Religion and Depression - Discussion

A link between religion and depression may not be intuitively very obvious, but it exists all the same.

Religion Causing Depression

While religion is considered to offer direction, spirituality, and faith, people sometimes might not understand religion in its entirety and end up misinterpreting it. Certain experiences and events might be considered sinful and unpardonable, leading people to be overwhelmed with guilt. These thoughts and guilty feelings might lead to people slipping into depression, especially since they may feel they have done wrong or committed shameful acts and will have to face dire consequences for the same.

Young children, teens, and adults often jump to conclusions based on limited knowledge of religion and get caught in mental distress because they are often fearful of religious beliefs and believe that God or the Almighty will punish them for wrongful actions. Therefore, sometimes out of fear and guilt, people tend to feel stressed and, without knowing how to deal with the situation and their feelings, they begin to get depressed.

Religion Helping Depressed Persons

On the other hand, there is also the positive side of the religion and depression link. Religions offer a lot of comfort and support to people who experience depression by giving them spiritual support and teaching them to overcome this challenge. By meditating, practicing introspection, and making them aware of their inner strength, religions help people to face difficult situations without breaking down.

The role played by religion in a person who is experiencing depression can be extremely positive if he or she learns to put faith in it. By trusting that there is a higher power that is all forgiving, all encompassing and will take care of everyone, people will cultivate a positive outlook and thought processes. If one can take the positive aspects of religion and surrender to this higher force, it is possible for people to learn to accept failure and negative experiences as part of life and make peace with them.

It is when people cannot make peace with any given situation they are going through, like separation, disability, disease, or death of a loved one, etc, that they start becoming pessimistic and negative. If, during these difficult times, people are able to rest their faith in religion and become positive, there are very good chances they will not slip into depression. Indeed, be strongly grounded in one's religion and depression may just stay away.

There is also another element to the positive side of the religion and depression connection. Religions often offer groups of like-minded people who share the same faith and beliefs. These people form a strong social core which helps provide emotional and other kinds of support. This not only helps to prevent depression, but also helps in the recovery of depressed persons.

Conclusion on Religion and Depression

Ultimately, if one is able to navigate difficult situations without losing hope and learn to become positive by subscribing to a certain faith or religion, one will only stand to benefit from becoming religious. Therefore, people should learn to draw comfort from religion rather than become guilty and pessimistic. Learn to embrace the positive elements of religion and depression should not be an issue.

As the saying goes, to err is human and to forgive is divine. It is important to forgive oneself, because if one does not, chances are one will end up punishing oneself. And, sometimes, these feelings will create a lot of inner turmoil leading to hopelessness, self loathing, and worthlessness. These negative thoughts will accumulate and one will start contemplating suicide.

Just so that things do not end up in dire situations, it is important to realize and remember that religion is manmade so that people can benefit from it, and not the other way round.

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