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Religious Trauma Syndrome: How Some Organized Religion Leads to Mental Health Problems

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posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 11:47 AM
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Originally posted by butcherguy

Regarding the facts you speak of,
I google searched 'Religious Trauma Syndrome' all the hits seem to lead back to Dr. Marlene Winell. She seems to be the one 'Dr.' that uses the term. Almost all the hits are blogs and lead back to her.
I was looking for something from maybe the NIMH or Mayo Clinic....
But didn't see anything. Hmmm.
edit on 27-3-2013 by butcherguy because: (no reason given)


Over the years, my wife has learned to let my, "What the world needs is one more expert" rant go in one ear and out the other... Dr. M.W. may have coined the term & put her impressions into an understandable form but she surely isn't the first to see what damage can be done.

Some "Church People" may mean well, but so did the medical practitioners during the Middle Ages who knew nothing of sterilization... We used to attend a church that eventually made me uncomfortable enough to leave. One simple example was a revival they had where the guest missionary was talking about his work in Africa. He said, "The first thing you notice as you step out of the plane is the smell... Let me tell you, you aren't gonna be talking to anybody that's ever been introduced to a bar of Zest!!" And everybody laughed like that was the funniest thing they'd ever heard! I couldn't help but cringe... Here you have folks that can't even get a drink of clean, safe water and you are thinking like that??

The youth pastor having album burnings was another thing that got me thinking. Those kids might have felt it was right at the time, but I always wondered how many years it would be before they would be cussing his name and wishing they had that part of their youth back.

I'm at the point in Life where I have realized I can save the gas. The Lord knows where I live and we can talk anytime I or He wants.




posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by wildtimes
reply to post by Hecate666
 

Thank you so much, Hecate! Very good points.
One of the q/a bits in the article goes like this:

Aren’t these just people who would be depressed, anxious, or obsessive anyways?

Winell:
Not at all. If my observation is correct, these are people who are intense and involved and caring. They hang on to the religion longer than those who simply “walk away” because they try to make it work even when they have doubts. Sometime this is out of fear, but often it is out of devotion. These are people for whom ethics, integrity and compassion matter a great deal. I find that when they get better and rebuild their lives, they are wonderfully creative and energetic about new things.


I agree with much of what you say....and for some it is not interesting, nor acceptable. But if I can prevent just ONE LITTLE CHILD being given the maltreatment their parents or their parents' church wants to impose, I'll have done some good.

edit:
P.S., WHAT is that monstrous-looking thing on your avatar now? Your little creatures are so icky-looking!
edit on 27-3-2013 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)




I agree that it is a kind of child abuse when parents indoctrinate their children in religion alone, let alone the strictness that often comes with being deeply religious.

As to the avatar, this time it is a 'Water bear', they are actually quite cute I find



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 12:03 PM
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Thanks for posting this, CornShucker!

I was just now listening to NPR, our local "Up to Date" morning one-hour show does interviews with local visiting speakers, or people who are experts in whatever subject matter.
Today he is wrapping up his show with a Pastor from an inner city Church here, who told this story from several years ago:

An 8-year old boy named Sean used to come to the services without his parents or any adults accompanying him. He came every Sunday. Normally, the pastor wears the "black robe" that is traditional vestment for ministers after they've been ordained, but it's optional. This pastor did choose to wear it weather permitting (which was most of the year), but when the hottest days of summer arrived, he would not wear it (uncomfortably hot and he doesn't like to "sweat").

So, one summer that hot time arrived, and he skipped the black robe. There sat Sean alone next to the aisle, and he saw the minister coming without his "robe" up the aisle to do the service. As he passed Sean, the little guy grabbed him by the sleeve, so the minister stopped.

Sean asked him, "Father, who's going to be the judge today?" Eight years old.

From that day on, this minister never wore the black robe again. He said he wants people - especially people like Sean - to feel safe and that the church was a place of acceptance and love, NOT JUDGMENT.



edit on 27-3-2013 by wildtimes because: typos



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 12:06 PM
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reply to post by CornShucker
 

I look at it this way, there are plenty of experts that say that ADD and ADHD exist, you can find plenty of references to what they have written about it in papers that abound. Even with all this official recognition, I wonder sometimes about how accurate all that info is.

I am not finding a lot of official work done on RTS, so even more questions for me.

There is no doubt that religious cults (this term has a very fuzzy line) can be very dangerous, both physically and psychologically speaking.



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 12:11 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


That is a very good story.
It is nice to hear good news coming from interactions between youth and the clergy!



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 12:12 PM
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reply to post by butcherguy
 


butcherguy, thank you for remaining in the thread. I want to apologize for misinterpreting your original reply -- I'm sorry, and realize what you meant by it now. (Yeah, I was primed for a flame-fest...my bad.)


