The thread that is to be discussed is the relationship between spirituality and MENTAL health. The subject of mental health is highly complex as it relates to the multiple conditions, feelings, emotions, patterns, and behavioral attributes that one may not know how to deal with. Psychology is a field that helps people understand their mind and give them certain tools and skills on how to address both conscious and subconscious throughs and desires. Religion, on the other hand, provides people with a purpose and specific guidelines as well as a path towards a greater goal. From these perspectives, the two themes are interconnected through the aim to give an individual the tools to achieve the desired outcomes.
It is essential to determine whether the two concepts can be integrated into one another and what the outcomes are that follow the approach. According to researchers, more than 80% of people believe spirituality to be a major part of their mental health status (Yamada et al., 2020). As a result, it is probable that incorporating religious or spiritual practices and concepts into one’s treatment can be an efficient way of addressing one’s psychological challenges. For example, the concept of God is present in five out of the 12 steps in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings (Galanter et al., 2020). Thus, the acceptance of the presence of a higher power as an illustration of spirituality is, in fact, an evidence-based method of ensuring mental stability.
Therefore, spirituality can be the concept of stability that may lack in the lives of people suffering from certain mental health conditions, which is why it can be successfully integrated into treatment. Stability, value, purpose, and solutions are the aspects that religion can address in a framework in which psychological interventions, both professional and individual, are required for one’s well-being.
Spirituality is, indeed, linked to mental health, which is evident from the sole fact that most individuals identify as religious to some extent. Researchers examining people’s reactions to religion being integrated into psychological treatment concluded that the majority of participants viewed the addition as helpful (Oxhandler et al., 2018). Since most people are adherent to religious concepts and practices, and the same individuals believe in a higher power, implementing the same notions into practice can remind them of their faith and the power it has on their decisions. It is especially important when one is doubtful of their personal decision-making skills, strength, and will. In this case, focusing on the presence of a greater force may provide the individual with confidence that the mental health journey they are on is, in a sense, guided by someone bigger than them. This can generate a feeling of comfort and confidence in success.
Mental health problems are often related to such feelings as anxiety, a lost sense of self, diminished self-worth, and a lack of purpose. Depression and suicidal thoughts are two of the many conditions correlating with said phenomena. Spirituality, on the other hand, provides individuals with the understanding that life is sacred and each individual has a place and a greater purpose. According to researchers, people believe spirituality addresses two vital concepts, namely, the answer to the meaning of life and one’s purpose (Charzyńska & Heszen-Celińska, 2019). Thus, in case the mental health challenges correlate with the lack of said understandings, spirituality is the concept that can ensure one in their self-worth and importance in the world. As a result, individuals regain the potential to see themselves as worthy of living and thriving. Hence, mental health can be addressed through spiritual/religious concepts, namely when it comes to a lost sense of purpose and worth.
Charzyńska, E., & Heszen-Celińska, I. (2019). Spirituality and mental health care in a religiously homogeneous country: Definitions, opinions, and practices among Polish mental health professionals. Journal of Religion and Health, 59(1), 113–134.
Galanter, M., White, W. L., Ziegler, P. P., & Hunter, B. (2020). An empirical study on the construct of “God” in the Twelve-step process. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 46(6), 731–738.
Oxhandler, H. K., Ellor, J. W., & Stanford, M. S. (2018). Client attitudes toward integrating religion and spirituality in mental health treatment: Scale Development and client responses. Social Work, 63(4), 337–346.
Yamada, A.-M., Lukoff, D., Lim, C. S., & Mancuso, L. L. (2020). Integrating spirituality and mental health: Perspectives of adults receiving public mental health services in California. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 12(3), 276–287.