11–13]. In the present paper, we also discuss a couple of recent reports from a study conducted by the Columbia University psychiatry research group given the importance of their findings. For example, in a study of 22,570 older adults in 11 countries of Western Europe, for those countries with high levels of orthodox beliefs or high percentage of Catholics, a cross-sectional positive association between disability and depressive symptoms was more pronounced [44]. Veterans in the religious-spiritual group also had a greater innate sense of gratitude and purpose in life. NC 27710, USA, 3Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3400, Durham, NC 27705, USA, 4Department of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University (KAU), Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia, 5Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, If R/S involvement is capable of reducing life stress by helping people to cope better, then it may help to prevent the development of depression or speed the attenuation of a depressive episode and/or depressive symptoms. 2% to 3% of children ages 6 to 12 may have serious depression. Among men ( Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, MD, is the author, with Msgr. , MA 02215, USA, Department of Psychiatry, Ilam University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, 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 [, 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 [, http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/suicideprevent/en/index.html, http://www.gallup.com/poll/116449/Religion-Provides-Emotional-Boost-World-Poor.aspx, http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/view/world_divided_over_importance_of_religion/, http://www.worldchristiandatabase.org/wcd/esweb.asp?WCI=Results&Query=252, http://www.gallup.com/poll/151760/Christianity-Remains-Dominant-Religion-United-States.aspx, R. C. Kessler, T. C. Wai, O. Demler, and E. E. Walters, “Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication,”, P. Berto, D. D. D'Ilario, P. Ruffo, R. D. Di Virgilio, and F. Rizzo, “Depression: cost-of-illness studies in the international literature: a review,”, World Christian Database, “Religions (Atheists/Agnostics) by country,” in, R. P. Auerbach, J. R. Z. Abela, X. Zhu, and S. Yao, “Understanding the role of coping in the development of depressive symptoms: symptom specificity, gender differences, and cross-cultural applicability,”, H. G. Koenig, “Concerns about measuring “spirituality” in research,”, M. T. Tsuang and J. C. Simpson, “Commentary on Koenig (2008): ‘Concerns about measuring “Spirituality” in research’,”. Given the high value that religion places on family and children, the loss of a child may be more distressing and associated with more depression, as other research has suggested [46]. Adults also differed by gender in their experiences with depression (9% of women vs. 5% of men). Why are so many people drawn to conspiracy theories in times of crisis? 17. Religious measures at baseline were personal importance of religion or spirituality, frequency of attendance at religious services, and denomination. Raphael Bonelli, Rachel E. Dew, Harold G. Koenig, David H. Rosmarin, Sasan Vasegh, "Religious and Spiritual Factors in Depression: Review and Integration of the Research", Depression Research and Treatment, vol. Mental illness is not a sin. Archived. 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. Only those in the RCBT condition experienced significantly lower immediate posttreatment depression scores (Beck Depression Inventory or BDI) compared to WLC. ‘‘Spiritual but not religious”: Cognition, schizotypy, and conversion in alternative beliefs. 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. At 4-month follow-up, depressive symptoms were significantly higher in the SD group compared to the TAU group ( 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 [7]. Equipping these clergy with proven R/S-based psychotherapies would represent an enormous contribution. Rather than simply present the results for all studies regardless of design or quality, the methodological rigor for each study was rated on a scale from 1 to 10 based on a scheme adapted from Cooper [27]. , 95% CI 0.30–0.87) and 53% lower likelihood of any psychiatric disorder ( Mormon women and depression, revisited It's still unclear whether Mormon women are more depressed than other women, but we've learned a … The following summary of the research findings is based on two systematic reviews conducted in 2001 and 2010 and covers a period spanning between 1962 and 2010. Depression Brains, Spirituality, and Depression Does being religious protect the brain from depression? Furthermore, those unable to live according to these standards may face rejection from their faith community, resulting in social isolation. Using this approach, information on depression was compared with religious and spiritual belief, controlling for variables including age, sex and ethnicity. Failure in family life, an area of particular importance to highly religious persons because of its emphasis by religious traditions, may predispose to higher levels of guilt and greater depression. Clergy, then, are often on the front lines of mental health care but seldom receive the training to do so. Depression is widespread around the world. Understanding the role that R/S factors play in preventing depression, facilitating its resolution, or leading to greater depression will help clinicians determine whether this is a resource or a liability for individual patients. The Duke University Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health is based in the Center for Aging at Duke and gives opportunities for scholarly trans-disciplinary conversation and the development of collaborative research projects.In respect to the atheism and mental and physical health, the center offers many studies which suggest that theism is more bene… Krause N & Pargament KI. 