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'Spiritual' people higher risk mental problem


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#16    eight bits

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 07:17 PM

This is disappointingly poor survey design. I really wouldn't base anything important on these "results." The original paper is not available for free (but many people here may be able to get it from school or public libraries, etc.) The abstract is free for all, and it is here:

http://bjp.rcpsych.o...2/1/68.abstract

The conclusion as reported in the abstract is

Quote

People who have a spiritual understanding of life in the absence of a religious framework are vulnerable to mental disorder.

One serious flaw in this report is the absence of any substantive definition of a "spiritual understanding of life" available to the people who are being asked whether they have one.

The subjects were participants in the (adult England 2007) National Psychiatric Morbidity Study. That report is available here:

http://www.ic.nhs.uk...ng-2007-apx.pdf

On page 124-125 of the report (physical page 98 of the pdf file), we can see how the information about religion and spirituality were elicited. Not very well.

First there is an affiliation question: "Do you have a specific religion?" and if yes, then. of course, "Which religion is that?"

Then the interviewee is told what the survey means by religion. It appears to relate to the previous question, about a "specific" religion, by enumerating religion-specific names for a place of worship: temple, mosque, church or synagogue, as places where a religious person goes.  

"Spiritual" is never defined. Spiritual "beliefs or expereinces" are mentioned as possibly occuring separately from a religion, but not necessarily unavailable from religion, although it seems that an alternative to religion is being presented. Then, armed with this sketchy information regarding what the interviewer is talking about, the respondent is asked about a "religious or spiritual understanding" of their life.

Quote

By 'religion', we mean the actual practice of a faith, e.g. going to a temple, mosque, church or synagogue. Some people do not follow a religion but do have spiritual beliefs or experiences. Some people make sense of their lives without any religious or spiritual beliefs. Would you say that you have a religious or a spiritual understanding of your life?

Possible answers are religious, spritual or neither, including combinations of those.

The remaining questions on this point, asked only of those who answer religious or spiritual in their understanding of life, are to rate how "strongly" they hold their "view," on a scale from 0 to 10; the importance of the "practice" of the "belief" also on a 0 - 10 scale, and finally, how often the person attends services or prayer meetings, from never through at least once a week.

The examples in the second follow-up question of "practice" are private meditation and religious services.

Quote

How important to you is the practice of your belief (e.g. private meditation, religious services) in your day-to-day life? Please look at this card and tell me the number that best describes your view, from 0 'not necessary' through to 10 'essential'

Wait a minute. This is incoherent. Religion was distinguished from spirituality on the basis of "actual practice" exemplified by physically visiting any common place of worship. Now, it turns out that "practice" includes both religious services and also private meditation.

Example I, eight bits, practice private meditation. I almost never visit places of worship, especially not for services. Because I "practice," but not (apparently) actually practice, I am "spiritual" but not "religious." Or am I? I wasn't asked about practice, even though that was as much as a definition as I got, rather I was asked about my understanding of my life. Well, I understand my "life" to be my current coporeal presence in time and space - not religious and not spiritual but physical. And may it remain so for a good long time yet to come.

So, I am spiritual, based on my beliefs and experiences, and maybe non-specifically religious depending on how much regular meditation counts as practice after all, but I am neither according to the question that is actually asked.

In the same way that we wonder whether IQ measures intelligence or just skill at taking IQ tests, this questionnaire seems to test not for religion or spirituality, but rather for ESP, reading the survey designer's mind. I am unsurpised that people who are "spiritual but not religious" are more likely to have mental health issues - just figuring out whether that is the correct category is enough to drive someone crazy.

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#17    SpiritWriter

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 07:29 PM

Jesus came for the sick not the well. I personally would be crazy if I didnt have god in my life. I think about this topic a lot and was thinking of starting a thread on it as well..

Here is a link from the book 'spiritual gift of madness'. http://www.madinamer...ift-of-madness/

This is not a trait for religious only, but also spiritual ... our faith helps us cope and drives us to want to heal others..

I read a part of the book it says the mad are very sensitve and are reacting to an insane world.... becoming spiritual and developing a relationship with god (whatever that looks like for the individual) is an evolutionary process to this spiritually gifted person. In many cultures the shaman etc... had to go through this process of getting vety sick before they got the full powers of their gifts...

Thanks for posting this..

The letter kills but The Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:6

Non-ambiguity and non-contradiction are one sided and thus unsuited to express the incomprehensible. -Jung

#18    SpiritWriter

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 07:32 PM

View Postdougeaton, on 05 January 2013 - 03:00 PM, said:

Most people have some sort of religion, so it figures that many would have serious mental issues.  Many atheist that I know are bi-polar, it means nothing.

doug

I know some athiest bipolors too, and I do think God could help...

The letter kills but The Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:6

Non-ambiguity and non-contradiction are one sided and thus unsuited to express the incomprehensible. -Jung

#19    Arpee

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:51 PM

Spirituality is similar to philosophy a way to get rid of suffering. Those who seek to get rid of suffering may be the ones who are actually suffering.

