Found this link on another forum I go to.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,587386,00.html?test=latestnews

"The "Big Man Upstairs" is getting accolades from mental health specialists who say
they are finding that a belief in God plays a positive role in the
treatment of anxiety and depression, the Washington Times reports.









University of Toronto psychologists reported last year that "believing in God can help block anxiety and minimize stress," their research showcasing "distinct brain
differences" between believers and nonbelievers."


I guess the key terminologies here are that a "belief" in God helps to "relieve" depression.  Therefore they're not saying God is real and they're not suggesting faith as a substitute for medicine.  However I'd like to see the fallout from this finding.  I think all they're proving is the power of the brain and the body.


My personal experience is opposite.  My depression actually helped to kill my belief in God and now I'm actually happier.

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I find it that Christians often use that as an argument. The best answer would simply be that "alcohol also makes people happier"
So, we could parallel God with a placebo, yes?

I'm so tired of this argument. When I was a Christian, I was always discouraged and frustrated. It was a constant struggle... to stay in the habit of reading that God-awful Bible, to repent of whatever unknown sins I'd committed that day, to figure out "God's plan for my life", to always have the right attitude, to understand why I didn't feel peace or joy, to basically reconstruct who I was to fit into an acceptable role, to stop thinking too much, to always sing and clap my hands even though I didn't feel like it because the music was awful...

Like I said, I think the reason it works for some is for the same reason a sugar pill works for others.
I too am happier than when I was a believer. This study only proves the power of the brain. In fact if anything, God is a placebo. In fact, if this study were to cover multiple faiths, I'm sure that they may find that followers of Allah may also experience the same 'relief'. Does that make BOTH true? Of course not. But you'll be hard pressed to explain this fact to most Theists...
Also, the effect of belonging to a social group is never credited with this correlation between depression relief and religion. I would like to see results for a group of atheists who belong to a strong social group compared to a group of religious believers. Especially in religious areas, a lack of belief also means ostracism, and a lack of positive social interaction can easily breed depression and anxiety.
As a healthcare profession.. I would be interested in studies about the number of depressed who are atheist vs the number who claim to be Christian. The findings that somehow believing in God helps depression is not significant if you look at the numbers of Christians who are depressed. Are Christians more depressed therefore they need a God to look to during this time? Is this number equal to the number of Atheists who are depressed? Somehow I believe that there are more Christians depressed who therefore NEED a God since they cannot possibly live up to the standards that their religion has dictated they should live by.
Just my 2 cents.

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