Jump to content
IGNORED

Organized religion = mental health issues?


silvia

Recommended Posts

Great analysis about the connection between certain types of religion and mental health problems: awaypoint.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/religious-trauma-syndrome-is-it-real/.

The whole thing is worth a read, but these quotes (bolding mine) drove home why it can be so difficult for people like the Duggars and Sarah Maxwell to leave the culture in which they were raised:

"Leaving a religion, after total immersion, can cause a complete upheaval of a person’s construction of reality, including the self, other people, life, and the future. People unfamiliar with this situation, including therapists, have trouble appreciating the sheer terror it can create."

"Religious groups that are highly controlling, teach fear about the world, and keep members sheltered and ill-equipped to function in society are harder to leave easily. The difficulty seems to be greater if the person was born and raised in the religion rather than joining as an adult convert. This is because they have no frame of reference – no other 'self' or way of 'being in the world.'â€

Does this ring true to those of you who have made the transition out of a religion like this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I stopped going to the church of Christ I still had a fear of Hell and wondered what if they were right. And it was no where near Fundamentalism.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hell. Yes. I have been to four therapists, all who have looked at me blankly when I described my experiences, told me I seemed articulate and self assured and to pat myself on the back and move on. I have anxiety, depression and I cry every day over my past life. Churches are major triggers and I am obsessed with researching religion, spirituality and philosophy.

When I figured out that I no longer believed the thought was so powerful that I, a usually well put together young woman, collapsed in the middle of campus and sobbed my guts out for an hour. And that was just the beginning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow. That article is awesome. I'm so glad someone is finally paying attention to this. Thanks for linking.

This, exactly this, is what I experienced when we were kicked out of our Catholic charismatic community many years ago. Back then (late 70s-early 80s) there was a lot of talk about "deprogramming" people who had been Moonies and such. But we didn't fit the profile of crazy people worshipping Charles Manson. Those people were Catholics--a perfectly respectable religion! And the leaders seemed like such nice young men! No one would believe the level of control and deprivation they'd created. If I tried to talk to anyone about what it was like, they put it back on me. "Why would you do crazy things like that? Why would an intelligent person like you bother with such crazy thoughts? Why can't you just forget about it? Just be normal! Oh and by the way, don't forget to go to church, because God is still watching you!"

Hestia, you have my deep sympathy. You're not crazy. You've been subjected to mind control. it's abuse, it's wrong, and it totally makes sense that it hurt you. I was encouraged by this quote from the article:

These are people for whom ethics, integrity and compassion matter a great deal. I find that when they get better and rebuild their lives, they are wonderfully creative and energetic about new things.

I believe that you will get better and that you will find these good things in yourself. {{hugs if you want them}}

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing this article! I don't know if this term applies to me or not, but I know I certainly was OCD about a lot of faith-related things, including trying not to sin or disobey my parents when I was younger to an unhealthy point. My emotionally/psychologically abusive father would use Catholicism in a way that helped him to maintain control over us kids and my mom, and my mom would justify it also using faith.

We weren't necessarily fundamentalist Catholics, wearing skirts and scapulars, but dad's interpretation of it was definitely hurtful. I'm Episcopalian now for reasons unrelated to my family, but right now I'm still very hesitant about becoming too faithful for fear of going down that OCD religious path again.

I will have to read more about it--this is fascinating.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow. That article is awesome. I'm so glad someone is finally paying attention to this. Thanks for linking.

This, exactly this, is what I experienced when we were kicked out of our Catholic charismatic community many years ago. Back then (late 70s-early 80s) there was a lot of talk about "deprogramming" people who had been Moonies and such. But we didn't fit the profile of crazy people worshipping Charles Manson. Those people were Catholics--a perfectly respectable religion! And the leaders seemed like such nice young men! No one would believe the level of control and deprivation they'd created. If I tried to talk to anyone about what it was like, they put it back on me. "Why would you do crazy things like that? Why would an intelligent person like you bother with such crazy thoughts? Why can't you just forget about it? Just be normal! Oh and by the way, don't forget to go to church, because God is still watching you!"

Hestia, you have my deep sympathy. You're not crazy. You've been subjected to mind control. it's abuse, it's wrong, and it totally makes sense that it hurt you. I was encouraged by this quote from the article:

I believe that you will get better and that you will find these good things in yourself. {{hugs if you want them}}

Thank you! Your kind words are really appreciated. It is hard when something seemingly "normal" or "good" still hurts you profoundly. I can imagine it would be even harder for you because catholicism is so mainstream.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have two friends who left the convent after 25 years. They had both gone in right after 8th grade. They were in different orders, and before Vatican II. Their teens, 20's and 30's were spent in the convent where they basically didn't have to make any decisions for themselves. The only time they saw a man was when a priest said Mass. It was extremely hard for them when they left the convent. They both remained Catholic but they had to learn so many things about life outside the convent. And both sought therapy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing this article! I don't know if this term applies to me or not, but I know I certainly was OCD about a lot of faith-related things, including trying not to sin or disobey my parents when I was younger to an unhealthy point. My emotionally/psychologically abusive father would use Catholicism in a way that helped him to maintain control over us kids and my mom, and my mom would justify it also using faith.

We weren't necessarily fundamentalist Catholics, wearing skirts and scapulars, but dad's interpretation of it was definitely hurtful. I'm Episcopalian now for reasons unrelated to my family, but right now I'm still very hesitant about becoming too faithful for fear of going down that OCD religious path again.