There is no doubt that religious cults (this term has a very fuzzy line) can be very dangerous, both physically and psychologically speaking.

Thanks again.



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 01:22 PM
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Originally posted by wildtimes
reply to post by butcherguy
 


butcherguy, thank you for remaining in the thread. I want to apologize for misinterpreting your original reply -- I'm sorry, and realize what you meant by it now. (Yeah, I was primed for a flame-fest...my bad.)


There is no doubt that religious cults (this term has a very fuzzy line) can be very dangerous, both physically and psychologically speaking.

Thanks again.

I understand completely. I know how hot the religious-connected threads can get. Personally, I don't care what a person's beliefs are, as long as they don't affect other people negatively .(especially children!)

I am happy that there isn't a misunderstanding now.



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 02:10 PM
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Oh wow, I just found another good one from yesterday on CNN, linked when I surfed a bit after reading the CNN story
My Take: 5 ways to survive 'post-traumatic church syndrome' posted by Invariance. I recommend reading both, as they add extra light to the issue of 'what to do'. The first one is excellent, and not unusual. The second one just seems like frantic efforts to continue fear-mongering.
Like GOP, evangelicals look to rebrand

09:47 AM ET March 26
(CNN) – There’s been a lot of debate about the Republican Party’s need to rebrand after the 2012 presidential defeat, but could evangelicals face the same challenge?

The evangelical community, too, has been involved in some collective soul-searching. Evangelical leaders constantly warn that young people are deserting churches; pastors struggle to address changing views on homosexuality; and others wonder how evangelicals can remain relevant when a growing number of Americans refuse to identify with any religion.

...

How the church should change to meet this future is the thrust of the article. The magazine asked some of the nation’s top evangelical leaders for their take on the biggest challenges facing the church in the next decade.

Their answers varied, and some were surprising.

Yeah, the answers they provide don't do much for me. Any thoughts about these suggestions?
First, John Mark McMillan:

religious entertainers can’t save evangelicals. Building more megachurches with slicker worship services that feature skits, live music and hip pastors in skinny jeans won’t do the trick.

David Kinnaman:

making marriage relevant for a new generation is the big challenge.

Shane Claiborne:

Create a Life Party of Christians who “insist on protecting life in all its dazzling forms."

Shane Hipps:

learn to embrace what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called 'religionless Christianity...These people will press beyond the tired religious categories of ‘liberal’ and “conservative.’ They will see the life and teachings of Jesus not as religious or even spiritual in nature, but rather as fundamentally human.”


Unfortunately none of them (and I've never heard of any of them, thankfully!) say anything about loosening up the hell-fire and brimstone thing.
Just looking for new ways to hammer their points home. *sigh*
edit on 27-3-2013 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)
edit on 27-3-2013 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 02:12 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


I was raised Evangelical and I left that organized religion to. I do still believe in God, but I don't practice Pentecostal or evangelical customs or traditions because I find that they have nothing to do with Jesus at all. I'm still in seeking mode, but i don't think I will be returning to that anymore. I'm done with that.



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 02:19 PM
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reply to post by skepticconwatcher
 

Thanks for contributing here.

Would you be interested in telling us how you 'exited'?
In my last post (above yours), there's a link to an article (the first one, 'My Take') that describes what the 'seeking mode' can be like. Interesting how this woman (and lots of others) made the journey out.

I think 'seeking mode' is the best way.

edit on 27-3-2013 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 02:43 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


Another interesting and controversial thread. SnF!

You should not stop saying what you feel as right and what is true and maybe the ones who get offended should stop and think why they feel that way.

My own 1st reaction to the thread was defensive but when i read the OP and a few posts then i let my guard down as what you posted and personal experiences of other posters makes sense.

I would like to point that any religion may cause psychological/emotional trauma but God is still the most popular and effective refuge for the people going through any problems.

Sadly its the priests and religious leaders that may keep people away from God and in extreme cases even cause RTS(its not yet an accepted term.right?)

I feel its because people give these leaders(mere humans) too much authority and believe every word they say while keeping the brain switched off.
God talks through those idiots so easily as if they are radios tuned to God frequency

They don't even have the integrity to admit that they are lying when they make claims that God talks to them!!

Its good that people are realising what these idiots are(p.s. many are good and helpful too who really serve God)

I hope that just like it was a scientific renaissance after the dark ages, it would be a spiritual one soon.



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 02:53 PM
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reply to post by logical7
 


Hiya, log7!
Thanks for posting here.


