chapter  11
15 Pages

Dimensions of religious/spiritual wellbeing and the psychotic experience: empirical results and perspectives

WithHUMAN-FRIEDRICH UNTERRAINER

Studies indicate that religious and spiritual dimensions are positively related to all forms of mental health, including indicators of subjective wellbeing and personality factors. It has also been suggested that religious/spiritual wellbeing might play an important role in the development, course and recovery of mental illness. However, despite such claims, there have been numerous recordings of delusions and hallucinations adopting a religious nature. Furthermore, there is some evidence that religion and spirituality can be harmful for patients experiencing psychosis. Currently, relevant empirical evidence is sparse and more research is needed in order to delineate the role of religious/spiritual issues, as religion and spirituality may be part of the disease as well as part of the cure. Thus patients with a severe mental disorder might use different religiously/spiritually based strategies to cope with their disease effectively. Religion and spirituality were found to protect against addictive behaviours and suicide attempts. Furthermore, religion and spirituality enable the experience of personal growth and might be considered as important topics within in-patient treatment. Based on empirical results, we will discuss the question of religious/spiritual needs among patients diagnosed with a psychotic disorder.