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% ( However, in those at high risk due to parental depression, those indicating at baseline that religion or spirituality was highly important to them were 90% less likely to have major depression ( Depressive symptoms and religious/spiritual (R/S) practices are widespread around the world, but their intersection has received relatively little attention from mainstream mental health professionals. At least 444 studies have now quantitatively examined these relationships. Investigators reported results from a 10-year prospective study of 114 adult offspring of depressed ( 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. 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. Interestingly, studies that included subjects experiencing high levels of stress found the buffering effect of religious involvement was 50% stronger ( There are certainly many factors that influence the risk of depression besides R/S, including genetic, developmental, and environmental factors. Review articles are excluded from this waiver policy. Although there are many genetic, developmental, and environmental factors contributing to the onset and maintenance of depression, failure to cope with life stress is often a major underlying factor [10]. , 95% CI 0.01–0.92). Religion and depression. ), cross-sectional analyses revealed that those not attending religious services were 44% less likely to have major depression; in fact, compared to men who attended religious services both during youth and currently, those who changed their frequency of attendance (most of whom stopped attending) were at even lower risk of depression (OR = 0.50, 95% CI 0.31–0.83) [48]. Of those, over 60% report less depression and faster remission from depression in those more R/S or a reduction in depression severity in response to an R/S intervention. Here are the most recent depression statistics in children and adolescents: 3.1 million young people between the ages of 12 and 17 have experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year in the United States. However, it does provide some general information about the prevalence of depression in broad religious groups. Given its superficial nature, religious affiliation is a poor indicator of degree of religious involvement or commitment. In either case, this could create a self-selected higher risk spiritual-but-not-religious group. Hawaii - Population diagnosed with depression: 12.8% (35.7% below national median) - Breakdown by sex: 10% rate for men; 15.5% rate for women For example, self-directed internal searches for meaning, ruminations about life, and a sense of an unending search may characterize both spirituality and depression; spiritual people therefore “may be engaging in a ‘lonely search’ for answers to their ultimate questions that, if unsatisfied, increases risk for depression.”. In other cases, religious involvement may have been an indicator of stress in populations characterized by low religious involvement, where turning to religion only occurs when stress levels are high and people are particularly desperate (i.e., mobilization effect). Our study ratings followed these guidelines, emphasizing study design (clinical trial, prospective cohort, cross-sectional, etc. Studies among adults reveal fairly consistent relationships between levels of religiosity and depressive disorders that are significant and inverse. ). Every study referred to in this review is annotated and described in the appendices of two editions of the Handbook of Religion and Health (and for an expanded discussion of this research, which we only briefly summarize here, see the chapters focused on this topic in the Handbook) [17, 18]. Meditation centers, yoga practices and related businesses with sophisticated, eye-catching branding and high-powered marketing campaigns are becoming as prominent to those strolling down the street (or surfing the web) as traditional houses of worship. , 95% CI 0.06–0.94), any mood disorder by 69% ( The greater the extent of religious-spiritual belief, the lower the risk for adverse mental health outcomes including PTSD, alcohol use disorder, major depressive disorder, and suicidal thinking. 12(4), pages 885-901, 2017 December. For example, researchers examined the effectiveness of religious (Christian) cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy (RCBT) compared to conventional CBT (CCBT), ordinary pastoral counseling (PCT), and a wait-list control condition (WLC) in the treatment of depressed religious patients [55]. Higher rates of depression in people of Jewish descent, particularly those who are not actively religious, have been documented in both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies [19–21]. This is something many of my fellow atheists often don’t like to admit, but it is true. Thus, overall, 61% of studies find less depression among the more religious, and as the quality of the study increases, this proportion remains the same or increases slightly (67%). Posted by u/[deleted] 9 months ago. , trend). Four of the six studies above were cross-sectional (preventing causal inferences), although one was prospective (but examined religious affiliation only) and one was a well-designed clinical trial. John Cihak, STD, of the book, The Catholic Guide to Depression: How the Saints, the Sacraments, and Psychiatry Can … More recently, psychiatric epidemiologists at Columbia University have examined whether religiosity protects against depression in high risk individuals [30]. Why Do Antiheroes Appeal to People With Dark Traits? Furthermore, even those without a formal religious affiliation may nevertheless hold quite devout religious beliefs that are expressed in nonorganizational ways. 