Religouse Believers More Depressed than Atheists

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posted on Sep, 29 2013 @ 04:32 PM
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A new study concluded "there was no evidence of religion acting as a buffer to prevent depression after a serious life event."

Even if people's faith in religion makes them feel good right down to their souls, they are still more likely than an atheist to get depressed, according to a new study.

The study, published in the October issue of Psychological Medicine but online now, followed more than 8,000 people in rural and urban areas in seven countries for one year. During the research, they were each examined at six- and 12-month intervals.

In those time frames, 10.3 per cent of religious participants became depressed, compared with 7.0 per cent for atheists and 10.5 per cent for those with a "spiritual understanding of life," the study found.

The results also varied between country and religion. For example, spiritual participants from the U.K. were found to be more than three times more likely to be depressed than their secular counterparts.

Those who practised varying religions showed the highest rate of depression - 11.5 per cent - followed by Protestants at 10.9 per cent, those without a specific religion at 10.8 per cent, and Catholics at 9.8 per cent.

Along with the U.K., residents of Spain, Estonia, Portugal, Chile and the Netherlands were involved in the study, which is called "Spiritual and religious beliefs as risk factors for the onset of major depression: an international cohort study."

The researchers concluded "these results do not support the notion that religious and spiritual life views enhance psychological well-being. There was no evidence of religion acting as a buffer to prevent depression after a serious life event."

Despite only select countries being included in this new research, past studies have found the parts of the U.S. with the highest religious rates also have the highest depression rates, according to Guardian Express.
Link

Now here I thought it would be just the opposite based on conversations I have had. One report says if you attend church regularly the odds improve. Like a pep talk I guess. I am going to read the studies and see if they have a theory as to why people are more depressed than those without faith.
edit on 29-9-2013 by Grimpachi because: Link




posted on Sep, 29 2013 @ 04:39 PM
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but on the bright side, this just in:


35% of Americans and 48% of whom identify as evangelical christians believeprayer and bible study alone can cure illness and mental illnesses.


www.abovetopsecret.com...


They can just pray the depression away....



posted on Sep, 29 2013 @ 04:43 PM
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reply to post by Grimpachi
 


Could it possibly be because of "guilt"????

Not sure, but I can say when I fell away from the belief, it took me quite a long time to shed the ole guilt complex that was ingrained in my brain........

Constantly having to say your sorry for just being human, just doesn't cut for me anymore...
edit on 29-9-2013 by seeker1963 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2013 @ 04:56 PM
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reply to post by seeker1963
 


It's possible. I know that the idea of original sin was a huge stumbling block for me which I could never get around.



posted on Sep, 29 2013 @ 05:25 PM
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reply to post by Grimpachi
 

Could it be because of the apparent collapse of morality in the world and descent into authoritarian evil domination?

Not particularly religious myself but, I suppose that could explain it.



posted on Sep, 29 2013 @ 06:19 PM
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reply to post by greencmp
 

Could it be because of the apparent collapse of morality in the world and descent into authoritarian evil domination?

That is part of it, speaking for myself. My fondest wish is to see all of humanity cured of evil, from saints to villains, and thus my greatest source of depression is the knowledge that it can never be. There will always be evil men, until a certain Supreme Being comes to clean up this mess. If I wasn't spiritual, I probably wouldn't give any color of damn about humanity's future (or what effects my actions have on others). Since I believe in souls, though, and the possibility of reincarnation, all I can think about is "Boy, I wouldn't wanna be a kid today," or "I sure hope things get better before my next trip through this hall of mirrors that is Life." To the spiritual, simultaneously seeing what is while knowing what could be is comprehensively depressing; adding "...and I'll probably have to live through it all over again later" just compounds the problem.

