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Religion and Mental Health: 5 Myths You Should Know

Religion and mental health are both addressed at faith-based drug rehabilitation programs and can be effective in helping addicts overcome their addiction and dual diagnosis. For people with strong religious convictions, evidence-based methodologies reinforced with religious principles have proven to be effective in treating alcoholism or substance abuse.

Myths of Religion and Mental Health

However, there are myths that are tied to religious beliefs. These myths often do not have any strong foundation in science or the basic tenets of the religion. Nevertheless, they can have a negative impact on an individual’s progress through recovery.

Mental Illness is caused by Personal Weakness

Generally speaking, religion has often viewed mental illness as a sign of weakness of the spirit and soul. Some mental conditions may be viewed as evidence of an evil spirit. They, therefore, believe that psychological conditions can be overcome by staying committed to their beliefs and by sheer will power.

People with substance abuse or mental illness should ideally be treated at a dual diagnosis treatment center. The psychological challenges that people with the post-traumatic disorder, bipolar disorder, and depression face is virtually impossible to overcome by sheer willpower alone.

Christian recovery treatment for these psychological conditions should be emphasized as much as we emphasize treatment for the chronic lower respiratory disease, pneumonia, diabetes amongst other physiological conditions. It is important to remember that the sooner help is sought, the lower the financial, psychological and overall cost of treating mental illnesses.

People with Mental Health Problems are Violent and Unpredictable

There’s still a lot of shame and stigma associated with mental health issue. Popular culture has played a role in how we view some of the mental health problems people go through. Religion and mental health beliefs can sometimes act as stumbling blocks that prevent the individual from getting the right treatment.

Since psychological conditions are viewed as evidence of personal weakness, a lot of vices are associated with it. People with mental illnesses may be seen as weak and unproductive, violent and unpredictable, or unintelligent and incapable of being dependent.  When it comes to religion and mental health, some religions may see them as felonious because they appear to lack willpower and internal checks.

However, people don’t realize that most individuals with mental illnesses are productive members of the society. Some even demonstrate above average skill in whatever career path they choose. People with a mental health problem can live positive and productive lives if their illness is managed properly and help is sort without delay.

A Result of Bad Parenting

Spare the rod, spoil the child, is a common Christian proverb that warns of the consequences of failing to discipline young ones. Some of the symptoms of mental disorders such as autism may be misunderstood as signs of stubbornness, unruly behavior or slow development due to lack of proper parenting.

These misconceptions not only have an impact on the child’s life but also on the quality of life he’ll live as an adult. Half of all mental disorders begin to show signs by the time on turns 14, and three-quarters of all disorders begin to show symptoms by the time one turns 24. Early support for the child can help to address issues that could potentially have an impact on other aspects of their lives.

There are therapies designed for children based on similar evidence-based methodologies used in dual diagnosis treatment for women. Some of the evidence-based approaches for treating mental conditions in children include:

  • Penn Prevention Program
  • The Coping Cat (Social phobia)
  • Lovaas’ Method (Autism)
  • Multi-dimensional Family therapy
  • Functional family therapy

There are faith-based programs available for people from different religious backgrounds that address religion and mental health. The combination of religious principles and evidence-based methodologies has been proven to be just as effective as other conventional treatment programs.

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