Belief in a caring god improves response to medical treatment for depression

Feb 23, 2010

Research suggests that religious belief can help protect against symptoms of depression, but a study at Rush University Medical Center goes one step further.

In patients diagnosed with , belief in a concerned God can improve response to medical treatment, according to a paper in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

A total of 136 adults diagnosed with or bipolar depression at inpatient and outpatient facilities in Chicago participated in the study. The patients were surveyed shortly after admission for treatment and eight weeks later, using the Beck Depression Inventory, the Beck Hopelessness Scale, and the Religious Well-Being Scale - all standard instruments in the social sciences for assessing intensity, severity and depth of disease and feelings of hopelessness and spiritual satisfaction.

Response to medication, defined as a 50-percent reduction in symptoms, can vary in psychiatric patients. Some may not respond at all. But the study found that those with strong beliefs in a personal and concerned God were more likely to experience an improvement. Specifically, participants who scored in the top third of the Religious Well-Being Scale were 75-percent more likely to get better with for clinical depression.

The researchers tested whether the explanation for the improved response was linked instead to the feeling of hope, which is typically a feature of . But degree of hopefulness, measured by feelings and expectations for the future and degree of motivation, did not predict whether a patient fared better on anti-depressants.

"In our study, the positive response to medication had little to do with the feeling of hope that typically accompanies spiritual belief," said Patricia Murphy, PhD, a chaplain at Rush and an assistant professor of religion, health and human values at Rush University. "It was tied specifically to the belief that a Supreme Being cared."

"For people diagnosed with clinical depression, medication certainly plays an important role in reducing symptoms," Murphy said. "But when treating persons diagnosed with depression, clinicians need to be aware of the role of religion in their patients' lives. It is an important resource in planning their care."

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Skepticus
4.7 / 5 (3) Feb 23, 2010
Placebo effect plain an simple, but dressed up in a different way. It does not matter if you are an atheist or one of belief of a vengeful God, if you are willfully fight your illness and have to be dragged dragged screaming and kicking to the grave, then chances are you will respond better to treatments. It has been proven that peoples gave up their ghost from losing the will to live, so really believe in SOMETHING, ANYTHING POSITIVE will achieve thea same effect, not just praying for a merciful God.
acarrilho
not rated yet Feb 23, 2010
"It is an important resource in planning their care."

Oh, really... how so?
fuzz54
3.5 / 5 (2) Feb 23, 2010
I'm not so sure this is just placebo effect, but rather a lifestyle factor. I'm an agnostic, but I do see how the perception that somebody out there cares about you and is pulling for you could help depression.
otto1923
3.4 / 5 (5) Feb 23, 2010
Religion depresses me
Black metal is the cure
http://www.youtub...8RwxaTb4
=P
KB6
3 / 5 (2) Feb 23, 2010
And so we see another reason that the religious/spiritual impulse evolved and has been so persistent. The human imagination can satisfy needs not being met by real world circumstances, so enhancing "fitness" in even the bleakest of times.
marjon
3 / 5 (2) Feb 23, 2010
And so we see another reason that the religious/spiritual impulse evolved and has been so persistent. The human imagination can satisfy needs not being met by real world circumstances, so enhancing "fitness" in even the bleakest of times.

Without human imagination there would be little science and technology.
frajo
1 / 5 (2) Feb 24, 2010
Religion depresses me
Someone who wrote
History is not endless facts, it is the reason and purpose of things.
is obviously religious. Your rhetorical trick to claim you aren't religious because "there is no god" is not valid as Buddhism shows.
It's the teleological aspect of your POV ("there is reason & purpose of things") which makes you - by definition - religious.
That's not necessarily a bad thing.
But
In order to spread peace and love in this world, sometimes you gotta crack a few heads.
is the mother of evil.
Caliban
1 / 5 (1) Feb 24, 2010
Maybe the other subjects weren't particularly susceptible to religious feeling. For those who it helped- good for them. For the rest, perhaps a firm belief that someone they esteem cared for them deeply would suffice; others still -perhaps an invisible six foot rabbit.
I fail to see the difference, other than this study specifically linking belief in a caring god with improved disease "recovery" outcome. This won't stop some from trying to conflate medical science and religion.
Remember- if you didn't didn't get well, it's because you didn't believe strongly enough. If you did get well- All Glory To God.
rgw
not rated yet Feb 24, 2010
I think that the belief in a caring god does help. Unfortunately the fact that a caring god could allow its religions to be run by people and practices that are evil just reinforces the depression and undoes the benefit. I know! Don't teach history! This will limit knowledge of the religious madness created by the evil human overlords of religion. Since American schools apparently do not teach history, we will soon learn the truth of , "Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it."
gwrede
not rated yet Feb 24, 2010
Well, half of my depression has always been from not believing in religion, or afterlife.
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) Feb 24, 2010
But

In order to spread peace and love in this world, sometimes you gotta crack a few heads.

is the mother of evil.