Then again, the results showed 10% depressed religious people and 7% depressed atheists. A whopping 3% difference. That has to be within their margin of error... and it just makes me wonder: why aren't a much larger percentage of religious people depressed by the state of the world? It must be because those 90% aren't personally suffering from Living On Earth Syndrome and they aren't considering the huge number of people out there who are suffering. That's what depresses me the most: knowing that huge swaths of humanity are living miserably just because some banker or politician or religious leader uses his power for self-gain without any regard for the suffering it causes, and knowing that there ain't snip I can do about it, or anyone else for that matter. The only way to cure civilization is for the evil to get sucked out of all powerful evil people. They have to change themselves, which they never will, or nothing changes for us. It would take someone with more power than them to force meaningful change on them. So until he shows up, all we can do is wait for the cure. The longer the wait, the longer our depression gains compound interest. If there is anything to that study, I'm sure that explains it.

But still... 90% are okay with all that? It's like they just don't care about others. Or something. Doesn't sound very religious or spiritual to me. But what do I know; I talk to an old bearded guy sitting on a cloud. Ha.
edit on 9/29/2013 by Thought Provoker because: Fixing the quote. New-ATS takes some getting used to.



posted on Sep, 29 2013 @ 06:34 PM
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Thought Provoker

reply to post by greencmp
 

Could it be because of the apparent collapse of morality in the world and descent into authoritarian evil domination?

That is part of it, speaking for myself. My fondest wish is to see all of humanity cured of evil, from saints to villains, and thus my greatest source of depression is the knowledge that it can never be. There will always be evil men, until a certain Supreme Being comes to clean up this mess. If I wasn't spiritual, I probably wouldn't give any color of damn about humanity's future (or what effects my actions have on others). Since I believe in souls, though, and the possibility of reincarnation, all I can think about is "Boy, I wouldn't wanna be a kid today," or "I sure hope things get better before my next trip through this hall of mirrors that is Life." To the spiritual, simultaneously seeing what is while knowing what could be is comprehensively depressing; adding "...and I'll probably have to live through it all over again later" just compounds the problem.

Then again, the results showed 10% depressed religious people and 7% depressed atheists. A whopping 3% difference. That has to be within their margin of error... and it just makes me wonder: why aren't a much larger percentage of religious people depressed by the state of the world? It must be because those 90% aren't personally suffering from Living On Earth Syndrome and they aren't considering the huge number of people out there who are suffering. That's what depresses me the most: knowing that huge swaths of humanity are living miserably just because some banker or politician or religious leader uses his power for self-gain without any regard for the suffering it causes, and knowing that there ain't snip I can do about it, or anyone else for that matter. The only way to cure civilization is for the evil to get sucked out of all powerful evil people. They have to change themselves, which they never will, or nothing changes for us. It would take someone with more power than them to force meaningful change on them. So until he shows up, all we can do is wait for the cure. The longer the wait, the longer our depression gains compound interest. If there is anything to that study, I'm sure that explains it.

But still... 90% are okay with all that? It's like they just don't care about others. Or something. Doesn't sound very religious or spiritual to me. But what do I know; I talk to an old bearded guy sitting on a cloud. Ha.
edit on 9/29/2013 by Thought Provoker because: Fixing the quote. New-ATS takes some getting used to.

It's funny you should mention this, I have a theory on why so-called 'atheists' are having a better time than in the past. I believe that all atheists really could be considered to be members of an order of faith, I call it the Church of the Secular Humanists. They are really getting most of what they think they want so, what's not to celebrate?

It makes sense to me, I can only imagine that Christians that were about to be eaten by lions were more than a little depressed in comparison to Roman pagans.
edit on 29-9-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2013 @ 07:01 PM
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reply to post by greencmp
 


I'd call it "The Church of the Self" myself, but I couldn't agree more. Oppression of others causes depression in the religious as well as in the oppressed. I don't think it's exactly a "religious vs. atheist" schism, though. (That's what they want you to believe.) It's "selfless vs. selfish." Compassion vs. apathy. Good vs. evil. Christians and atheists are subdivided just like every other societal clique. There are good and evil Republicans and Democrats, good and evil geeks and jocks, good and evil atheists and Christians, but it seems like everyone ignores the real line of division and focuses on the imaginary line. You know, the one social forces say is "the real line of division." Conservatives must hate Liberals, but good and evil people abound on each side, and that actual point of actual contention is never even mentioned. We're lumping people into the wrong categories under the direction of our propaganda overlords. Well, I say "we" but I mean... everyone who isn't wise to the situation.

