Author Topic: Mental Health & Spirituality  (Read 819 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Serenity

  • Guest
Mental Health & Spirituality
« on: May 14, 2014, 11:45:59 PM »
The following is something I was reading tonight, and thought would be a good, hopefully fruitful thread to discuss:



Spirituality can play an important role in helping people maintain good mental health and live with or recover from mental health problems. Although some organised religions can be experienced as harmful.


What is spirituality?

Spirituality means different things to different people and people express their spirituality in varied ways. It may be:
*their religion or faith 
*meaning and direction in their life, sometimes described as their ?journey? 
*a way of understanding the world and their place in the world 
*belief in a higher being or a force greater than any individual 
*a core part of their identity and essential humanity 
*a feeling of belonging or connectedness 
*a quest for wholeness, hope or harmony 
* a sense that there is more to life than material things.

"I don't believe in a God, a divine being of any description, But I do have a great wonder at the workings of the world and the universe. I suppose you could call that a spiritual response."

Spirituality is often seen as broader than religion. Some spiritual beliefs are particular to an individual, whereas the beliefs attached to a religion are shared by large groups of people who follow established teaching.

People may develop and express their spirituality through:
 
*religious practices such as worship, prayer and reading religious texts
*coming together as a spiritual community 
*living by certain values 
*rituals such as burning incense 
*wearing particular clothes or eating particular foods 
*cultural or creative activities such as making music or creating art 
*getting closer to nature 
*activities that develop self-awareness or personal control such as contemplation or yoga 
*physical activity 
*friendship or voluntary work.

Some people may consider these activities central to their lives, but they may not think of themselves as 'spiritual', or associate these activities with 'spirituality'.

Being able to express and explore our spirituality is a basic human need and a universal human right. This right applies to everyone and is enshrined in European and UK law, based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Can spirituality protect mental health?

Spirituality can help people maintain good mental health. It can help them cope with everyday stress and can keep them grounded. Tolerant and inclusive spiritual communities can provide valuable support and friendship. There is some evidence of links between spirituality and improvements in people's mental health, although researchers do not know exactly how this works.

Can spirituality help people with mental health problems?

Spirituality can also help people deal with mental distress or mental illness. Spirituality can bring a feeling of being connected to something bigger than yourself and it can provide a way of coping in addition to your own mental resilience. It can help people make sense of what they are experiencing.

"I'm quite happy to live with the idea that, in a fallen world there are things that happen to people just through chance and circumstance. But what one does need to believe is that all of that is happening in an ultimately meaningful framework."

Having a spiritual life can give people strength and improve their well-being. But some people's experiences of spirituality may be damaging to their mental health. They may find certain belief systems repressive and their followers judgemental.

Occasionally, people's past experiences can be unhelpful to their recovery from mental health problems, even if they felt comfortable with those spiritual influences at the time. Their beliefs may disturb or frighten them and that can lead to behaviour that other people find challenging.

How can spirituality be part of mental health services?

"I think it was a combination of my GP, the medicine and my spiritual life. In some incredible way they all came together and I think it was the spiritual element that was the glue that held it together."

Mental health services should respect service users' spirituality as a human right. A mental health service culture that responds to spiritual needs:

*acknowledges the spirituality in people's lives 
*gives service users and staff opportunities to talk about spirituality 
*encourages service users to tell staff their needs 
*helps service users to express their spirituality 
*uses person centred planning and incorporates spiritual needs.

People express their spirituality in many different ways. Spiritual beliefs can influence the decisions service users make about the treatment they receive or how they want to be supported. Taking the spiritual needs of service users into account can support their recovery and help them live with their mental health problems in the best way for them as individuals.

Encouraging service users to explore what is important to them spiritually can be a valuable self help strategy as people often want to talk about their spirituality.

