Freedom From Depression In Less Than A Month: One Christian’s transformation through the power of God


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How these systematic reviews were conducted, however, needs brief explanation. This is particularly true for ratings of study methodology that are used to summarize the findings below. The systematic review to identify the studies presented in the Handbooks and summarized in this paper was conducted as follows. We utilized a combination of strategies to identify the studies excluding most reviews or qualitative research.

Second, we asked prominent researchers in the field to alert us to published research they knew about and to send us research that they themselves had conducted. Third, if there were studies cited in the reference lists of the studies located, we tracked down those as well. All of these studies are described in the appendices of the two editions of the Handbook.

Bear in mind that many, many more qualitative studies have been published on the topic that were not included in this review. In order to assess the methodological quality of the studies, quality ratings were assigned as follows. Ratings of each of the more than 3, studies were made on a scale from 0 low to 10 high and were performed by a single examiner HGK to ensure rating consistency.

Scores were determined according to the following eight criteria: study design clinical trial, prospective cohort, cross-sectional, etc. Cooper emphasized the definition of variables, validity and reliability of measures, representativeness of the sample sample size, sampling method, and response rates , research methods quality of experimental manipulation and adequacy of control group for clinical trials , how well the execution of the study conformed to the design, appropriateness of statistical tests power, control variables , and the interpretation of results.

To assess the reliability of the ratings, we compared HGK's ratings on 75 studies with the ratings made by an independent outside reviewer Andrew Futterman, Ph. Since scores of 7 or higher indicated higher quality studies, we also compared the scores between the two raters in terms of lower 0—6 versus higher 7—10 quality. This was done by dichotomizing scores into two categories 0—6 versus 7—10 and comparing the categories between the two examiners.

I now summarize the results of the systematic review described above. In the present paper, I have chosen to cite original reports as examples of the most rigorous studies in each area based on ratings in the Handbooks i.

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Cited here are both positive and negative studies reporting significant relationships. For some topics, such as well-being and depression, there are too many high-quality studies to cite, so only a few examples of the best studies are provided. In the first edition of the Handbook [ 27 ], we identified studies published prior to the year and studies published between and for a total of studies.

Positive emotions include well-being, happiness, hope, optimism, meaning and purpose, high self-esteem, and a sense of control over life. Related to positive emotions are positive psychological traits such as altruism, being kind or compassionate, forgiving, and grateful. Of the six highest quality studies, half found a positive relationship [ 79 — 81 ]. Again, as with hope, no studies reported inverse relationships. These studies were often in populations where there was a challenge to having meaning and purpose, such as in people with chronic disabling illness.

Of the 10 studies with quality ratings of 7 or higher, all 10 reported significant positive associations [ 86 — 89 ]. Not surprisingly, these findings are parallel to those of depression below in the opposite direction, of course. With regard to character traits, the findings are similar to those with positive emotions.

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Religious and Spiritual Factors in Depression: Review and Integration of the Research

Admittedly, all of the studies measuring character traits above depend on self-report. Again, however, this has not been found in the majority of studies. Given the importance of depression, its wide prevalence in the population, and the dysfunction that it causes both mental and physical , I describe the research findings in a bit more detail. Although this is a small correlation, it translates into the same effect size that gender has on depressive symptoms with the rate of depression being nearly twice as common in women compared to men.

Those who are depressed, without hope, and with low self-esteem are at greater risk for committing suicide. Anxiety and fear often drive people toward religion as a way to cope with the anxiety. There is an old saying that emphasizes this dual role: religion comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comforted. Sorting out cause and effect here is particularly difficult given the few prospective cohort studies that have examined this relationship over time.

Among these studies were cross-sectional studies, 19 prospective cohort studies, 9 single-group experimental studies, and 32 randomized clinical trials. Of these studies, seven had quality ratings of seven or higher; of those, two found inverse relationships, two found positive relationship, two reported mixed results negative and positive , and one found no association. Of the two studies with high-quality ratings, one found a positive association and the other reported mixed findings. The first study of US veterans with BP disorder found that a higher frequency of prayer or meditation was associated with mixed states and a lower likelihood of euthymia, although no association was found between any religious variable and depression or mania [ ].

A second study examined a random national sample of 37, Canadians and found that those who attributed greater importance to higher spiritual values were more likely to have BP disorder, whereas higher frequency of religious attendance was associated with a lower risk of disorder [ ]. In a qualitative study of 35 adults with bipolar disorder not included in the review above , one of the six themes that participants emphasized when discussing their quality of life was the spiritual dimension.

In another report, a case of mania precipitated by Eastern meditation was discussed; also included in this article was a review of nine other published cases of psychosis occurring in the setting of meditation [ ]. Personality traits most commonly measured today in psychology are the Big Five: extraversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and openness to experience.

Another personality inventory commonly used in the United Kingdom is the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, which assesses extraversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism [ ]. They score especially low on psychoticism and especially high on agreeableness and conscientiousness. These personality traits have physical health consequences that we are only beginning to recognize [ — ]. Findings are similar with regard to drug use or abuse.

1. Historical Background and Introduction

The vast majority of these studies are in young persons attending high school or college, a time when they are just starting to establish substance use habits which for some will interfere with their education, future jobs, family life, and health. We identified 79 studies that examined relationships with marital instability.

An independent meta-analysis reviewing research conducted before the year likewise concluded that greater religiousness decreased the risk of divorce and facilitated marital functioning and parenting [ ]. For older adults in particular, the most common source of social support outside of family members comes from members of religious organizations [ , ]. Social capital, an indirect measure of community health, is usually assessed by level of community participation, volunteerism, trust, reciprocity between people in the community, and membership in community-based, civic, political, or social justice organizations.

