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Religion/Spirituality and Bipolar Disorder

Posted May 13 2011 5:31pm
Sky cloudy
I started my research to prove my now obviously biased hypotheses that most people with bipolar disorder are atheists . From what I've read (unfortunately I didn't do detailed research on this) I can only imagine that the percentage of those with bipolar disorder who are atheists isn't much different than the percentage of atheists as a whole. So right away I proved myself wrong.

The other interesting thing I surmised from my reading is that in general (now's the time for all of you to start arguing with me), those with bipolar disorder who practice some sort of non-organized religious spirituality do so with very positive results. I found that organized religion can often be related with negative results, but of course, not always.

I've seen articles and blog posts relating stories of religious hallucinations during mania, religious stigma against mental illness , and some speak of a religious zeal associated with their bipolar disorder. Here are a couple anecdotal references (these also show the positive side which I'll address in a moment): Aversion to Religion and Religion...Dangerous .

And here are a couple that do show the positive side of organized religion and bipolar disorder: This one puts it very succinctly, and then goes on to talk about the importance of God in his life - While depression makes me feel abandoned by God, mania has always made me feel like I didn’t need God Christianity vs. Psychology also shows the positive side of religion and debunks some myths. Then this article discusses the positive aspects of a strong commitment to spirituality and religion in relation to dealing with bipolar disorder Bipolar Disorder and Spirituality . This article states "People who believe in God or something greater outside of themselves fair much better with crisis and life in general. " Spirituality and Recovery


I couldn't find much negative related to non-organized religion/spirituality. True spiritual experiences come from the experience of a deep peace, certainty and calm. There is no outside force or entity judging one's behavior, no rules to have to follow to make sure it's being done correctly.

So what I did find, much to my surprise is that other than the manic manifestations of religious zealotry, having some sort of religion or spirituality in one's life can actually help cope with the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

I have been an atheist for as long as I can remember, I have also been diagnosed with mental illness for about 35 years. This is what brought me to wondering how much of atheism was there out there in the world of bipolar disorder/mental illness.

Since I started receiving Healing Touch , I've had to reexamine my views on spirituality. I still abhor any organized religion for myself, but let me be clear that I believe you can worship/believe in whatever way you want as long as you aren't harming anyone. I simply don't find anything worthwhile, useful or positive in organized religion for me. I have now been doing research on chakras and spirituality, but keep finding myself butting my head up against any reference to the Source, Spirit, or God. But there has to be something that I'm missing or not understanding, otherwise how would energy healing work, and I can tell you after much skepticism, that it truly does work for me.

I'm very interested in reading your experiences or views on this subject. I promise I won't be judgmental, and I ask that you respect others beliefs in your comments.


 
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