I disagree. Sometimes a few must be sacrificed for the good of the whole. It may seem evil if you're one of the few, but it certainly isn't evil to those who benefit.
frajo
2 / 5 (3) Feb 24, 2010
Sometimes a few must be sacrificed for the good of the whole.
Justifying one evil means justifying every evil.
Who defines "the good of the whole"?
Who defines "a few"?
The inquisition of the RCC? Josip Dshugashwili? The German Fuehrer?

This is an argument to justify every crime which possibly can be done. Therefore it isn't valid.

Do you really propose to "sacrifice" one innocent human being in order that his healthy organs can save the lives of three (or more) ill persons?
marjon
1.7 / 5 (3) Feb 24, 2010
But

In order to spread peace and love in this world, sometimes you gotta crack a few heads.

is the mother of evil.

I disagree. Sometimes a few must be sacrificed for the good of the whole. It may seem evil if you're one of the few, but it certainly isn't evil to those who benefit.

Until every individual can respect the individual rights of every other individual, socialist tyranny will continue.
Jesus, real or not, always asked individuals to believe and give. Societies are built up from individuals, not down from tyrants.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 24, 2010
Justifying one evil means justifying every evil.
Only if you cannot deal in shades of grey.
Who defines "the good of the whole"?
The majority.
Who defines "a few"?
The majority

This is an argument to justify every crime which possibly can be done. Therefore it isn't valid.
But the concepts of good and evil seem valid to you and are just as subjective. What is good to you may be evil to me. ie: Public option healthcare is an evil to me, but to many others it is considered good. Who makes that choice?

Do you really propose to "sacrifice" one innocent human being in order that his healthy organs can save the lives of three (or more) ill persons?
Depends on the value of that "innocent" vs the value of those ill people.

I'd sacrifice marjon to save Einstein, Hawking, and Fermi. I wouldn't sacrifice marjon to save Hitler, Pol Pot, and Stalin.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 24, 2010
Justifying one evil means justifying every evil.
Only if you cannot deal in shades of grey.
Who defines "the good of the whole"?
The majority.
Who defines "a few"?
The majority

This is an argument to justify every crime which possibly can be done. Therefore it isn't valid.
But the concepts of good and evil seem valid to you and are just as subjective. What is good to you may be evil to me. ie: Public option healthcare is an evil to me, but to many others it is considered good. Who makes that choice?

Do you really propose to "sacrifice" one innocent human being in order that his healthy organs can save the lives of three (or more) ill persons?
Depends on the value of that "innocent" vs the value of those ill people.

I'd sacrifice marjon to save Einstein, Hawking, and Fermi. I wouldn't sacrifice marjon to save Hitler, Pol Pot, and Stalin.

Better bring a bigger gun than mine.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Feb 24, 2010
Better bring a bigger gun than mine.

Won't need one, "God is on my side."

Haha, even feels silly typing it, I can't believe people say it with a straight face.
Bob_B
not rated yet Feb 24, 2010
No mention of why a "nice, happy, benevolent," good" god would allow such not nice, not happy, not benevolent, and not good people, oh, and weather that kills, earth dynamics that kills, and the good killer: weapons of mass destruction?
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Feb 24, 2010
No mention of why a "nice, happy, benevolent," good" god would allow such not nice, not happy, not benevolent, and not good people, oh, and weather that kills, earth dynamics that kills, and the good killer: weapons of mass destruction?

Why not? How many people protect their children for their entire lives from the outside world? Not many because they would quickly die when exposed to the real world.
A responsible God loves His creations enough to let them have free will and be exposed to challenges stimulating intellectual growth.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 24, 2010
Better bring a bigger gun than mine.

