Religion and Depression

The Dude

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I recently read that studies have shown that being actively religious is associated with depression in Asians and Hispanics.

Could it be that Asians and Hispanics are naturally conscientious and self conscious enough that they feel bad enough for their mistakes without having to constantly hear and read about how they need to be meeker and repent more?
 

Tao_Equus

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I recently read that studies have shown that being actively religious is associated with depression in Asians and Hispanics.

Could it be that Asians and Hispanics are naturally conscientious and self conscious enough that they feel bad enough for their mistakes without having to constantly hear and read about how they need to be meeker and repent more?

Yeh, there are many studies that find links between mental health issues and religion. You could liken religion the mental equivalent of smoking 40 a day ;)

tao
 

Dogbrain

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I recently read that studies have shown that being actively religious is associated with depression in Asians and Hispanics.

Could it be that Asians and Hispanics are naturally conscientious and self conscious enough that they feel bad enough for their mistakes without having to constantly hear and read about how they need to be meeker and repent more?

When looking at what I've seen of Asian and Hispanic expressions of Christianity, it appears that they focus upon the most lurid possible interpretations of Christian doctrines. Nowhere else in the modern world do I see public processions involving voluntary floggings and crucifixions of participants. I think that it is not a matter of being self-conscious but some other societal issues both areas have.
 

arthra

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Asian-American adolescents who reported high levels of participation in their church had the highest number of depressive symptoms among teens of their race.

Likewise, Latino adolescents who were highly active in their church were more depressed than their peers who went to church less often. Females of all races and ethnic groups were also more likely to have symptoms of depression than males overall.

Setting all other factors aside, the results suggest that participating in religion at high levels may be detrimental to some teens because of the tensions they face in balancing the conflicting ideals and customs of their religion with those of mainstream culture, said Richard Petts, co-author of the study, who did the work as a doctoral student at Ohio State University.

“Most research has shown that religious participation, for the most part, is good and can be very helpful for battling depression. But our research has shown that this relationship does not hold true in all instances,” he said.

Source:

Participating in religion linked to depression for some minorityteens — Shrink Rap

We're probably talking about the same study..

My guess..and it's only a guess is that some religions encourage repression of emotions...i.e., controlled sexual behaviour, control anger, etc. Teens can experience intense sexual desire and anger sometimes, hence the depression.

- Art:mad::(:)
 

Dogbrain

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My guess..and it's only a guess is that some religions encourage repression of emotions...i.e., controlled sexual behaviour, control anger, etc. Teens can experience intense sexual desire and anger sometimes, hence the depression.

What is not mentioned is whether or not there are traits of religions that are specific and unique to those cultures. If religion, in and of itself, is a problem, how is this response restricted to specific cultures? Even within "single" organizations such as the Roman Catholic Church, there is significant variation in pastoral care and attitudes among the many cultures it encompasses.
 

Dream

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arthra said:
Setting all other factors aside, the results suggest that participating in religion at high levels may be detrimental to some teens because of the tensions they face in balancing the conflicting ideals and customs of their religion with those of mainstream culture, said Richard Petts, co-author of the study, who did the work as a doctoral student at Ohio State University.
Experience talking here (though I'm not Spanish speaking)! I agree and its so true true true, but notice the problem's not the conflicting ideals and customs. Those generally aren't so conflicting with basic human ideals, but it is definitely the 'high levels' of participation marking a separatist or evangelistic fervor. If such young people are depressed and lonely now, it is but the bow of an oncoming ship! Separatism and evangelism are never guaranteed successes, and both have a low satisfaction rate. Unfortunately, religious leaders often forget to tell young people about common sense and to invest themselves practically and to understand their human limitations. Too often extreme aspirations fail and the years invested in avoiding people instead of making friends turn out to be treasure-become-tragedy.
 

Dogbrain

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Separatism and evangelism are never guaranteed successes, and both have a low satisfaction rate.

You are quite certain that the only religions studied in this case were "separatist" and "evangelist"?
 

Dream

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Dogbrain said:
You are quite certain that the only religions studied in this case were "separatist" and "evangelist"?
Faux pas. I'm not referring to the religions called 'Separatist' or 'Evangelist' but to a mindset of isolation in some religious young people. I think that is the cause of much of the depression mentioned. The studies were about Hispanic and Asian young people that were 'participating in religion at high levels' but that's a fairly vague description that doesn't tell us the cause of the depression. I'm suggesting its those that isolate themselves too much, perhaps thinking isolation has religious merit.
 

Francis king

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I recently read that studies have shown that being actively religious is associated with depression in Asians and Hispanics.

Could it be that Asians and Hispanics are naturally conscientious and self conscious enough that they feel bad enough for their mistakes without having to constantly hear and read about how they need to be meeker and repent more?
...

In the UK, most studies have found that regardless of the name of the belief system, having some kind of spiritual framework for life will benefit those who, say, are ill, to cope better, to heal faster, be less depressed after operations and surgery, etc, cope better with crises...

