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

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posted on Mar, 28 2013 @ 09:49 AM
reply to post by Lionhearte

LOL, nothing to see here folks, just some desperate claims by desperate people, as usual.

Nope! Wrong. What we see here, is the "desperate people making claims that they were harmed by religion" describing how religion made them desperate and seeking sincere help for it, and others who are trying - without using God or fear and shame - to help!

The thread is full of firsthand examples. Post fail.
edit on 28-3-2013 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 28 2013 @ 09:50 AM
reply to post by Invariance

As a misionary (ex) WE WERE TAUGHT ABOUT SYNCHRETISM. (caps lock, sorry) You all know that it means that religions take on the cultural practices of their host cultures. Every culture that embraced Christianity became synchrestistic in the practice of their faith.

Jwish believers either went gnostic or they struggled to incorporate Jewish holy days and traditions with jesus' teachings. I myself was 'messianic' for a while. Sort of like Jews for Jesus, but for gentiles. This is not easy. Gentiles resist the Jewish traditions, they are too foreign and complicated. So.....

Rome and all the variant cultures in it went full synchrestist and blended their home religions with "The Way'. Diana worship became Madonna worship. Roman soldiers practiced Mithraism, a uniquely Roman mystery cult. Mithras sacrificed a bull (blood sacrifice) was the son of a God, He had a meal with God (last supper), he ascended to heaven in a chariot.

Mithras was born on December 25, and Mithraic initiate must learn and recite a catechism and go thru a ritual.Prayers were addressed to the Sun three times a day and Sunday was especially sacred. Mithraic temples where every where. Where ever Rome went, the soldiers bringing it's rule built Mithraic temples. They can be found in Britain, Egypt and the middle east today.

Soldiers converting to christianity clearly identified Jesus with Mithras. Many Mithraic temple were either torn down or converted to churches after christianity became the state religion. It helped to unify the declining Roman empire. It became a way to unify and control all the outposts. It was not just a religious conversion, it was a tactic carefully orchestrated for political reasons.

This is why we have the Vatican today. Does anyone know which former pagan temple the Vatican city is built on??

posted on Mar, 28 2013 @ 10:13 AM
reply to post by butcherguy

Just because all the links go back to the same Doctor does not mean it's invalid. Perhaps we need more links. If other professionals backed up her claims, would that satisfy you?

posted on Mar, 28 2013 @ 10:16 AM
reply to post by Hecate666

Oh wow. She is describing me. Hanging in their because i truly want it to work, even though it's killing me. There are so many out there.

posted on Mar, 28 2013 @ 10:19 AM
reply to post by butcherguy

butcherguy, you are a proud skeptic. Back in th day, there was a saying I haven't seen in many years .

"I'm from Missouri, the 'show me state'. So, show me!!"

You need to be shown, and evidence of the unseeable is tough. How can one show evidence of ADD and ADHD? How can one show evidence of trauma by religion?

posted on Mar, 28 2013 @ 10:32 AM
reply to post by butcherguy

To me just the fact that so many people the entire world over feel justified and righteous about spanking their children in the name of Spare the Rod is reason enough to ban that kind of teaching. No one should ever ever raise their hand to a child or even another human. If we can ever get that through our thick heads it will be a miracle because we'd have to overcome more than the 2000 years of Christianity we'd have to overcome any religion that came before it as well. And yes this includes "armies". Hurt another human? That is insanity pure and simple but that is religion.

posted on Mar, 28 2013 @ 10:49 AM
reply to post by karen61560

Yes, karen, I agree.
Here's the opening 'statement' on the Religious Child Maltreatment website.

Religion can bring children great comfort.
It can also turn their lives into a living hell.

A religious upbringing can be a wonderful experience for a child, but it can be harmful, too. This website provides information about a problem many people don’t like to talk about—religious child maltreatment. The fact is, certain religious cultures put children at risk for abuse and neglect—even fatally.

What is particularly disturbing is that perpetrators often believe their acts are righteous and condoned by God. By raising awareness of this issue, we can better assure that a religious upbringing is a positive experience for every child.

(This is a separate author than the Doctor cited and interviewed in the OP article.)

It bothers me that some people think the aim is to outlaw all religion or take children away from the parents who use corporal punishment, fear, shame, self-loathing, low self-esteem to "control" their children.

