Religion is an integral part of our lives and influences almost all aspects of life in various
ways. In this article, we will be looking at how religion influences our mental health (both positively
These are some of the ways in which religion affects mental health positively:
RELIGION AS A COPING MECHANISM
Religion acts as a coping mechanism for people when they are faced with difficult situations
in life. People resort to praying or fasting in order to get help and strength from God to deal with
life stressors. Religion has been proven to help people deal better with stress as it provides some form of
RELIGION AS A FORM OF SOCIAL SUPPORT
People who share some beliefs tend to be more connected and some even describe
themselves as a family due to teachings from their respective religions. For example, the
Bible says ’love thy neighbour’. People with the same beliefs tend to help each other through difficult times, offer support to each other promoting mental health.
RELIGION AS A SOURCE OF HOPE
Religious books contain scripts that talk about hope and how people in the past, overcame
great challenges. This helps to promote greater hope and motivation to tackle life’s struggles, as there is
a promise for a better tomorrow from God. This helps promote an individuals’ general well-being and mental health.
However, religion also has negative effects on mental health, as shall be discussed below:
RIGID RELIGIOUS BELIEFS AND THINKING
Ever heard of religions that are against modern medicine?
Well, some people hold this rigid belief that prevents individuals from getting any form of
help, when they have mental health challenges. This is because they believe that God is the
only healer thus hindering treatment such as psychiatric or psychotherapy.
STIGMA TOWARDS PEOPLE WITH MENTAL CONDITIONS
Some religions believe that mental conditions such as Schizophrenia, are a punishment from
God, due to sins one has committed. This results in one being isolated by everyone in the community which even further aggravates the situation and denies one of the treatments necessary required for recovery.
OUTDATED RELIGIOUS BELIEFS
People from certain religions tend to believe mental health challenges are a result of an individual being possessed by evil spirits. Extreme Inhumane measures are used to cast out evil spirits such as physical abuse. This affects an individual’s self-worth and self-esteem and makes the condition even worse.
In conclusion, we can see from the above article how religion plays a big role in mental
health. Therefore, individuals should carefully evaluate their beliefs and be intentional; in taking
care of their mental health