Medescape

Skepticism, Medicine and Science News

Christian Pastors Dismiss Mental Illness

A study showed that 32% of Christian church members who came to the church asking for help with a personal or family member’s diagnosed mental illness were told by the pastor that the person in question did not really have a mental illness, but that their problem only was a spiritual one. Now, the really scary part is that most people, when having mental problems, turn to church and ministers for help, and not psychologists. If they are then told that they do not really have a mental disorder, this could have extremely serious consequences. They could choose not to seek further help, and even stop taking previously prescribed medication. Shockingly, mental illness dismissal occurred more frequently in conservative than liberal churches. And just to make it clear, all of the subjects in this study had been previously diagnosed with extremely serious mental disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Here is a list of papers discussing the link between bipolar disorder and suicide to put things in perspective.

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October 18, 2008 - Posted by | Psychology | , , , , , , , , , ,

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