I agree with almost all of what you say, with the exception of this statement:

God is still the most popular and effective refuge for the people going through any problems.

It may be popular, but whether it's effective or not is up for debate. People going through problems need compassion, need to be validated as worthwhile human beings with dignity and importance.
That has to come from other people who are willing to listen, to validate the person's pain, and help them come up with 'real' coping mechanisms.

Faith in God certainly helps and comforts some people, no doubt about that. But it's not the 'most effective' way. People must help one another, not preach condemnation and failure.
edit on 27-3-2013 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 03:46 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 





People going through problems need compassion, need to be validated as worthwhile human beings with dignity and importance. That has to come from other people who are willing to listen, to validate the person's pain, and help them come up with 'real' coping mechanisms.

yes they need compassion and validation and it would be nice if they get it.
But relying on people for it is equally risky.
If i become a source of that acceptance and validation for a person and once by the fact that i am human do something or say something to him/her that is wrong/hurting, i will shatter their world!!

That may be the cause of RTS if i was a priest.

People need self validation not social validation, isn't eating disorders a result of lack of social validation?

God provides an infallible source of that validation and acceptance liberating from a need for compassion and validation from others, if its there then good, if not even then good.
Complete reliance on God will actùally turn these people into a source of compassion for others and also they will direct them to their own inexhuastible source.

God can handle any number of counceling sessions simultaneously and better its free and available anytime to anyone from a CEO of a company in NY to a poor mother somewhere in Africa.



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 05:25 PM
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Good thread Wild...


I would only add that God and Religion are enemies and opposites.

I believe this is the root cause behind all the damage that Religion causes.

This is a quote from a video called: "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus":


"But in the Old Testament, God actually calls religious people whores..." ~ Jefferson Bethke

I am convinced that religion has always been Satan's attempt to masquerade as God.

Wanting to be LIKE the Most High is what got him thrown out of Heaven.


“I will ascend above the highest clouds, I will make myself like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:14

I see religion as nothing but lies which is how we KNOW Satan is the one behind it.



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 05:33 PM
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Originally posted by butcherguy
Oh no.
Here is the way for the govt to say that anyone that has ever attended a church may have a mental illness and can not be trusted with a firearm,


WHAT? I mean what? really? There is no way this is about firearms

It's not even to do with a specific country!

oh my :-(



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 05:43 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


edit on 27-3-2013 by bitsforbytes because: testing how to embed videos



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 06:18 PM
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I'm sure you won't be respective to this comment but this is just another push to try to outlaw most religions.

And no, I'm not part of any organized religion.

Can people be traumatized by religion, sure. They can also be traumatized by schools, football players, work, bosses, co-workers, banks..........AND THERAPISTS.

Over 10% are sexually abused by their therapists. Don't you wonder why there is no Psychologist Traurma Syndrome?

Here why everyone should be worried when they read this article:

THEY WANT TO TURN LIFESTYLE CHOICES INTO AN ILLNESS!!!



They used a broad definition of a harmful religion: "one that is "authoritarian religion".

Think about that for a second......

This means you can be accused of harming your child if you set moral laws for them.

You can't tell them being gay is wrong, war is wrong, helping the poor is good, stealing is wrong and being kind is good.



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 06:26 PM
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A valuable thread, imo. I agree that having a problem with organized religion shouldn't necessarily make you feel like you have problem with God. Regardless of what some may tell you, they are NOT one and the same. Simple rule of thumb... If someone tells you how much you need a personal relationship with the Lord and then steps in the middle to act as mediator, that's a problem. I got turned off on organized religion because of the hypocrisy. We had two young sons when we quit going. There was no way I was going to subject them to the mindset of some of the kids their age that had parents that were "Big" in the church. I'm sure their folks would have told me I was mistaken, but I saw their behavior firsthand. The message they had picked up on was that they could treat my boys like crap as long as they said they were sorry later. If you don't forgive someone who says they're "sorry", you aren't a "Good Christian".

I think we should tell people we care about who are interested in joining a church for the first time the same things we tell small children about how to handle themselves when we aren't there to supervise the situation. Trust your feelings (Inner Voice). If they find themselves being made uncomfortable by the people and situations that are part and parcel to a given congregation, walk away... It's not healthy or emotionally safe to continue.



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 06:27 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


I've read your other posts and you are spot on. S & F once again. Evangelicals set a dangerous precedent in third world countries where people are far more vulnerable. It's anti-Christian to do what they do. Pure evil.



posted on Mar, 27 2013 @ 06:39 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


I'll have to agree based on my own thoughts and observations that I've made through the years about organized Christianity.
When people attend church with no real improvement, you can be sure they are worse off than they would have been if they'd never set foot in those buildings.






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