Harvard Study: Belief in God Improves Mental Health Treatment Outcomes



By Staff Blogger

Some people do not believe in the healing power of prayer and faith, but according to new research that was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, it is a real thing. The study showed that when people with mental illness involved themselves in some kind of prayer or faith, they did better in treatment than those who did not believe in a religion.

 Researchers studied 159 patients, all of whom had a mental illness of some sort, such as depression or bipolar disorder. The study took place at McLean Hospital and all of the patients in the study were seeking treatment in their day program. Of these 159, the average age was 33 and  45% were college grads. Out of these patients 72% rated their religious belief as “moderate” or higher. 48% were Christian and 25% didn’t claim to be part of any religion.

 After studying the patients and their treatments for a full year, scientists have concluded that faith and prayer can double your chances of responding to the treatment. The patients studied were a mix of religious beliefs and cultures but in the end researchers said that it didn’t matter the religion or who the “God” that they prayed to was. The fact that they were praying at all is what made the difference.

 This study can show a relationship between the cognitive and our physical well-being as long as you are thinking positively. When undergoing treatment, a great attitude is always helpful in your recovery and when praying for a recovery it can help to boost your recovery time. So the next time someone tells you that they will heal their sickness with prayer, maybe you shouldn’t automatically dismiss them.  


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