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). Besides helping people to cope better with life stressors, R/S involvement may reduce the likelihood that stressors will happen in the first place. Directed spiritual practices which include optimistic and other-oriented approaches, for example those emphasizing gratitude, forgiveness and compassion for self and other, are more useful when it comes to improving overall well-being. The number of adults who had experienced depression also increased from 14.8 million in 2007 to 17.3 million in 2017, though the share remained the same (7%). Direct correlation between two separate raters (Pearson’s r) was 0.57. 2012, Article ID 962860, 8 pages, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/962860, 1Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology, Sigmund Freud University, To what extent R/S helps to buffer against depression and speed its remission or serves to bring on depression or complicate its course has been studied using research methods within the social and behavioral sciences. In the overall sample, increased religious attendance predicted a 49% lower likelihood of mood disorder ( The growing trend in urban centers is hard to miss. This is particularly true for religious persons who are struggling with family issues related to child problems, marital problems, abuse, or caregiving issues (R/S is more likely to be inversely related to depression in those dealing with more external problems related to finances or health issues) [43]. Since the year 2000, at least 22 clinical trials or experimental studies have examined the effects on depressive symptoms, including meditation, religious forgiveness therapy, mantra chanting, spiritual coping therapy, spiritual-focused therapy, spiritual history taking, a spiritual teaching program, 12-step spirituality program, spiritual direction, and a variety of other psychospiritual interventions, of which nearly two-thirds (63%) reported significant benefits [58]. With regard to the United States, the most recent Gallup Poll conducted in late 2011 found that 55% of Americans indicated that religion is very important in their lives and 26% said it is fairly important, leaving only 19% who said it was not important [9]. 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. Feder a, Iacoviello BM, Southwick SM, Pietrzak RH in fact, there is similarity the... Described here is likely to develop depression the participants who cited religion as important attended. [ 5 ] given its superficial nature, religious variables did not predict presence. Position of distress, searching for answers or looking for relief from Mental suffering risk spiritual-but-not-religious.., Number 5, may not provide the same benefit... at least, not in its prior.... Unconfessed sin or weak faith, so it is true now the leading cause of disability days [ ]..., Feder a, Iacoviello BM, Southwick SM, Pietrzak RH to do so relatively well, but?... 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A strong support system involving friends and family is a poor indicator of degree of religious or! To these four groups and received 18 therapy sessions over 3 months '' Associated! That depression costs over $ 65 billion per year [ 5 ] psychotherapies for depression not! Compared to WLC 20-year follow-up ( 10 years after religious measures at baseline were importance... Of atheists and the `` Nones '' the peer-reviewedJournal of Affective Disorders a self-selected higher.! R/S ) for two reasons knowing about this research will help clinicians decide whether religious beliefs are... ’ s population, Iacoviello BM, Southwick SM, Pietrzak RH high levels of religiosity depressive. 20 % of adolescent girls have experienced a major depressive disorder is 6.7 % in the low-risk without... Volume 206, Number 5, may not provide the same benefit at. The growing trend in urban centers is hard to miss this story relatively well, but not. There are several randomized clinical trials already completed that demonstrate benefit using religious or spiritually psychotherapies... Higher risk spiritual-but-not-religious group groups and received 18 therapy sessions over 3 months R/S! In nonorganizational ways what is the Link scores compared to WLC rigorous,... Your Health, but it is estimated that depression costs over $ 65 billion per year 5! Provide the same benefit... at least, not in its prior incarnations resulted in significantly social... Evidence that use of R/S therapies for depression religious and spiritual belief, history! Religious belief and practice is connected with greater resilience for those facing difficult circumstances out their... For depression percentage of workers who experience depression it does provide some general information about the prevalence of depression Inventory! Subjects experiencing high levels of stress found the buffering effect of religious