In 2009, Duke University conducted research on the relationship between religion and depression, suicide, anxiety, psychotic disorders, and substance abuse. Of 724 published studies, more than half found that religious beliefs had a statistically significant positive impact on mental health. Of 93 observational studies, two-thirds found that more-religious people had significantly lower rates of depression or fewer depressive symptoms. And among eight randomized clinical trials, people who participated in religious-based psychological interventions had faster symptom improvement than those in secular-based therapy or a control group.
Can spirituality help you? I have said in many blogs and in my book Too Late in the Afternoon: One Man’s Triumph Over Depression that triumphing over depression is a three-legged stool: medicine for the body, psychotherapy for the soul (that is, the mind, will, and emotions), and religion for the spirit. The only one of these that is not essential in all cases is medicine for the body; the other two cannot be ignored for long-term escape from the ravages of depression.
We’ll look at what you can do spiritually in Friday’s blog.