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Hi people,

My aim on highexistence.com is to tell you about my research between the link between religion/spirituality and mental health episodes (e.g., bipolar episode, psychosis, or similar health issues). Earlier research had shown that religion and spirituality may play an important role for some individuals who have experienced such an episode by providing a means of coping with, and an explanatory model, for their experience(s). I have investigated this link further, and would love to continue this research with you, and share my results.

By mental health episode I mean a dramatic change in mood and perception that creates tremendous inner turmoil and interferes with effective everyday functioning.

I define spiritual belief in the broad sense which includes both spirituality (which is concerned with an ultimate reality and fundamental questions about life’s meaning) and religion (specific behavioural, social, and doctrinal characteristics). I make a distinction between spiritual and non-spiritual people. Spiritual people have a religious or spiritual understanding of the world and non-spiritual people do not. A further distinction I make is between practitioners and non-practitioners. Practitioners attach much importance to the practice of their beliefs (by meditation, prayer, ceremony, reading and study, or contact with religious leader) and non-practitioners attach less importance.

My main findings so far are:

1. There is a difference in the perception of mental health episodes between spiritual and non-spiritual people. Mental health episodes are perceived more positively by spiritual people.

2. There is a difference in the use of beliefs as a coping mechanism between practitioners versus non-practitioners. Specifically, practitioners use their beliefs more as a coping mechanism than non-practitioners.

I hope I will be food for thought. Your future may not necessarily be “meds, death or insanity”.

0 votes, posted 05.17.2012 at 3:00 am
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Anonymous (@)1 year, 11 months ago ago

Knife and fork at the ready, capt’n.

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Avatar of Sasho Stoyanov
Anonymous (@)1 year, 11 months ago ago

@transpersonalstudies, Welcome to HE. it seems helpful. What would happen if one loses their beliefs? I mean, that would be bad for the mental health, I assume, but when deep beliefs are doubted, does a spiritual person become less spiritual? Sounds dangerous.. I’ve read earlier that dreams help, but as much as bad dreams cause traumas.

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Avatar of Transpersonal Studies

@beyond, What is the difference between a dream and reality in your opinion?

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Avatar of Sasho Stoyanov
Anonymous (@)1 year, 11 months ago ago

@transpersonalstudies, In my opinion, dreams don’t have to be realistic and have any meaning. Reality has laws and physics where you could pretty much die, also with no need for a meaning. :)

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Avatar of Sasho Stoyanov
Anonymous (@)1 year, 11 months ago ago

To me, every mental concern depends as much as what comes from within, provoked by external factors, or what comes from outside and how we’ll perceive it later. But people should not forget one very important thing related to this. Every excitement of thought that something is bad and we should be afraid, doesn’t always have real credibility and is nothing more than a prolonged confusion and over-thinking, sometimes exaggeration of the whole condition and self-destructive inflictions. That’s the thing:

http://thenakedlistener.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/quote-wm-gibson-c4c.jpg

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