PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Alfster
 
Comments: 38
Article views: 1287
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Alfster's badges.
 

Religion vs mental illness

20 December 2012, 13:44

Religion vs mental illness

I understand religion and faith bring comfort to many people and the purpose of this article is not to diminish that in any way, but rather to highlight what I feel to be fairly elementary observations about the comparison between faith based religion and a variety of mental illnesses.

Think of the man who wakes up every day, opens his bible, reads a few passages then gets down on his knees to pray.   This same man makes his weekly trip to church, says a pray of thanks before each meal and conducts countless other rituals in order to conform to his particular religion.   This man is following a routine.  A routine which he believes will keep him safe and in good stead with whichever god he may have faith in.  

Now think of the man with obsessive compulsive disorder.   He wakes up, switches his light on and off a certain number of times, walks to the bathroom, being certain not to step on the spaces between the tiles.    He may then brush his teeth counting exactly how much time he attends to each tooth and so on.    Much like above mentioned religious man, he too is conducting small rituals and following a routine which relieve his anxiety.

Now let us compare the two.   Both men are dealing with fear by conducting rituals they believe to have an effect.    On the other hand if one was to question each man as to whether he felt his actions and beliefs to be rational, a greatly contrasting answer would be given by both.   The religious man would answer (if he were able to get past what he would undoubtedly deem an insulting question) that he believes his actions to be rational, but the OCD sufferer on the other hand would agree without any hesitations that his behaviour is indeed irrational.

Comparing the two cases further, we will see that each is, in a sense, somewhat hereditary in nature.   The religious man was more than likely raised in a household were religion played a large role in the family’s daily activities, through the insistence of either one or both of his parents.   By the same token OCD sufferers more often than not have an antecedent who may have suffered from the illness to some degree.   As similar as I may have made these two cases seem regarding this point, I must point out that the OCD sufferer would never willingly pass his affliction onto his children, but the religious man will, without offering them a choice.   Now I understand most religious people reading this will take umbrage to such a statement, but, think hard, and you will see that raising a child within a faith based religion is simply passing one’s own inability to deal with fear, onto an impressionable child.

The idea of mental illness being closely related to religion is even less foreign when one considers the stories found within such holy texts as the bible.   Stories such as Abrahams trip up the mountain to kill his son “under god’s instruction”.   If such a storey had to surface in this day and age, even the religious man would have to concede that mental illness, specifically schizophrenia, must have played a major role.   The same can be said for virgin births and resurrections, let someone claim either of these occurrences in modern times and they would be thought mentally ill.   But let it be written in a two thousand year old book by a people with half the intelligence of modern man, and it must be true.

My point being, religion is riddled with rituals and beliefs which are comparable to those exhibited by sufferers of mental illness.   The only difference being, religious beliefs gain pseudo credence from the fact that millions of people accept and partake in them.  

Consider a world where the majority of people are schizophrenic, does this mean that because they are in the majority their actions and decisions must be accepted and adhered to by the minority sane.   No, of course not.

There is an old saying.   When a man talks to god it’s called prayer, when god talks back it’s called schizophrenia.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
38 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Nicholas K Mashabela
Are you a corrupter or a corrupte...

Many of our people, desperate to acquire drivers’ licenses, have for many years, found themselves being corrupted by traffic officials at driving schools.  Read more...

0 comments 701 views
Submitted by
Linda De Rooster
Children losing out

I am an Educational Psychologist who does a lot of psycho-educational assessments with children with special needs.  Read more...

0 comments 142 views
Submitted by
Sindiswa Ramokgata
Voters: Mindless Sheep?

In this godforsaken country of ours, one can only shake one’s head at the naivety of the mindless masses (MMS’s) who make up the vast majority of voters. Read more...

0 comments 396 views
Submitted by
Martin Albert
The decision on who to vote for i...

Much has been said about voting or not voting and who to vote for. I believe that both decisions are very straightforward. Read more...

0 comments 685 views
Submitted by
Colin Webster452
MSSA's General Secretary to be a ...

120 officials from e-sports and sports industries will participate in the Global e-Sports Executive Summit,which will be held by International e-Sports Federation (IeSF) in Shanghai, China for 2 days, from July 30th to July 31st. Read more...

0 comments 43 views
Submitted by
Struan Robertson
Why Does Science Set Us Free?

Why does science set us free? The short answer. Science sets us free because as a method of inquiry it is about the pursuit of truth and as the universal law stated in John so clearly says it is knowing the truth that sets us free. Read more...

0 comments 671 views
 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2016 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.