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Belief in God helps people with anxiety and depression


Faith in God helps people struggling with depression and anxiety.

Faith in God helps people struggling with depression and anxiety.

When I am afraid,
I will put my trust in You. (Psalm 56:3 NASV)

A study by researchers at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, USA concluded belief in God significantly helped people with psychiatric illnesses. McLean hospital is a psychiatric affiliate with Harvard Medical School.

The researchers followed 159 patients at the Behavioral Health Partial Hospital Program who were there for various psychiatric illnesses including anxiety and depression. 

At the beginning of the study, researchers asked the people to “gauge their belief in God” on a scale of one to five. They were also asked to rate their expectations of success in their treatment.

The patients were then assessed for depression, self-harm and sense of well-being at the beginning and at the end of the year-long study.

The results were dramatic. Those who had a “moderate” to “strong” belief in God, were twice as likely to have a positive response to their treatment compared to those who had “little” to “no” belief in God.

In an interview with Live Science, Dr. David Rosmarin a professor at Harvard Medical School said, “We found patients who had  higher levels of belief in God had better treatment outcomes — better well-being, less depression and less anxiety.”

In addition, people who had a strong faith in God were more likely to believe their treatment would be beneficial.

God’s strength in our weakness

The Apostle Paul was wrestling with issues in his own life. We aren’t sure exactly what his weakness was, but Paul says God spoke very clearly to him about it:

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”  (1 Corinthians 12:9 NASV)

It says power is perfected in our weakness. In other words, the deeper we recognize our inability to conquer our struggles, the more God is able to step in and help. As long as we hang on to a notion, even a sliver of it, that somehow we can fix the situation, then we limit God’s ability to help us.

It’s true in some situations we may need to make changes. Having done what we are responsible for, then we must trust God for the rest.

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Faith in God positively influences treatment for individuals with psychiatric illness, suggests McLean Hospital study: McLean Hospital

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: The divided mind of worry « OpentheWord.org

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