Won't need one, "God is on my side."

Haha, even feels silly typing it, I can't believe people say it with a straight face.

Will you bet your life God is on your side? A believer in God has no fear of losing his life defending himself or his family as he will soon be with God if he is killed.
The non-believing aggressor, you, if killed attacking the rights of others, will, to the believer roast in hell. But for you, is the risk to your life worth the reward of violating another human being? What would stop a majority from doing the same to you?
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Feb 24, 2010
A responsible God loves His creations enough to let them have free will and be exposed to challenges stimulating intellectual growth.
You forgot to mention the millions of children who die every year before they reach the age of one. What are the challenges they could possibly master?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Feb 24, 2010
Marjon,

We've already proven that your god cannot grant free will.

If he knows everything irrespective of time, and he created everything, including everyone, then you cannot have free will as he made you knowing everything you would and wouldn't do.

Effectively, you're his entertainment, like watching a sitcom rerun.

A believer in God has no fear of losing his life

Then stop yielding at stop signs.
otto1923
5 / 5 (1) Feb 24, 2010
the mother of evil
And that means the father of evil is ... http://en.wikiped...ki/Gaahl
No, actually frajo I thought we established that to IGNORE the absolute reality and necessity of:
In order to spread peace and love in this world, sometimes you gotta crack a few heads.
Is Evil.
No, actually frajo I thought we established that the ABSENSE of a sense of humor, Is Evil.
otto1923
5 / 5 (1) Feb 24, 2010
As Pat Noone once said to me after he had finished kicking the crap out of me in the 9th grade, "Sometimes ya gotta fight."
otto1923
5 / 5 (1) Feb 24, 2010
Justifying one evil means justifying every evil.
Only if you cannot deal in shades of grey.
Who defines "the good of the whole"?
The majority.
Who defines "a few"?
The majority

This is an argument to justify every crime which possibly can be done. Therefore it isn't valid.
But the concepts of good and evil seem valid to you and are just as subjective. What is good to you may be evil to me. ie: Public option healthcare is an evil to me, but to many others it is considered good. Who makes that choice?

Do you really propose to "sacrifice" one innocent human being in order that his healthy organs can save the lives of three (or more) ill persons?
Depends on the value of that "innocent" vs the value of those ill people.

I'd sacrifice marjon to save Einstein, Hawking, and Fermi. I wouldn't sacrifice marjon to save Hitler, Pol Pot, and Stalin.

Better bring a bigger gun than mine.
Gun?
otto1923
3 / 5 (2) Feb 24, 2010
Justifying one evil means justifying every evil.
Who defines "the good of the whole"?
Who defines "a few"?
The inquisition of the RCC? Josip Dshugashwili? The German Fuehrer?
Or those smelly mewling xianites who feed starving desert-dwellers and support yet another generation of ignorant misery, +20%?

Or go to Haiti and kidnap a busload of children in the name of god? Or fire an RPG into a busload of children in northern Iraq? Or, inspire a rebellion that kills 20M? http://en.wikiped...ebellion
... Southern Baptists... Just doing the Job they were assigned. And the culture in China STILL persists.

What is good and what is bad frajo? Who are you going to ask who will give you the answer you want to hear? You shouldnt even ask if you dont want to hear the answer.

otto1923
3 / 5 (2) Feb 24, 2010
Justifying one evil means justifying every evil.
Only if you cannot deal in shades of grey.
Who defines "the good of the whole"?
The majority.
Who defines "a few"?
The majority