First, religion provides resources for coping with stress that may increase the frequency of positive emotions and reduce the likelihood that stress will result in emotional disorders such as depression, anxiety disorder, suicide, and substance abuse. Religious coping resources include powerful cognitions strongly held beliefs that give meaning to difficult life circumstances and provide a sense of purpose.

Religions provide an optimistic worldview that may involve the existence of a personal transcendental force God, Allah, Jehovah, etc. These cognitions also give a subjective sense of control over events i.

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These beliefs also help to normalize loss and change and provide role models of persons suffering with the same or similar problems often illustrated in religious scriptures. Thus, religious beliefs have the potential to influence the cognitive appraisal of negative life events in a way that makes them less distressing.

Theoretical model of causal pathways for mental health MH , based on Western monotheistic religions Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Permission to reprint obtained. Original source: Koenig et al. For models based on Eastern religious traditions and the Secular Humanist tradition, see elsewhere.

Koenig et al. Second, most religions have rules and regulations doctrines about how to live life and how to treat others within a social group.


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When individuals abide by those rules and regulations, this reduces the likelihood of stressful life events that reduce positive emotions and increased negative ones. Examples of stressful life events that religion may help people avoid are divorce or separation, difficulties with children, financial stress resulting from unfair practices in the marketplace, incarceration for lawbreaking cheating or crime , and venereal diseases from risky sexual practices.

Religions also usually discourage the use of drugs and excessive amounts of alcohol that increases the risk of engaging in the behaviors above crime, risky sex that are associated with negative mental health consequences. Third, most religions emphasize love of others, compassion, and altruistic acts as well as encourage meeting together during religious social events. These prosocial behaviors have many consequences that buffer stress and lead to human support when support is needed during difficult times.

Because religion encourages the helping of others and emphasizes a focus outside of the self, engagement in other-helping activities may increase positive emotions and serve to distract from one's own problems. Religion also promotes human virtues such as honesty, forgiveness, gratefulness, patience, and dependability, which help to maintain and enhance social relationships. The practice of these human virtues may also directly increase positive emotions and neutralize negative ones. Religion may also be used to justify hatred, aggression, prejudice, and the exclusion of others; gain power and control over vulnerable individuals as seen in cults ; foster rigid thinking and obsessive practices; lead to anxiety, fear, and excessive guilt over minor infractions and even self-mutilation in some cases ; produce psychosocial strains due to failure to live up to high religious standards; lead to escape from dealing with family problems through excessive involvement in religious or spiritual activities ; and delay diagnosis and effective mental health care due to antagonistic relationships with mental health professionals.

This relationship with mental health has physical health consequences see Section 7 below. Religious doctrines influence decisions about health and health behaviors. Religious scriptures in other faith traditions also emphasize the person's responsibility to care for and nourish their physical body [ — ]. Behaviors that have the potential to harm the body are usually discouraged. This is reflected in teachings from the pulpit and influences what is considered appropriate within religious social groups.

Not surprisingly, the physical health consequences of not smoking are enormous. We located 37 studies that examined this relationship. A healthy diet here involves increased intake of fiber, green vegetables, fruit, and fish; low intake of snacks, processed foods, and fat; regular vitamin intake; frequent eating of breakfast; overall better nutrition following recommended nutritional guidelines. The situation does not improve when results from the most rigorously designed studies are examined.

Faith-based weight-reduction programs in religious communities have been shown to be effective [ , , ].

There is rapidly growing evidence that stress and negative emotions depression, anxiety have 1 adverse effects on physiological systems vital for maintenance of physical health and healing [ — ], 2 increase susceptibility to or worse outcomes from a wide range of physical illnesses [ — ], and 3 may shorten the lifespan prematurely [ , ]. Social support, in turn, has long been known to protect against disease and increase longevity [ — ]. As in the earlier sections, I cite high-quality studies as examples.

Since there are fewer high-quality studies for physical health than for mental health or for health behaviors, I cite all of the studies with ratings of seven or higher. Perhaps, in certain population subgroups, intrapsychic religious conflict between psychosexual drives and religious standards creates unconscious stress that elevates BP. However, there is another possibility. This may be related to confounding by ethnicity. We located nine studies that examined this relationship, of which four reported a lower risk of stroke, all having quality ratings of seven or higher [ — ].

Freedom From Depression In Less Than A Month: One Christian’s transformation through the power of God Freedom From Depression In Less Than A Month: One Christian’s transformation through the power of God
Freedom From Depression In Less Than A Month: One Christian’s transformation through the power of God Freedom From Depression In Less Than A Month: One Christian’s transformation through the power of God
Freedom From Depression In Less Than A Month: One Christian’s transformation through the power of God Freedom From Depression In Less Than A Month: One Christian’s transformation through the power of God
Freedom From Depression In Less Than A Month: One Christian’s transformation through the power of God Freedom From Depression In Less Than A Month: One Christian’s transformation through the power of God
Freedom From Depression In Less Than A Month: One Christian’s transformation through the power of God Freedom From Depression In Less Than A Month: One Christian’s transformation through the power of God
Freedom From Depression In Less Than A Month: One Christian’s transformation through the power of God Freedom From Depression In Less Than A Month: One Christian’s transformation through the power of God
Freedom From Depression In Less Than A Month: One Christian’s transformation through the power of God Freedom From Depression In Less Than A Month: One Christian’s transformation through the power of God
Freedom From Depression In Less Than A Month: One Christian’s transformation through the power of God Freedom From Depression In Less Than A Month: One Christian’s transformation through the power of God

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