I only have two pigeonholes for people: The Selfish, and The Selfless. It's the Selfish who don't get depressed from just observing what's going on around them, not The Atheists. It's the Selfless who just can't stand seeing it, not The Religious. Someone do a study on that.



posted on Sep, 29 2013 @ 07:31 PM
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I'm not predisposed to the term "religious", but I'll suffer it for the sake of this conversation. The meaning should be "stemming from the origin", but we know that people associate the term "religious" with some form of ritualism.

That being said, because I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, it seems the only wise way to see myself is as "normal". For it's not enough to say that I believe in Jesus Christ, therefore I am different. The fact that I believe He is real and His actions are real at every moment compels me to say that anyone who thinks any different is simply not natural or normal. It would be hypocrisy to say anything else is natural if I understand the universe to function in the way that my Lord prescribed. So I say, "I'm normal. There just aren't a whole lot of me."

And it would be hypocritical for anyone to perceive themselves as abnormal. For whatever you think and do defines what you think to be true. Therefore, are you not normal for your standards?

Now that I have defined my values, I am able to make a clear statement.

You are darn right normal people are more likely to be depressed than atheists. Atheists hardly have a reason to be tested. For what good is it to test a people that deny you? It's pointless.

That's like if my dad were to go to your son and say, "Hey, you. I want you to become stronger. Deal with this."

And your dad would say, "That's my son. What are you doing?"

I have dealt with extremely severe depression for my entire life. Most of it literally was caused by the people around me. Actually, all of it was. I haven't had the "happy" experience. I've had moments... but never any kind of thread of happiness. I do not relate to it, but I love its rare beauty when I see it and I highly value it and respect it. But it's so very rare; so many try to mimic it, but they are so easy to read, and I steer as clear as possible of these kinds: Their surname is "Volatile".

And it is well earned. That happiness. That true happiness. It comes at a great cost. A cost most are unwilling to pay, so therefore, they take the easy ways out.

And you know, it seems harsh, and it really is. Because when you are faced with the "do or die" situation, most people will do; but that is because they fail to recognize the test that is in front of them.

What exactly does the "die" aspect truly entail?

STRENGTH.

WISDOM.

COURAGE.

And sympathy and empathy and true love for those that have been real soldiers in the real war that is going on. A war that exists in the mind; a far bloodier war. The war against the powers. The war against our ability to stand up for what is right; NO MATTER HOW SMALL THE MATTER, NO MATTER HOW GREAT.

When you're faced with the choice to either let your child go without food for a day or to steal, and you choose not to steal - Do you realize what you have done?

You have given life to your child.

You can say to your child in all honesty that stealing is wrong. They will believe you. You can say in all honesty never to steal. They will do as you say, knowing you are right.

Because children read your conscience better than even you do. Do you forget being a child and being able to read situations that you could not put into words, but you knew what the situation meant? You will recall.

Darn right normal people are more depressed.

It is upon us for a reason. We learn from it. We grow from it.

We give from it. We love from it.

Here is a kind of test for you: There are two kinds of people that suffer utter pain: The one that is angry at everyone and everything around them, or is overly grumpy, and yells at God and says, "Why did you do this to me?"; and then there is the other, the more mature one. The more mature one seems harsh and heavy when healthy; but when they get sick, they want to give all, love all, share all, forgive all...

These are the ones that are good. The healthier they are, the harder they are. The sicker they are, the more humbled they are.

But the ones that you see that are not so right: the healthier they are, the softer they are. The sicker they are, the more arrogant they become.

Now let it be known, many proclaim to be "normal" these days, and yet they are not.

And many proclaim to be atheists, and yet, they are also lying (at which I actually laugh).

Darn right the normal people have more depression.