However, that is only in general... there are some ppl who are firstly... neurotic, and secondly depressed, for them religion is a doomsday scenario, and they use the doom and gloom to back up their own faulty reasoning and conspire to keep themselves trapped in depression courtesy of religion...

I would not be able to say with any certainty anything about hispanics, although we in the UK do have a lot of asians and it is true that most asians who contact mental health services are diagnosed with depression, blacks with schizophrenia, poor white young men get the personality disorder label, and middle class women are more likely to be diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, when in fact studies show that, for instance, schizophrenia occurs throughout the class sytem, and effects even the rich and the white, bi-polar is about equal in men and women. Rather than these labels be the the presentation of symptoms from various clusters creating the diagnosis, it is postulated that often diagnosis of a person with mental health problems relies on the perceptions of the clinicians and the team, and most "syndromes" share features, or symptoms.

How the cultural variation appears, it is suggested, is due to cultural biases. We are given stereotypes, we exploit them when we have gaps in knowledge, we make assumptions based on previous patterns we have been exposed to.

I think that generally, ppl with depression would not be active members of a church or temple. And if they were, then the sense of community and ego-affirmation within would help to negate any depressive feelings, such as worthlessness, sin, etc... that's how all the spiritual well being evidence I've come across usually concludes...
 

Dream

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Francis Bacon said:
I think that generally, ppl with depression would not be active members of a church or temple. And if they were, then the sense of community and ego-affirmation within would help to negate any depressive feelings, such as worthlessness, sin, etc... that's how all the spiritual well being evidence I've come across usually concludes...
True, but young people are still learning and are dependent upon their parents. They may be very depressed but still be regular attendees. Its a matter of duty and family connection when you're a kid.
 

seattlegal

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True, but young people are still learning and are dependent upon their parents. They may be very depressed but still be regular attendees. Its a matter of duty and family connection when you're a kid.
It could also be a matter of their attendance being deemed compulsary by their parents. I would look for other signs of oppressive parenting among the families of these depressed teens. No chance of expression of choice by the teen leads towards hopelessness, which can lead to depression.
 

leastone

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It should be noted that the link provided regarding the OSU study refers to "minority teens."

Being a youngster in America could be ample ground for suffering depression, regardless of religious affiliation.

Being a youngster in America and labelled a "minority," is almost certain grounds for suffering from depression, in spite of religious practice.

It is quite possible that a similar study done, say, in Singapore, or El salvador, would find quite different results among teens of Latin or Asian descent, when they are devout in religious practice.

Also, where children are not as exposed to the "big time, high life" possibilities that modern teens feed on via the entertainment industry, rather restrictive religious practices would not be experienced as oppressive as they apparently now are for "minority teens," who are engaged in battle: an Old World cultural heritage vs. a New World "anything goes" cultural melting pot of godlessness.

Studies are really limited to what was considered, and then interpreted to prove what they set out to find.

Respectfully,

Learner
 

Still thinking

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The link between depression and religion does not surprise me at all. If anything, the fact that it's limited to only two cultures is a bit surprising! I was very active in church growing up, and always had an underlying sense of guilt about everything I did. That guilt is what I believe leads to depression. The teaching that we are all inherently sinful and could never please God is, I'm convinced, a large part of that guilt.

I'm not saying the church is right or wrong in this belief, as I'm still undecided about so many things, I'm just saying that, in my personal experience, church was mainly about guilt. Guilt for all the wrong things you did, and all the right things you didn't. I even felt guilty for not wanting to go to church! I've found that my depression greatly improved when I removed myself from that culture.

Just a thought . . . . . :)
 

Dogbrain

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The link between depression and religion does not surprise me at all. If anything, the fact that it's limited to only two cultures is a bit surprising!

In other words, since actual research didn't back up ones narrow prejudices, it obviously must be "surprising".

I was very active in church growing up, and always had an underlying sense of guilt about everything I did. That guilt is what I believe leads to depression. The teaching that we are all inherently sinful and could never please God is, I'm convinced, a large part of that guilt.

And you are QUITE certain that ALL religions teach this. You are QUITE certain that Shinto teaches this, for example...

A free clue to people who haven't lived all that much: Evangelical Christianity is not the sum total of all possible religious experience--it's not even the total of all possible Christian experience.
 

Muslimwoman

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Nowhere else in the modern world do I see public processions involving voluntary floggings and crucifixions of participants. I think that it is not a matter of being self-conscious but some other societal issues both areas have.

There is a Shia Muslim ceremony (called Ashura) that leads men to flog themselves with an implement called a zanjeer zani (a wood handle with 5 chains and blades or nails attached which they rythmically beat over alternate shoulders), appartenly they do this to commemorate the death of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).

I am not Shia Muslim so can't give the background for this ceremony but here is an article by the Lebanon Daily Star (I didn't have time to listen to it) which may give more information and suggests a number of clerics have prohibited this ritual as it goes against the Quranic instruction not to mutilate your own body.

The Daily Star - Lebanon News - Tens of thousands attend Ashura ceremony in Nabatiyeh
 
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