The Bible Is Good For Your  Mental Health
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What is a Mental Illness?
Mental illness is defined as “collectively all diagnosable mental disorders” or “health conditions that are characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior (or some combination thereof) associated with distress and/or impaired functioning.”2 Depression is the most common type of mental illness, affecting more than 26% of the U.S. adult population.3 It has been estimated that by the year 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of disability throughout the world, trailing only ischemic heart disease.
 http://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/basics.htm
What is Mental Health?
Mental health is a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”1 It is estimated that only about 17% of U.S adults are considered to be in a state of optimal mental health.2 There is emerging evidence that positive mental health is associated with improved health outcomes.
 
http://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/basics.htm
Click Here To Find Out More About Mental illness/Health And How To Get  Help
Both Religion and Spirituality Are Good For Your Mental Health
What The Research Says
Religion and Spirituality What Is It?
Religiousness can be defined as participation in an institutionalized doctrine/theological system or set of beliefs and practices while spirituality is framed as an individual pursuit of meaning outside the world of immediate experience or understanding one’s self as part of a larger spiritual force. Religion can also be included as an expression of spirituality (Hodge, 2004).
 
Positive Relationship
 A meta analysis using 34 studies conducted over the last 12 years explored the relationship between religion and everyday psychological functioning. In this study an overall relationship was examined by standardizing all correlations and calculating the mean correlation across all studies (Hackney & Sanders, 2003). Results of these 34 studies pointed to a significant positive relationship between religion and mental health.
 
Diminished Psychiatric Symptoms
“Spirituality and religiousness seem to be positively associated with psychological well being and diminished psychiatric symptoms in people with serious mental illness.” In this study it was found that spirituality did not have a more beneficial impact then religiousness.(Corrigan, McCorkle, Schell & Kidder, 2003). For people who adhere to these beliefs Religion/Spirituality can provide consistency and act as a distraction from internal stress.
 
Generally Positive Association
Research has consistently identified a generally positive association between spirituality(religion is included as an expression of spirituality) and various dimensions of mental health to include “increased adaptation to bereavement, self esteem, social support, life satisfaction and happiness.
 
Religion/spirituality for those who adhere to these practices can provide hope and optimism about the future and it can help to foster a sense of structure and organization. Religion/spirituality can also provide a source of strength and alleviate feelings of loneliness by being with other  people. Religion/Spirituality can provide an outlet for fellowship/social support and provide a sense of community.

 

Rituals, inherent in essentially every spiritual tradition, have been widely associated with positive outcomes and can serve to ease anxiety and dread, alleviate isolation, promote a sense of security, and establish a sense of being loved and appreciated (Hodge, 2001).
 
Sources
1. Cremins, J. (2002). The rift between religion and psychotherapy: Can it be healed? Journal of Pastoral Counseling, 37(10).2. Corrigan, P., McCorkle, B., Schell, B., &  Kidder, B.A (2003). Religion and spirituality in the lives of people with serious mental illness. Community Mental Health Journal, 39(6).3. Fallot, R. (1998). The place of spirituality and religion in mental health services. New Directions for Mental Health Services, winter 1998, Vol 80.4. Hathaway, W.L. (2003). Clinically significant religious impairment. Mental Health Religion & Culture, 6(2), 113-130.
 
When Can Religion and or Spirituality Be Bad For Your  Mental Health
 
Belief in a harsh, restrictive or condemning deity is an obstacle to mental health (Cremmins, 2002, p. 21).
 
Feeling abandoned by God, feeling sinful, afraid to express anger or ask questions can negatively impact mental health if not resolved.
 
Religion/Spirituality that decreases feelings of self-esteem.
 
Religion/Spirituality that places all of the responsibility for change or actions on a belief system.
 
Religion/Spirituality that prevents one from acknowledging and acting on reality.
 
Belief that admitting to having an illness or having to take medications makes one less of a believer in his/her faith.
 
Belief that expressing a negative emotion equals a lack of spiritual/religious commitment.
 
Faith in a religious/spiritual belief that does not lead to positive action.
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What is a Faith Based Recovery
 

Recovery is a process that can be facilitated by many factors to include: a belief in your ability to get better, support systems, medications, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

  1. A faith-based recovery mind set is freeing your self from the prison of your limitations, and realizing that God has indeed created you for a purpose. It is coming to the knowledge that the grace of God is available for you, and that He is concerned about everything that concerns you.
  2. A person with a faith-based recovery mindset understands that while the plan God has for their life may not be the plan that they envisioned, they remain determined to rest and to trust in His sovereign plan.
  3. A faith-based recovery mindset is choosing to take responsibility for your treatment, and not being afraid to seek help when needed. It is coming to the understanding that in order to live a healthy life, you may have to take medications, but that having to take medications does not decrease or imply that you lack faith in God.
  4. A faith based recovery mindset does not just accept the belief that things will always be the way that they are now, or that things will never get better.
  5. A faith based recovery mindset chooses to hope, to trust Jesus Christ, and to do the things that are necessary to facilitate recovery and life.
  6.  A person with a faith-based recovery mindset understands, that even if they don’t get a miracle when they want it, God is still in control of their steps.
  7.  A person with a faith-based recovery mindset is not just sitting down, idly waiting for a miracle. Instead, they are busy performing their Fathers business.  
  8.  A person with a faith-based recovery mindset does not wait until they are free of symptoms before they start to live their life. Instead, they are living their life to the fullest …..now.

 

 

 

 

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