Every flaw within us must be burned! For it is not, then we are constantly at war within our heads about the things which we should correct, but we have not the power ourselves to correct. (Let it be known that the flaws of which I speak are between you and God; not to be judged by us, for society is so completely warped that what He decides for each individual is for Him and you - He knows your trying more than I. And yet I have seen your trying, and your desire, which is a naughty desire, but still ironically a valid one over which you have hardly any control at all, nevertheless; So if I am able to see you and understand, then how much more is God able to see you inside and out and understand? And God sees you naked at all times. If you think putting clothes on hid you, you're mistaken. He was there when you sat on the toilet. He was there when you showered. He was there for all your other things. Sorry, you cannot escape surveillance. So He knows your weaknesses and differentiates them between your arrogant and bold and foolish intents; not that you should use this as an excuse to be stupid, but that you can rest easy knowing -if you are doing the best you can-).

So we are forced into situations that stir a fire within us, and a fire consumes that desire, and therefore your soul, because the two are attached.

Now we are given great and wonderful desires. And for these, we are also set on fire; But this is not to burn up the garbage, but to forge the steel of our dedication and will.

If you do not suffer severe depression at some point in your life, -you have not lived- and you are not on the right path.

That is a guarantee.

I could always go on, but there is a reason they have a character limit.

P.S. - I added quite a lengthy parenthetical above. I was saying this as if talking to a girl I met on the street recently; but I am sure it is meant for you.

To make it clear, when I say "your trying", that is proper grammar for my statement. Thanks.
edit on 9/29/2013 by TarzanBeta because: Grammar support



posted on Sep, 29 2013 @ 08:10 PM
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reply to post by TarzanBeta
 


Very well-put. And I'll definitely second this:

If you do not suffer severe depression at some point in your life, -you have not lived- and you are not on the right path.

Why? Gospel of Thomas, #69:

Jesus said, "Congratulations to those who have been persecuted in their hearts: they are the ones who have truly come to know the Father."

Being "persecuted in your heart" means what it sounds like: depression, that sickening feeling that interferes with happiness. Congratulations if you feel it; you're not in denial about reality, and don't like it one bit, and that's the right way to be (right now, at least). Only the hope of Jesus returning as an avenging cleanser-of-humanity keeps me going; I dunno how the hell selfless, attentive, intelligent, open-minded, imaginative atheists can continue coping with that total lack of hope... I wish them luck.



posted on Sep, 29 2013 @ 08:39 PM
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Thought Provoker
reply to post by greencmp
 


I'd call it "The Church of the Self" myself, but I couldn't agree more. Oppression of others causes depression in the religious as well as in the oppressed. I don't think it's exactly a "religious vs. atheist" schism, though. (That's what they want you to believe.) It's "selfless vs. selfish." Compassion vs. apathy. Good vs. evil. Christians and atheists are subdivided just like every other societal clique. There are good and evil Republicans and Democrats, good and evil geeks and jocks, good and evil atheists and Christians, but it seems like everyone ignores the real line of division and focuses on the imaginary line. You know, the one social forces say is "the real line of division." Conservatives must hate Liberals, but good and evil people abound on each side, and that actual point of actual contention is never even mentioned. We're lumping people into the wrong categories under the direction of our propaganda overlords. Well, I say "we" but I mean... everyone who isn't wise to the situation.

I only have two pigeonholes for people: The Selfish, and The Selfless. It's the Selfish who don't get depressed from just observing what's going on around them, not The Atheists. It's the Selfless who just can't stand seeing it, not The Religious. Someone do a study on that.

Interesting redefinition, perhaps 'teach a man to fish' vs 'give him a fish' deserves some consideration as it does not presume so much intentionality to the damage caused.
edit on 29-9-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2013 @ 08:46 PM
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reply to post by Grimpachi
 


"Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Bible NKJV)



posted on Sep, 29 2013 @ 08:56 PM
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reply to post by greencmp
 


Teach the selfish how to be selfless? That'll only work if they want to change. And most of them don't; damn near takes a near-death experience to pull that off. They like comfort too much to sacrifice it. I have a saying: "Evil is all about self-preservation. Good is all about self-sacrifice." Until selfish people decide for themselves to be generous instead, they'll never change, and neither will the way they wield their control over others. The difference between Hellhole and Utopia comes down to the leaders' Intent. Won't you pray with me for each of them to receive the gift of a free NDE? It's that or Armageddon.