If you look at the included links in the OP article, they have lots more information and specifics about exactly what sort of thing they are talking about.

And this one is a review of "Leaving the Fold" from Dr. Winell's webpage, which has tons of info, and even parts of her book included. There's also an email newsletter available for free, and a biography page that describes her work and point of view.

I heartily recommend Dr. Winell's book, "Leaving the Fold," which I have read and been recommending for years. Many people born into mainstream fundamentalist churches will benefit from reading this book. Not just disaffected Christians.

It is important to understand what healthy patterns are within religion and when they get more and more extreme- till they become outright cultic in nature. Freedom to choose, freedom to think for oneself, the ability to question authority and not just become blindly obedient.

That is what true spiritual freedom is all about. Not heavenly brainwashing (like the Moonies, the cult I was in). Not a focus on fear, rather than Love. Read this book! It is especially a great support for those who have grown up in a controlling religious group and wish to move one with their lives.

- Steven Hassan, M.Ed. LMHC, NCC, author of Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults and Beliefs, and Director of

edit on 28-3-2013 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 28 2013 @ 11:07 AM
A New Venture: The Child-Friendly Faith Project
This project was set up by the journalist who wrote "Breaking Their Will," Janet Heimlich.

I think it's a great idea, just launched last year and announced on her blog page on Thanksgiving Day!

Just to clear up for those who aren't seeing the point (or aren't acknowledging it), here is a blurb from the project about what the 'project' people believe:

A few things we believe:

1) Faith can be beneficial and harmful to children.

2) We acknowledge that every adults has the right to practice the faith of their choosing. However, if they bring children into that faith, those adults have the responsibility to make sure it enhances children’s well-being.

3) It is not our place to promote or denigrate any particular religion, place of worship, faith group, or ideology but, rather, look at how people’s beliefs and practices affect children.

posted on Mar, 28 2013 @ 11:15 AM
reply to post by wildtimes

well as anything, you can only blame a person for their behaviour as a faith doesn't tell you to be part of it or leave, but opens its doors to you to choose. Sure some mentally ill people can become scrupulous fanatics of a religion and do themselves harm, but I once knew someone who went from one faith to another, and then one fad like healthy eating to anorexia, to one obsession with a interest, into something else, so it wasn't their interests or faiths, or pursuits, but how they took to things. They suffered from mental problems...
But this is not the fault of whatever they were following, but how they followed, or went to extremes that weren't part of that actual faith's teachings or went too far in their obsessions. It's like blaming knives for killing people....knives when used correctly and morally don't harm anyone.

In anycase, according to this study it says those who seek spirituality outside of a religion, actually have problems...

posted on Mar, 28 2013 @ 11:34 AM
reply to post by 00777

There are people everywhere who have problems. It's a universal issue.
The study you cited talked to over 7,000 people. That's a lot of people, and of course there will be 'problems' there.
But don't misrepresent what they actually said (the title is misleading):

Professor Michael King, from University College London, and his fellow researchers wrote in the British Journal of Psychiatry: "Our main finding is that people who had a spiritual understanding of life had worse mental health than those with an understanding that was neither religious nor spiritual."

They also said the issue needs further study.

posted on Mar, 28 2013 @ 11:38 AM
reply to post by MystikMushroom

And, made to feel guilty if they don't go every Sunday, and Wednesday, goes on and on. Guilt, shame, and criticism. I hate it.

posted on Mar, 28 2013 @ 11:40 AM
reply to post by calstorm

I know I was afraid of almost everything. I had times as a young teen being unable to get to sleep. I was sure Satan was going to rape me. Sad, no?

posted on Mar, 28 2013 @ 11:44 AM
reply to post by wildtimes

That's what I call performing the Ms. Heimlich manouver!

posted on Mar, 28 2013 @ 11:48 AM
reply to post by Daughter2

Wow, talk about hypocrisy!!! Christianity has tried to FORCE IT'S belief system on us for centuries and already you are claiming legal abuse!! It hasn't happened yet. There is no legal system taking kids away from believing parents. Calm the hell down, take a deep breath and come back to reality.

