by Al Stefanelli
As many spindoctors try to assess ‘what’s wrong’ with our country, I continue to insist that it is spiritual and moral at its core. And what do you know, the largest growing self-identifying ‘religious/spiritual’ category is the most prone to mental illness, anxiety, phobias and drug abuse. No, I’m not surprised. – Fr. John.
The British Journal of Psychiatry featured research by University College Professor Michael King and other scientists that suggest those who claim to be ‘spiritual,’ but not religious are more apt to have problems coping over those who adhere to mainstream religions and those who hold no religious beliefs, at all.
The report stated that the spiritual/not religious demographic is more prone to phobias, neuroses and anxiety/eating disorders, as well as problems with drugs. The report also reveals that this group is more likely to be on medication for mental health problems.
Professor King wrote,
“Our main finding is that people who had a spiritual understanding of life had worse mental health than those with an understanding that was neither religious nor spiritual.”
The study revealed that 35% said they were religious and attended a house of worship regularly. The percentage of those who stated they weren’t religious or spiritual came in at 46%. Nineteen percent identified as spiritual, but not religious.
Out of the group of spiritual/non-religious, more than three quarters of them were more apt to be on mental health medications, and slightly less were apt to have a phobia. Half were more likely to suffer from some sort of anxiety. Other figures include approximately forty percent using psychotropic drugs, and slightly less presenting an increased risk of neuroses.
The report concludes with:
“We conclude that there is increasing evidence that people who profess spiritual beliefs in the absence of a religious framework are more vulnerable to mental disorder.
“The nature of this association needs greater examination in qualitative and in prospective quantitative research.”
The study included 7,403 randomly selected people in the United Kingdom. These subjects were questioned about their religious beliefs and the condition of their mental health.