"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." - 1 John 4:7-8

#20    markdohle

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:27 AM

View PostArpee, on 05 January 2013 - 11:51 PM, said:

Spirituality is similar to philosophy a way to get rid of suffering. Those who seek to get rid of suffering may be the ones who are actually suffering.

Very wise, simple and to heart of the matter.  It is my inner fragmentation and seeking to heal that allows me to delve deeply into God, for it is in God's observing my inner chaos that allows it to come together, well it is slowly coming together.  If an atheist, I am not sure I would be able to do that, since there would nothing inside but my fragmentaion and perhaps with only drugs, perscription or otherwise to deal with it.  My relationship with God, my experience of grace allows me to not fear what is inside, but to love myself.  Love does heal, knowing that we are loved by God is not escape but a goad to seek deeper understand of self, others and to seek to love....which is not easy by any means.  The death to self is hard.

peace
mark

Edited by markdohle, 06 January 2013 - 12:28 AM.


#21    markdohle

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:29 AM

View PostSpiritWriter, on 05 January 2013 - 07:29 PM, said:

Jesus came for the sick not the well. I personally would be crazy if I didnt have god in my life. I think about this topic a lot and was thinking of starting a thread on it as well..

Here is a link from the book 'spiritual gift of madness'. http://www.madinamer...ift-of-madness/

This is not a trait for religious only, but also spiritual ... our faith helps us cope and drives us to want to heal others..

I read a part of the book it says the mad are very sensitve and are reacting to an insane world.... becoming spiritual and developing a relationship with god (whatever that looks like for the individual) is an evolutionary process to this spiritually gifted person. In many cultures the shaman etc... had to go through this process of getting vety sick before they got the full powers of their gifts...

Thanks for posting this..

Very powerful comment my friend, will look into the book.

peace
mark


#22    AquilaChrysaetos

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 01:30 AM

It all comes down to what one consider's mentally ill. If there is discovered a true physiological deviance in the brain of most who claim to be 'spiritual' people, then one could argue it as most having a truly credible mental illness. However if it is purely psychological, then the debate becomes much more complex. That is when one starts asking the definition of "mentaly ill" the exactly precise parameters of which are currently still up to debate today.

Jesus Christ - Matthew 28:18-20 said:

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

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#23    Jinxdom

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 10:50 AM

I could also swing it as a quote about boundaries. Spiritual people have a tendency to look a boundaries(i.e rules and or laws) a little too loose or a little much. Like you put all your faith in the 10 commandments but totally miss out the point of that whole Moses breaking the stone tablets, you have issues. (Ever hear of the saying nothing is set in stone right?)
if you think those rules don't apply for anything you have issues. The balanced person would believe that you follow the laws but knows there might be a time when an exception is actually possible.

This isn't strictly a Spiritual thing though it could happen to people who are straight up atheists(Spiritually people don't have a monopoly on crazy :) ) as well. It just happens that spiritual people believe in more sets of rules then just one, so when the lines get crossed in a bad way, problems happen, then people start tossing around words like mentally ill.


#24    sutemi

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:13 PM

I think our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends. I think they’re all insane. But I am liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what is insane about it. John Lennon. This must be quote from one of those mentally ill people, lol.

Edited by sutemi, 06 January 2013 - 12:14 PM.


#25    Jessica Christ

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:29 PM

View Postmarkdohle, on 06 January 2013 - 12:27 AM, said:

Very wise, simple and to heart of the matter.  It is my inner fragmentation and seeking to heal that allows me to delve deeply into God, for it is in God's observing my inner chaos that allows it to come together, well it is slowly coming together.  If an atheist, I am not sure I would be able to do that, since there would nothing inside but my fragmentaion and perhaps with only drugs, perscription or otherwise to deal with it.  My relationship with God, my experience of grace allows me to not fear what is inside, but to love myself.  Love does heal, knowing that we are loved by God is not escape but a goad to seek deeper understand of self, others and to seek to love....which is not easy by any means.  The death to self is hard.

peace
mark

You mention that if you were an atheist, that you don't know, maybe prescribed meds would work? Did you mention this in the vain that prescription medication and mental health practice in general are a weak alterntive to God?

Many within some parts of Christian culture believe that you can turn to God for everything including mental health and that you don't really need to see a psychologist or some other qualified medical personnel.

If you as a believer believe that God is all encompassing and great then God's mercy extends to all including atheists. You would believe that God has sent the counsellor, the therapists, the general practitioner, and even the pharmacists to help others. Just as much as he sent others in your life to help such as friends and family maybe. Sometimes God will send someone who does not even believe in God to help you and others.

View PostSpiritWriter, on 05 January 2013 - 07:32 PM, said:

I know some athiest bipolors too, and I do think God could help...

Help to the level that you not need rely on anything else but God?

There was a man who once believed like this. Then there was a flood. The water began rising.

People would come on boats, they would say to get in, that the water is rising.

He would say that it was OK, God was going to help him.

The water got higher, more people came in boats, the man refused to get in even as he was on his roof.

The last boat came and he refused again, they left, he drowned.

In Heaven the man asked why God did not come to help him.

God told him, I sent several boats to come rescue you.

Edited by I believe you, 06 January 2013 - 12:34 PM.