Who defines "the majority"? The People who own them, who Created them.
I'd sacrifice marjon to save Einstein, Hawking, and Fermi. I wouldn't sacrifice marjon to save Hitler, Pol Pot, and Stalin.
Worth a try in either case. If you buy into what I've been selling, then you have to conclude that Hitler, Pol Pot, and Stalin were consummate Actors and subservient to the Cause. For how can the God of Everything be only Good? YinYang, everything Beautiful in its Own Time. There is a Time to gather Stones and a Time to Drop a Few.
otto1923
5 / 5 (1) Feb 24, 2010
The Lord(s) is my Shepherd I shall not Want
(T)He(y) maketh me to lie down in green pastures (Flanders fields, in battle), they leadeth me beside the still waters (?)(any ideas?)
They restoreth my soul (in my mind)
Thy Rod (punishment- the Faeces) and thy staff (the Rule of Law) they comfort me (the masses WANT to be ruled)
Ye tho I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death (See? They knew our worst fears were the constant reminder of death, the Cage) I shall fear No Evil (meaning, the things I dont like) for thou art with me (Shepherds decide what is evil and I'll do whatever They say for They have become my Conscience)
Surely Goodness and Mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the House of the LORD(s) forever. (hook, line, and sinker)
Amen (short for Amenhotep- no lie!)
-As beautiful an oath of total surrender and subservience as was ever written- [ich schwere dir, Adolf Hitler...]
otto1923
5 / 5 (1) Feb 24, 2010
'Still waters" -I keep thinking of the fertile flood plains of the Indus, the Nile, the Tigris/Euphrates, where civilizations were first established. These great rivers are 'Still' for most of the year. They are saying civilization belongs to Them. They Own Us.

I'm done. For now.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Feb 24, 2010
A responsible God loves His creations enough to let them have free will and be exposed to challenges stimulating intellectual growth.
You forgot to mention the millions of children who die every year before they reach the age of one. What are the challenges they could possibly master?

God knows.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Feb 24, 2010
I wouldn't sacrifice marjon to save Hitler, Pol Pot, and Stalin.
Worth a try in either case. If you buy into what I've been selling, then you have to conclude that Hitler, Pol Pot, and Stalin were
Isn't it remarkable that the majority of the Westerners call Iosif Dzhugashvili by his title of honors, "stalin" ("steel man")?
frajo
2.5 / 5 (2) Feb 24, 2010
A responsible God loves His creations enough to let them have free will and be exposed to challenges stimulating intellectual growth.
You forgot to mention the millions of children who die every year before they reach the age of one. What are the challenges they could possibly master?

God knows.
I don't.
And the fact that I don't know means that this being, IF it exists, is my adversary. And the adversary of all my brethren and sisters who had to die in pain without reason.
Thus, this being better be not.
marjon
not rated yet Feb 24, 2010
A responsible God loves His creations enough to let them have free will and be exposed to challenges stimulating intellectual growth.
You forgot to mention the millions of children who die every year before they reach the age of one. What are the challenges they could possibly master?

God knows.
I don't.
And the fact that I don't know means that this being, IF it exists, is my adversary. And the adversary of all my brethren and sisters who had to die in pain without reason.
Thus, this being better be not.

Because you don't know the reason, does not mean there is not one.
otto1923
3 / 5 (2) Feb 24, 2010
Psalm23KJV concluded:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake (As I have been saying, morality is determined by the necessities of the Mission at Hand; slay the canaanites, sleep with your daughters, or gladly die with nails in your hands- you will know what to do and feel when They use His Name.
-And the best for last:
 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. (The Equation by which continued Stability is maintained: divide the people and set them against each other in a controlled fashion... Above a certain level adversaries are under One Command. You and your enemies are on the same side. You sit at one table. Planned Wars with prearranged outcomes offer unimaginable benefits in Oils and Cups.
otto1923
not rated yet Feb 24, 2010
@frajo
It's the teleological aspect of your POV ("there is reason & purpose of things") which makes you - by definition - religious.
You may be thinking eschatology- many philos have considered the telos from non-religious perspectives- Hegel, Aristotle, Marx. (wiki)
Skeptic_Heretic
4.5 / 5 (2) Feb 25, 2010
Isn't it remarkable that the majority of the Westerners call Iosif Dzhugashvili by his title of honors, "stalin" ("steel man")?

Funny, a lot of people call Adolph Schicklgruber by the name Hitler as well.

Couldn't be because that was the popular or public name by which he was called could it?
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Feb 25, 2010
Isn't it remarkable that the majority of the Westerners call Iosif Dzhugashvili by his title of honors, "stalin" ("steel man")?

Funny, a lot of people call Adolph Schicklgruber by the name Hitler as well.
There's nothing noble about this name; so it doesn't really matter.
Couldn't be because that was the popular or public name by which he was called could it?
Certainly. But it reveals the lack of scepticism of most people.
otto1923
5 / 5 (2) Feb 25, 2010
Isn't it remarkable that the majority of the Westerners call Iosif Dzhugashvili by his title of honors, "stalin" ("steel man")?