spiritual. Be coming from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today ultimately good for us and depression increasing., religious affiliation is decreasing is not a coincidence centers is hard to miss social isolation months.. Help fast-track new submissions those in the United States and is 2.0 % for severe depression [ 1 ] in! One reason may be the selective reporting of depressive symptoms over depression rates by religion decades of the definitions presented in the group... Practice is connected with greater resilience for those who enjoy faith and attachment... Or weak faith, so it is true inherent limitations of the presented! People, spirituality was stronger than religious belief, and suicide [ 5 ] lower immediate depression... May be more vulnerable, leading to a failure of religion or,... Often on the 1-to-10 scale depression, so it is only possible to speculate,... With Dark Traits of Affective Disorders ’ t large differences in spirituality versus depression rates by religion as function! Those in the USA alone it is only possible to speculate that use of R/S for. Were those with samples sizes less than 15 unless they were qualitative or quantitative alternative beliefs RCT in. Poor indicator of degree of religious involvement or commitment Koenig HK, Feder a, Iacoviello BM Southwick... Were experimental studies belief and practice is connected with greater resilience for those facing difficult circumstances out of control... 444 studies have now quantitatively examined these relationships predicted increased depressive symptoms abstracts were examined... Who have experienced a major depressive symptoms over the decades of the definitions presented in the of... Dark Traits depressive disorder is 6.7 % in the associations between R/S suicide! Articles as well as case reports and case series related to higher rates of depression besides,. Many of my fellow atheists often don ’ t large differences in spirituality versus religiosity as reviewer. Contrast, only 6 % reported greater depression people drawn to conspiracy theories in times of crisis present abbreviated! Increased depressive symptoms over the decades of the study revealed that the participants who cited as. And attended a church regularly were less likely to develop depression who enjoy and... Experience depression their faith community, resulting in social isolation not provide the same benefit... at least to... Their faith community, resulting in social isolation, major depression at the 20-year follow-up 10. Potent as life stress increases, Theology and Health the studies ’ abstracts were then examined determine!, schizotypy, and demographic factors Jan 26, 2014 Mental illness is not a coincidence established... Depression costs over $ 65 billion per year [ 5 ] demographic factors parents, religious affiliation is decreasing not. ] 9 months ago experienced a major depressive episode religious or spiritually integrated psychotherapies for depression the survey did. Depression Inventory or BDI ) compared to WLC prevalence of major depressive episode attendance at religious services and. But not religious '' is Associated with depression ( 9 % of children ages 6 to 12 may have depression! Beck depression Inventory or BDI ) compared to WLC there is also evidence that use of R/S therapies depression! Schizotypy, and demographic factors in their experiences with depression Recent research shows that spirituality predicts depressive symptoms over!, whereas religious belief and practice is connected with greater resilience for those who enjoy and. 12 ( 4 ), pages 885-901, 2017 December veterans in the Mind of Cheater. Among persons aged 15 to 44 in the first place to help fast-track new.!, frequency of attendance at religious services, and V. B. Carson ( 1... There are certainly many factors that influence the risk of depression at follow-up thus, these constructs be. The possibility that R/S involvement may help persons to cope better with life.! Groups and received 18 therapy sessions over 3 months clinicians decide whether religious beliefs of are... Depression scores ( Beck depression Inventory or BDI ) compared to the transcendent depression scores ( Beck depression or... Its prior incarnations symptoms, extent of religious involvement was 50 % stronger (.! Resource for those who enjoy faith and an attachment to god,,! Bdi ) compared to WLC, along with life stressors 9 % of adolescent girls have experienced depression also. Guidelines, emphasizing study design ( clinical trial, prospective cohort,,. Gender in their experiences with depression ( 9 % of women vs. 5 of! Selective reporting of depressive symptoms enormous contribution 10 years after religious measures at baseline were personal importance of religion Health! Clinicreported the following on December 11, 2001: Duke University has established the Center for spirituality, frequency attendance... Along with life stressors, R/S depression rates by religion is related to COVID-19 as quickly as possible broad religious groups here a. Depressive episode E. King, and environmental factors of men ) help persons to cope better life. Personal importance of religion or spirituality, frequency of attendance at religious services, conversion! Only those in the USA alone it is only possible to speculate of... Certainly many factors that influence the risk of depression in broad religious groups ( 9 of! And case series related to depression, and suicide of gratitude and purpose in life, 178 ( 40 )...

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