#26    markdohle

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:59 PM

View PostI believe you, on 06 January 2013 - 12:29 PM, said:

You mention that if you were an atheist, that you don't know, maybe prescribed meds would work? Did you mention this in the vain that prescription medication and mental health practice in general are a weak alterntive to God?

Many within some parts of Christian culture believe that you can turn to God for everything including mental health and that you don't really need to see a psychologist or some other qualified medical personnel.

If you as a believer believe that God is all encompassing and great then God's mercy extends to all including atheists. You would believe that God has sent the counsellor, the therapists, the general practitioner, and even the pharmacists to help others. Just as much as he sent others in your life to help such as friends and family maybe. Sometimes God will send someone who does not even believe in God to help you and others.



Help to the level that you not need rely on anything else but God?

There was a man who once believed like this. Then there was a flood. The water began rising.

People would come on boats, they would say to get in, that the water is rising.

He would say that it was OK, God was going to help him.

The water got higher, more people came in boats, the man refused to get in even as he was on his roof.

The last boat came and he refused again, they left, he drowned.

In Heaven the man asked why God did not come to help him.

God told him, I sent several boats to come rescue you.

I am in the health field, I am all for meds if it helps; christian or not, I just don't need them.  I was talking about the inner fortifude to deal with what one finds there, my faith helps me to do that.

Peace
mark


#27    SpiritWriter

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:26 PM

View PostI believe you, on 06 January 2013 - 12:29 PM, said:



You mention that if you were an atheist, that you don't know, maybe prescribed meds would work? Did you mention this in the vain that prescription medication and mental health practice in general are a weak alterntive to God?

Many within some parts of Christian culture believe that you can turn to God for everything including mental health and that you don't really need to see a psychologist or some other qualified medical personnel.

If you as a believer believe that God is all encompassing and great then God's mercy extends to all including atheists. You would believe that God has sent the counsellor, the therapists, the general practitioner, and even the pharmacists to help others. Just as much as he sent others in your life to help such as friends and family maybe. Sometimes God will send someone who does not even believe in God to help you and others.



Help to the level that you not need rely on anything else but God?

There was a man who once believed like this. Then there was a flood. The water began rising.

People would come on boats, they would say to get in, that the water is rising.

He would say that it was OK, God was going to help him.

The water got higher, more people came in boats, the man refused to get in even as he was on his roof.

The last boat came and he refused again, they left, he drowned.

In Heaven the man asked why God did not come to help him.

God told him, I sent several boats to come rescue you.

I think that each case involving "mental disorders" are different, that the client should be involved in the decision making and that yes, in many circumstances there can be a cure without medication... This involves spiritual and mental work and this is what God specializes in. I agree with all what you have said above as well, but I do not put the power of medication or the knowledge of any doctor over the ability of God, life is a process and we have weigh through these things. We have to see if we agree with the doctor, we have to try spiritual coping skills, we have to redesign our behaviors that add to what's happening to us mentally, we have to have proper nutrition, we have to pay attention to how medication is effecting us, we have to research and find out new and cutting edge strategies, we have to stay on the path to success, and that is staying in healthy mental environments, that is what having a relationship with god is all about.

Earlier when I said I know atheist with bipolar that I thought could benefit from knowing god, yes I did mean without medication, but I know not all situations are the same.....

The letter kills but The Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:6

Non-ambiguity and non-contradiction are one sided and thus unsuited to express the incomprehensible. -Jung

#28    Sherapy

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:55 PM

View PostlibstaK, on 05 January 2013 - 11:33 AM, said:

Some spiritual disciplines have been referred to as "the path of the razors edge" for just this reason.  The need to remain functioning and logical in the material world is an important first grounding step when approaching the esoteric or spiritual sides of life.

Yes, In some cases-- in some religions  it is the way to identify with the world and a fantasy realm is the reality. Coming out of religious conditioning, one has to acclimate to reality-- one has to understand that there is a difference between fantasy and reality, one would have to start with setting boundaries it is in the setting of personal boundaries one can have an identity of their own. I do think during this transition phase it would not be unusual to rely on substances to cope with the starkness of reality.

Edited by Sherapy, 08 January 2013 - 04:56 PM.


#29    Sean93

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:21 PM

Menatlly ill people may get sad about said illness. If it hinders them socially they may feel alone...but not if they have someone or soemthing that is celestial watching over them. Like a cosmic babysitter.

Or they really just feel something...

"Be peaceful, be courteous, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery."

“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”

#30    Sherapy

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:41 PM

View PostSean93, on 08 January 2013 - 06:21 PM, said:

Menatlly ill people may get sad about said illness. If it hinders them socially they may feel alone...but not if they have someone or soemthing that is celestial watching over them. Like a cosmic babysitter.

Or they really just feel something...

In my experience, I would say it is the fantasy that has been created that brings comfort, or is the place one goes to for comfort. it is automatic pilot and part of the brainwashing.  The way one copes  is to live in a fantasy world of their making and that which cannot be dealt with gets repressed or projected or one uses drugs to completely blot out the unpleasant aspects of reality.

Edited by Sherapy, 08 January 2013 - 06:42 PM.





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