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Concern Over Religion At My Support Group


Guest ThereIsNoGod
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Guest ThereIsNoGod

I am a member of a special support club for people who have mental health problems. There are about 7 staff members and I believe that all of them have some sort of association with a church, but four of them in particular are a little evangelical. While I do believe they are nice people and most of the time have good intentions, I think they step over the line sometimes. They let their passion for their religious faith get the better of them and treat the club like it's a church.

 

Heres the thing though. There seems to be a slight expectation from those who work in the mental health field, that people who suffer mentally should turn to religion. And I believe this expectation comes even from those who arn't particularly religious themselves. It's like they see our problems as "demons". Not literally, but  they still feel that religion could provide some sort of answer to our problems. I'm reminded of the film The Exorcist in which the doctors, unable to help the girl medically, suggest to the mother that because  the girl believes she is demon-possessed an exorcist might be able make her feel like she has had the demon cast out of her and thus psychologically cure her. 

So overall we get people suggesting that while religion isn't helpful to a mentally well person like them, it might be helpful to us who are mentally ill. I'm not sure that enough caution is given though, for the harm that religion can potentially do. I wish that mental health support workers would, whatever their own religion, be careful to take a neutral ground with religion. Religion has side-effects just as do the medications they prescribe.

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I think any religious person is unqualified to work with people who have mental problems since they have mayor mental problems themselves.

And it actually does more worse then it does good (depends how you look at it).
If someone has a shit life.. and you say.. well you will go to heaven so you will be happy then.. you are totally screwing up that persons life.
Sure you maybe make it more bearable to go true shit.. but it shops people with dealing and getting rid of shit.

Why is there a heaven? Well if you ask me just to bribe people. Give them a shitty life, steal all there money(church) and give them a phantasy in return (otherwise they wouldn't except there shitty life's and you get things like revolution).

IMO the most qualified people in this situation would be people who where mentally and are now better. So they can relate to there own experience to help people.

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Guest r3alchild

I am a member of a special support club for people who have mental health problems. There are about 7 staff members and I believe that all of them have some sort of association with a church, but four of them in particular are a little evangelical. While I do believe they are nice people and most of the time have good intentions, I think they step over the line sometimes. They let their passion for their religious faith get the better of them and treat the club like it's a church.

 

Heres the thing though. There seems to be a slight expectation from those who work in the mental health field, that people who suffer mentally should turn to religion. And I believe this expectation comes even from those who arn't particularly religious themselves. It's like they see our problems as "demons". Not literally, but they still feel that religion could provide some sort of answer to our problems. I'm reminded of the film The Exorcist in which the doctors, unable to help the girl medically, suggest to the mother that because the girl believes she is demon-possessed an exorcist might be able make her feel like she has had the demon cast out of her and thus psychologically cure her.

So overall we get people suggesting that while religion isn't helpful to a mentally well person like them, it might be helpful to us who are mentally ill. I'm not sure that enough caution is given though, for the harm that religion can potentially do. I wish that mental health support workers would, whatever their own religion, be careful to take a neutral ground with religion. Religion has side-effects just as do the medications they prescribe.

Whatever core beliefs these people have, from a liberal minded airy fairy person to a crazy arsed bat shit fundementalist person, they will always see their beliefs as a valid form of truth that has to communicated at all costs.
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So overall we get people suggesting that while religion isn't helpful to a mentally well person like them, it might be helpful to us who are mentally ill.

 

That statement is priceless.

 

Maybe mention that you tried Christianity but the fear of Hell and the paranoia of God watching you 24/7 gave you panic attacks and generalized anxiety. Knowing that you were a sinner and that we're all sinners who fall short of the glory of God sent you into a deep depression and destroyed the little self-esteem and confidence you had. The fear, guilt and shame of Christianity was debilitating and made you want to use alcohol and drugs to forget about the obsessive thoughts you had about Christian religious doctrine. :-)

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Religious beliefs do help the majority of people to deal with difficult problems. It's not a surprising suggestion. The problem is only that a small percentage of people can't relate to the woo, so they don't deal with that kind of patient very often. It might take a little conversation with the right people to clear that up. Good luck.

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Guest ThereIsNoGod

Religious beliefs do help the majority of people to deal with difficult problems. It's not a surprising suggestion. The problem is only that a small percentage of people can't relate to the woo, so they don't deal with that kind of patient very often. It might take a little conversation with the right people to clear that up. Good luck.

 

As I said there isn't enough caution given for the negative effects that suggesting religion to someone can have. A doctor should not suggest religion to the mentally ill, especially if he has never tried it himself. My point is that there is a lot of presumption that mentally ill people have "demons" and that religion is the answer cause it's about "casting out demons". That's all just stupid, naive, hollywood, stereotyping and shouldn't be casually thrown about by doctors. It just shows how little understanding and regard that they have for mental illness.

When the doctors in The Exorcist suggested to the mother that she try hiring an exorcist to see her daughter, that was very much a last resort. The doctors had tried everything to help her. I think in reality giving someone an "exorcism" to manipulate someone into thinking they had been freed of their demons might have some sort of positive effect, but like the film, last resort. 

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So overall we get people suggesting that while religion isn't helpful to a mentally well person like them, it might be helpful to us who are mentally ill.

 

That statement is priceless.

 

Maybe mention that you tried Christianity but the fear of Hell and the paranoia of God watching you 24/7 gave you panic attacks and generalized anxiety. Knowing that you were a sinner and that we're all sinners who fall short of the glory of God sent you into a deep depression and destroyed the little self-esteem and confidence you had. The fear, guilt and shame of Christianity was debilitating and made you want to use alcohol and drugs to forget about the obsessive thoughts you had about Christian religious doctrine. :-)

 

Best line ever =D.

 

On a side note I don't think people in the medical field generally resort to religion to help. Therapists do but that is not really a medical treatment. On a rare occasion do I hear of doctors recommending religion. Like this anecdote a Haitian woman had believed she had been cursed by voodoo and had been doing something to herself to cause damage to her kidneys the doctor treating her could not do anything to save her as whatever treatment he gave her was thwarted by her belief so he called in a voodoo exorcist after the exorcism the medical treatment was allowed to take its course and she lived. I think the point is for people who have such an indoctrination to a belief that normal medical care is impeded sometimes its best to just go along with it in order for normal treatment to take its course. That being said if you are not religious there is no grounds whatsoever to recommend religion to help your mental illness I think and psychiatrist or psychologist would be very wary of that notion. It is for that reason I strongly do not recommend AA or similar programs because of its religious underpinnings.

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Guest ThereIsNoGod

I just wanted to make the point that sometimes even people who arn't religious will recommend religion to someone because to them it seems to fit the bill. When I was seeking help from religion for my own problems, my own family who are not at all religious gave me little bits of support and suggestions of how I might make religion work for me. I think my sisters though were quite please when I decided to break away from religion.

I think you'd have to be a particular good doctor to be able to use a patient's own religious beliefs to help with their recovery and not stuff them up even more. 

 

I think the support staff at my club that tend to evangelise are getting carried away and forgetting to be a little more professional by keep a fairly neutral position on religion. The one who does most of the evangelising is a pretty, young, idealistic woman who has put a lot of work into the club and often gets worn out from all the effort. I don't think she is purely motivated by her religion, but her religion is driving her somewhat and it's disappointing to see her sometimes acting like a puppet for her church. I want to find some way of communicating to her that I think some of the people in her church are stopping her from reaching her full potential. 

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