No, wait... my terminology is imprecise. I don't mean merely "selfish" and its opposite; I mean that there are these two kinds of people:
  • Those who base all their decisions on self-interest and ignore the needs and free will of others, especially whenever doing so is necessary to get something they want; and,
  • Those who do all they can to avoid being that type of person because they know it's right.
I suppose you could call them "Decent Folk" and "Jerks." Decent Folk vs. Jerks is the fundamental conflict on this planet. But what do you call all the people who sit right in the middle, luke-warm, who couldn't care less which side is dominant? "Zombies" sounds apt... y'know what? I bet that study was comprised of 17% Decent Folk and 83% Jerks and Zombies... there. Cracked it.
edit on 9/29/2013 by Thought Provoker because: No, wait.



posted on Sep, 29 2013 @ 09:45 PM
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Thought Provoker
reply to post by greencmp
 


Teach the selfish how to be selfless? That'll only work if they want to change. And most of them don't; damn near takes a near-death experience to pull that off. They like comfort too much to sacrifice it. I have a saying: "Evil is all about self-preservation. Good is all about self-sacrifice." Until selfish people decide for themselves to be generous instead, they'll never change, and neither will the way they wield their control over others. The difference between Hellhole and Utopia comes down to the leaders' Intent. Won't you pray with me for each of them to receive the gift of a free NDE? It's that or Armageddon.

No, wait... my terminology is imprecise. I don't mean merely "selfish" and its opposite; I mean that there are these two kinds of people:
  • Those who base all their decisions on self-interest and ignore the needs and free will of others, especially whenever doing so is necessary to get something they want; and,
  • Those who do all they can to avoid being that type of person because they know it's right.
I suppose you could call them "Decent Folk" and "Jerks." Decent Folk vs. Jerks is the fundamental conflict on this planet. But what do you call all the people who sit right in the middle, luke-warm, who couldn't care less which side is dominant? "Zombies" sounds apt... y'know what? I bet that study was comprised of 17% Decent Folk and 83% Jerks and Zombies... there. Cracked it.
edit on 9/29/2013 by Thought Provoker because: No, wait.

I am not being very clear, I guess what I am trying to say is that most people must consider themselves acting in the best interests of 'the correct way'. So, the 'give him a fish' crowd believe that someone else can be made well through widespread subsidy where the 'teach him how to fish' crowd dismisses that as a fool's errand and instead focus' on a limited target audience of those in need but, engages in a more difficult and thorough form of personal charity (sans government subsidy) which is intended to inspire long lasting self-sufficiency.

If you are talking about sociopaths, you are right.
edit on 29-9-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 02:08 PM
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reply to post by Thought Provoker
 



Thought Provoker
reply to post by greencmp
 


I'd call it "The Church of the Self" myself, but I couldn't agree more. Oppression of others causes depression in the religious as well as in the oppressed. I don't think it's exactly a "religious vs. atheist" schism, though. (That's what they want you to believe.) It's "selfless vs. selfish." Compassion vs. apathy. Good vs. evil. Christians and atheists are subdivided just like every other societal clique. There are good and evil Republicans and Democrats, good and evil geeks and jocks, good and evil atheists and Christians, but it seems like everyone ignores the real line of division and focuses on the imaginary line. You know, the one social forces say is "the real line of division." Conservatives must hate Liberals, but good and evil people abound on each side, and that actual point of actual contention is never even mentioned. We're lumping people into the wrong categories under the direction of our propaganda overlords. Well, I say "we" but I mean... everyone who isn't wise to the situation.

I only have two pigeonholes for people: The Selfish, and The Selfless. It's the Selfish who don't get depressed from just observing what's going on around them, not The Atheists. It's the Selfless who just can't stand seeing it, not The Religious. Someone do a study on that.



edit on 17-10-2013 by JNathanK because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 04:04 PM
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reply to post by Grimpachi
 


UNLESS--which evidently the study did NOT--UNLESS the study DISTINGUISHED

BETWEEN

INTRINSIC BELIEVERS VS EXTERNAL BELIEVERS

it is utter uninformative nonsense
.