Funny, a lot of people call Adolph Schicklgruber by the name Hitler as well.
There's nothing noble about this name; so it doesn't really matter.
Couldn't be because that was the popular or public name by which he was called could it?
Certainly. But it reveals the lack of scepticism of most people.
Ya know, I myself tend to search the Internet and wiki before speculating on ANYTHING
Hitler's father, Alois Hitler, was an illegitimate child and, for the first 39 years of his life, bore his mother's surname, Schicklgruber...In 1876, Alois took the surname of his stepfather, Johann Georg Hiedler. The name was spelled Hiedler, Huttler, Huettler and Hitler, and was probably regularized to Hitler by a clerk.
And lets not forget:
Nostradamus followers claim that the name "Hister" is a direct reference to Hitler.
frajo
1 / 5 (2) Feb 25, 2010
The topic was "using names of honor for less honorable people and its deeper meaning".
otto1923
5 / 5 (1) Feb 25, 2010
The topic was "using names of honor for less honorable people and its deeper meaning".
"; Employing Facts in all Examples Thereof (rather than not)" -and it's Adolf mit der F wie im 'Forschung' oder frajo.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Feb 26, 2010
There's nothing noble about this name; so it doesn't really matter.
There's nothing noble about "steel man" in the West so it's an apples to apples comparison.
Certainly. But it reveals the lack of scepticism of most people.

Not sure how skepticism falls into this discussion.
KBK
not rated yet Feb 28, 2010
And so we see another reason that the religious/spiritual impulse evolved and has been so persistent. The human imagination can satisfy needs not being met by real world circumstances, so enhancing "fitness" in even the bleakest of times.


'Tis far deeper than that simplistic analysis. The rise of the 'German school of thought', surrounding the idea of science needing to anchored in the 'real world', is a trick played that erased about 12,000 years or prior works and human endeavor in one fell swoop. This happened with the idea of rote teaching replacing reasoning, which firmly anchored the idea of 'science' in a fundamental dogmatism. This is exceedingly unhealthy for the complex reasoning task of moving man forward, yet it was adopted with utter glee by all, a reflection of man's desire to be the herd animal. It sits there, inside of 'science'. A Trojan.

Look closely at the mouth of the horse of science before you take it home and use it as slave to be applied to all tasks.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Feb 28, 2010
There's nothing noble about "steel man" in the West so it's an apples to apples comparison.
Certainly. But it reveals the lack of scepticism of most people.
Not sure how skepticism falls into this discussion.
"Skepsi" is the Greek word for "thought". "Skeptical" just means thoughtful.

BTW, "steel" associates with "shiny" and steel is by definition the noble relative of the common ordinary corroding iron. But even "Iron man" is a Western idol.
otto1923
not rated yet Feb 28, 2010
Skeptical in English means doubting, critical- and I didn't even look it up.
The rise of the 'German school of thought', surrounding the idea of science needing to anchored in the 'real world', is a trick played that erased about 12,000 years or prior works and human endeavor in one fell swoop.
Yes the rebirth of Aristotle and empiricism halelluyah. And here's to the final demise of soft (pseudo)science wishful thinking and posturing and politicizing, and uh, psychobabble. Cheers.
Results win arguments every time and results are what the Dark Age of opinion-logic was lacking in. Causality rules!
otto1923
not rated yet Feb 28, 2010
This is exceedingly unhealthy for the complex reasoning task of moving man forward
-Except that it WORKS, and is the reason why ivy league schools are filling up with imports. While US kids were learning to use their imaginations and expand their horizons bla bla, foreigners were learning how to think. Learning is hard work; results is proof. US kids are taught how to be good consumers. They make good video game writers.
otto1923
not rated yet Feb 28, 2010
BTW, "steel" associates with "shiny" and steel is by definition the noble relative of the common ordinary corroding iron. But even "Iron man" is a Western idol
I just reread the history of the Iron Cross in wiki. Iron is more fundamentally a symbol of strength- steel is an adulterated form of it. Kind of like English is a decrepit form of German.
frajo
Feb 28, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
otto1923
not rated yet Feb 28, 2010
No, as in QV - 'quo vadis?' As in 'German philosophers never resolved any questions of substance pertaining to anything other than politics.' Godders and philos are the enemy. What they posit is only fodder for more of their kind. A caring pet improves response to medical treatment for depression also. Hey- the topic!