No one is holding a gun at you and taking you kids away. We will all fight together to prevent that!!!

posted on Mar, 28 2013 @ 11:53 AM
reply to post by Lionhearte

Denial much??? Go ahead, just call it some thing simple, like "desperate" then move on. No need to really analyse. Your faith, bible church remain intact against this 'assault'.


posted on Mar, 28 2013 @ 11:59 AM
reply to post by coosta5k

I have depression and social anxiety. I have not gone to church in maybe 9 years. My husband is hurt. I went last Sunday and have been dealing with the effects all week. I went on MY TERMS, not his. I told him I would not go to Sunday School or do anything else I did not want to do. If he pressures me, I won't go!!!

I do what I wnat now. It feels good, doesn't it? It's wonderful to finally 'have' my own life. I paid for it, and people still ask why I don't go. I tell them it's because it makes me very nervous and sick inside to be around all those people. But, it's more than that isn't it? How about all the judging, people whispering, pushing you to do things, volunteer, not question the teachings....etc.??? I hate it, and if you do to I can relate. it's like High School all over again.


posted on Mar, 28 2013 @ 12:08 PM
reply to post by wildtimes

Thanks. Being validated and heard is appreciated. I haven't had much of that in my life.

posted on Mar, 28 2013 @ 12:11 PM

Originally posted by wildtimes

A few things we believe:

1) Faith can be beneficial and harmful to children.

2) We acknowledge that every adults has the right to practice the faith of their choosing. However, if they bring children into that faith, those adults have the responsibility to make sure it enhances children’s well-being.

3) It is not our place to promote or denigrate any particular religion, place of worship, faith group, or ideology but, rather, look at how people’s beliefs and practices affect children.

Number 2 says it for me - the parents.
And families are where most problems originate - being born into some families leads to mental health problems.

This Be The Verse

They # you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were #ed up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

Philip Larkin

edit on 28-3-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

edit on 28-3-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 28 2013 @ 12:14 PM
reply to post by wildtimes

I never said anything about rejecting all religion, or atheism being the 'correct' answer. I've acknowledged over and over that Faith certainly CAN, and for millions DOES offer comfort, solace, hope, and so forth.

sorry, read a lot between the lines.
btw i just added my views about atheism, didn't want to mean that you advocated it.

It is the
FEAR part that needs to go. Fear of not
being good enough, of going to 'hell', of never, ever measuring up; fear of
being shunned and ostracized; of
being physically abused for 'messing
up' in the opinion of an authority

i strongly condemn physical or emotional abuse.

However, i would have a different stand on importance of 'fear'

'no fear' is as bad as 'too much fear'

there are some necessary fears like, i fear that i shouldn't wrong or hurt anyone by being careless, so the fear keeps me careful and compassionate.
The fear of 'hell' is exactly this!

Its consciousness of God and an awareness that i will be answerable to God for every action.
Its called 'Taqwa' in arabic, translated in english very poorly and rudely as 'fear of God'

the idea, fear of 'not being good enough'/'not measuring up', is also not really true.
Especially after i know a hadith(saying) of prophet Muhammad and i like it a lot,
i am paraphrasing, he said, "if humans were perfect and did'nt make mistakes(do wrongs), God would create another creation who did mistakes so that God could forgive them"

so i don't need to fear any religious authority neither need them to give me religious/social validation.

There are no brokers between me and God.

I like the quote,
"there would be no peace on earth till the last king(read as dictator/president) is throttled with the entrails of the last priest"
I don't deny the need of religious scholars and priests but, i deny them having anymore authority than any other individual.

posted on Mar, 28 2013 @ 12:38 PM
Oh, hi there wildtimes!

As I think I mentioned before, I've spent a lot of time around fundamentalist Christians. I've almost invariably seen problems with people that grow up in a household or culture that emphasized control. Not necessarily problems that I would say rise to the level of a "trauma syndrome," (as I think we discussed before, I'm really reluctant to slap a trauma label on everything) but problems nonetheless.

My personal take is that when people are in a controlling environment (whether it be political or social–in this case, a social environment of religious practitioners with a similar mindset) it teaches people that they cannot be trusted. They are taught, either explicitly or by behavior patterns, that freedom is dangerous, and that they need to be controlled. Obviously, this leads to confidence problems down the road. It also teaches people that everyone else needs to be controlled, and I think they tend to react to their strict upbringing by controlling their own children and by trying to control the people around them, whether it be by personal interactions or by political means.

Your thoughts?

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