There's plenty of research documenting that EXTRINSIC BELIEVERS are plenty . . . at risk . . . for a list of problems, complications, dysfunctions and cognitive dissonance.

The blather in sociological circles used to be "that Believers were the MOST prejudiced, narrow, rigid, dogmatic etc. etc. etc."

The topic was not researched in any quality way. That just used to be the ASSUMPTIONS of those who PRESUMED to KNOW out of their own pride.

Finally, it began to be researched about 40 or so years ago.

The results were stunning . . . particularly about PREJUDICE, NARROWNESS, RIGIDITY.

It turns out that

1. Atheists & agnostics--particularly those who were "indiscrimminantly anti-religious"

WERE THE ABSOLUTELY MOST PREJUDICED, NARROW, RIGID ...

2. The EXTRINSICALLY RELIGIOUS were next most prejudiced, . . . These are folks who merely put on the external decorations of religion without heart assent or authenticity.

3. The INTRINSICALLY RELIGIOUS--BY A WIDE STATISTICAL MARGIN--IIRC a standard deviation or near it--WERE LEAST PREJUDICED .... of any groups measured.


So the blather about research showing the religious to be MORE depressed is GROSSLY FLAWED RESEARCH UNLESS it distinguishes between INTRINSIC VS EXTRINSIC believers.

I collected info on such issues in my Dissertation research but my Dissertation did not deal with the depression issue. One issue it did deal with somewhat correlates with depression. No I won't define that variable. Too easy to destroy anonymity thereby. However, the variable I did examine somewhat correlates with depression. And on THAT variable, Atheists and agnostics were significantly least high and Pentecostals were highest. I have reason to believe that the bulk of the Pentecostals in my study are much more INTRINSIC believers than average.

In summary . . . I think the research is silly nonsense.



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 04:16 PM
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reply to post by BO XIAN
 


That's cool I guess, I can't really say because you didn't post anything to back up your claims.

Just curious did you actually read the studies or are you commenting based off of the abstract?
edit on 17-10-2013 by Grimpachi because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 04:17 PM
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reply to post by Thought Provoker
 



I dunno how the hell selfless, attentive, intelligent, open-minded, imaginative atheists can continue coping with that total lack of hope... I wish them luck.


Speaking for myself, the answer is both simple and profound. It's because I don't adhere to a philosophy which states that we, in and of ourselves, as the human species, are hopeless. I believe that hope comes from us - but more precisely, if we have hope, we also have an opportunity to make that hope count.

That's how I live with it.
edit on 17-10-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 04:20 PM
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reply to post by BO XIAN
 



Finally, it began to be researched about 40 or so years ago.


That's the definition of "out of date". When you find something more recent, let us know. Also, sources. Sources are important.
edit on 17-10-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 04:28 PM
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Tardacus
but on the bright side, this just in:


35% of Americans and 48% of whom identify as evangelical christians believeprayer and bible study alone can cure illness and mental illnesses.


www.abovetopsecret.com...


They can just pray the depression away....


And then you have deluded religious freaks who believe things like this and people end up dying.

Story one
Story two

Now, I'm not one to support big pharma, and prefer to stay away from meds if possible, but sometimes this stuff does more benefit than harm.

I have an uncle like this: he believes that his extremely high blood pressure (which is still high) can be cured through "prayer" and the "holy spirit" instead of medication. That's just craziness.

And it's similar crazy religious thinking that is oozing into politics and trying to drive policy, madness we've seen many times before.

This is the 21st century, not the middle ages.

Back to the OP: I'm not surprised they are more depressed. I know a LOT of religious people and they are either A) all up in arms because people don't think like them, or the country/politicians don't follow their way or everything is being led full steam ahead toward "sin", or B) they try to ignore every bad thing imaginable and just "focus on the good" that when confronted with the constant negative factors in the world they get severely depressed because it doesn't fit with what they've constructed. Neither of those are healthy.





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