I will have to read more about it--this is fascinating.

Interesting that you should mention OCD. My dad went to a strict Catholic school growing up (nuns/ priests paddling kids, the whole bit), and while he renounced his Catholicism later on, he retained a very black-and-white way of thinking about moral issues. Either something was wrong or it was right, period, end of story. Shades of gray didn't seem to exist in his moral universe, and for the most part, they still don't.

While I'm not religious, I believe my dad's mindset has worn off on me in that I feel like I have a kind of morality OCD at times. I worry inordinately about making mistakes or doing things that are "bad" or "wrong," even though I know intellectually this is silly. Is there such a thing as a second-generation religious hangover? ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probably like any addiction. Sounds like your dad was what in AA they all a "dry drunk." Too bad there isn't RA (religion anonymous)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probably like any addiction. Sounds like your dad was what in AA they all a "dry drunk." Too bad there isn't RA (religion anonymous)

Maybe. He's not Catholic anymore, but he has become more and more fundamentalist of late, at least in his own personal views. Thankfully, he hasn't really tried to impose those views on me, so we are able to have a pretty cordial relationship. I just try to avoid explosive topics for the most part...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing this article! I don't know if this term applies to me or not, but I know I certainly was OCD about a lot of faith-related things, including trying not to sin or disobey my parents when I was younger to an unhealthy point. My emotionally/psychologically abusive father would use Catholicism in a way that helped him to maintain control over us kids and my mom, and my mom would justify it also using faith.

We weren't necessarily fundamentalist Catholics, wearing skirts and scapulars, but dad's interpretation of it was definitely hurtful. I'm Episcopalian now for reasons unrelated to my family, but right now I'm still very hesitant about becoming too faithful for fear of going down that OCD religious path again.

I will have to read more about it--this is fascinating.

Except for the abuse thing, my dad grew up in a strict Catholic household and resented having that church forced on him. While he quit practicing as soon as he left home and raised my brother and I without religion, he still has some of the residual Catholic guilt and is OCD about things like eating healthy. It's so bad that he can't even enjoy holidays like Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. He recently started developing high blood pressure, which is one thing that happens with age, as well as dealing with a mentally unstable relative, but he blames himself for eating any salt. This is despite having at least one ancestor living to 102 and that my grandma is still around at 90.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.



  • Trending Content

  • Recent Status Updates

    • mango_fandango

      mango_fandango

      It’s not supposed to be mosquito season right now but I still appear to have been bitten twice on the side of my foot. Bastards. I know I shouldn’t scratch but it’s so tempting… 😑
      · 0 replies
    • Therapy Outside the Box

      Therapy Outside the Box

      Hello,
       
      I'm brand new to this forum. It was suggested to me by former and outspoken Remnant Fellowship member (Natasha Pavlovich) that I join this forum and put out here what I do. She also warned me that no one on here trusts, or trusts easily, and that I'd likely be assumed to be a Remnant plant or spy until vetted and verified as not that. Fair enough. 
      In short, and in truth, I'm a psychotherapist with 25 yrs experience in Franklin TN (less than three miles from RF incidentally) with a special interest in working with people formerly associated with cults, cult-like or any and all high control intitutions. I'm especially interested in working with those desiring not only deconstruct, recover and learn to thrive post-indoctrination, but those desiring to recapture or cultivate an authentic sense of theology without walls, or spirituality with borders. 
      To date, I've worked with former Amish, Mennonite, LDS/FLDS, FOG, and a those representing a whole slew of evangelical, fire and brimstone fear/shame/guilt-inducing institutions.
      I am especially interested in working with former Remnant Fellowship and Scientology members. I view RF as basically Scientology without the budget. 
      I'll leave it there. Much more can be gleaned about me through my website: therapyoutsidethebox.com or IG: @ therapyoutsidethebox
       
      Peace,
       
      Chris Hancock, LCSW
      Franklin, TN

      · 3 replies
    • Kiki03910

      Kiki03910

      I have a friend with untreated autism and ADHD. I've tried so fucking hard to help. He refuses. It's a mess. I'm really really tired.
      · 0 replies
    • Kiki03910

      Kiki03910

      Making Jill Duggar's brownie recipe because why not stay up late.
      · 2 replies
    • 47of74

      47of74

      Party on aisle 15....

      Also no interest if fully paid in so many months.
      · 0 replies
    • WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?

      WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?

      Happy Supper Bowel Sunday!!  No, wait. That isn't right...
      Anyway, enjoy the game (or the half time show, or the ads)!
      And a very happy Sunday to everyone who doesn't care about the NFL! 
      · 0 replies
    • Kiki03910

      Kiki03910

      I'm a huge baseball fan. This year, MLB TV showed Liga Dominicana games in December and January and it was a fucking revelation. The players had so much fire and joy. The announcers with their charming DR accents were a blast, though I could hardly keep up with the Spanish. DItto the Serie del Caribe. As a White Sox fan, the MLB season is going to suffer by comparison. Te amo los Tigres del Licey!
      · 2 replies
    • bea

      bea

      I've just realized how long I've been on FJ.  Holy cow.
      · 0 replies
    • bea

      bea

      Had ankle surgery on the 22nd and am non-weight-bearing until the 7th, and it would great if I could REMEMBER that I'm not weight-bearing until I try to step on my splinted ankle.
      · 2 replies
    • 47of74

      47of74

      lol 

      · 0 replies
  • Recent Blog Entries

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.