Source: http://mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/mental-health-a-z/S/spirituality/

The website of the Mental Health Foundation outlines the charity's work in research, policy, service development and service user involvement. The website offers information and publications to download on research, good practice in services and on mental health problems and key issues
http://mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/mental-health-a-z/S/spirituality/

Serenity

  • Guest
Re: Mental Health & Spirituality
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2014, 11:47:26 PM »
It isn't a topic I have often found on online Christian forums, but it is something which is a very real part of people...who are also Christians. 

I hope the article, helps encourage people who do suffer from any mental health illnesses, that your spirituality can help you in that. 

Do not be put off by people saying you are over spiritualising things, if it is a part of who you are, you are entitled to it, by law, and as an individual.  "I am who I am, and don't want to be a double of someone else, I have my own journey in life".


Offline John

  • Awarded Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3090
Re: Mental Health & Spirituality
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2014, 10:58:34 PM »
Whether having a spiritual life helps with mental health problems I don't know, what is a help is if Christians in church are prepared to talk, pray, just be there for those with mental health problems. This is an issue that is often swept under the carpet, not talked about, when prayed for because of ignorance is not prayed for intelligently.

Because mental health illnesses do not "get cured' there is a real need for faithfull consistent support b members of the church. I know of one lady who regularly will take time to take a person out for a coffee and a chat. A little thing but its a welcome break for the suffers and an oppertunity to talk.

Who suffers from mental health issues? Far more people than we think, they don't look strange, believe their someone famous or act weirdly.

Thank you Serenity for raising this issue, if you learn of a Christian suffering mental health problem please talk to them, pray for them intelligently, pray for their families, they often are affected by what has/is happening and be prepared to do this for years. ( everything also applies to Christians with everyday health problems.)

Offline Christianna

  • Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 980
Re: Mental Health & Spirituality
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2015, 03:26:58 PM »
I think that every one has mental illness.  Just that it comes out in different forms with different individuals. A person suffers when it impact s their life. Definitely God can help and heal knowing exactly how the person is damaged and making them aware.

Serenity

  • Guest
Re: Mental Health & Spirituality
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2015, 05:58:14 PM »
Yes I agree.  Everyone has mental health.  People deal with things differently, and what someone might find difficult to deal with, another find it easy, yet a different difficult thing could be reverse.  If people realised this, then there wouldn't still be the stigma out there against the people who outwardly display their mental health.

Offline francis drake

  • Bible Buddies - together
  • ******
  • Posts: 2559
  • Gender: Male
    • Francis Drake Privateer
Re: Mental Health & Spirituality
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2015, 07:33:34 PM »
Yes I agree.  Everyone has mental health.  People deal with things differently, and what someone might find difficult to deal with, another find it easy, yet a different difficult thing could be reverse.  If people realised this, then there wouldn't still be the stigma out there against the people who outwardly display their mental health.

I disagree. I do not have mental illness.
Saying that everyone has mental illness is the same as saying everybody has physical illness.
Disturb us Lord, when we are too pleased with ourselves. When our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little. When we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us Lord, to dare more boldly. To venture on wider seas. Where storms will show your mastery; Where, losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes; And to push into the future, in strength, courage, hope and love.                     (SIR FRANCIS DRAKE 1577)

Serenity

  • Guest
Re: Mental Health & Spirituality
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2015, 08:39:51 PM »
I didn't state mental illness, I said mental health.  Everyone has mental health of any degree.  You may well be of sound mind, and bobbing along nicely...just like we all have physical health...some worse than others, some almost perfect.

Serenity

  • Guest
Re: Mental Health & Spirituality
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2015, 11:03:50 AM »
It isn't a topic I have often found on online Christian forums, but it is something which is a very real part of people...who are also Christians. 

I hope the article, helps encourage people who do suffer from any mental health illnesses, that your spirituality can help you in that. 

Do not be put off by people saying you are over spiritualising things, if it is a part of who you are, you are entitled to it, by law, and as an individual.  "I am who I am, and don't want to be a double of someone else, I have my own journey in life".

I do wonder if sometimes the labels the world puts on people as mental illness are truly mental illness or something else at work.

 

SimplePortal 2.3.6 © 2008-2014, SimplePortal