1. Standard membersumydid
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    15 Jan '13 04:451 edit
    New Research Links Spiritual-Not-Religious to Mental Disorder

    British psychiatry researchers recently stirred the roiling religious affiliation and identification pot with a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry that concludes that “People who have a spiritual understanding of life in the absence of a religious framework are vulnerable to mental disorder.” This week, the news swam the pond to appear in a number of US news outlets.

    The research, which was led by University College London professor Michael King, reveals a population of “spiritual but not religious” Brits that generally tracks to the US population of “Nones” identified in a recent study by the Pew Forum on Religion in American Life. Some 35 percent of the more than 7,000 Brits surveyed indicated that they had “a religious understanding of life.” The majority of these identified as Christian. Nineteen percent self-identified as “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR), while 46 percent described themselves as neither spiritual nor religious. American “Nones,” however, seem less inclined to embrace the “spiritual but not religious” label, with fewer than half in the Pew population of the religiously unaffiliated identifying as such.

    In the British study, SBNRs were found to be significantly more likely to be drug-dependent ( 77% ) and to suffer from phobias ( 72% ) or anxiety ( 50% ). No wonder they’re significantly more likely ( 40% ) than the religious to be being treated with psychotropic drugs.

    http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/atheologies/6764/new_research_links_spiritual_not_religious_to_mental_disorder

    *********** I never thought about it that much. But now that I recall all the people I've known who fit into the SBNR category--yep, most of them have a host of mental and emotional problems. Interesting study.
  2. SubscriberFMF
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    15 Jan '13 04:532 edits
    Originally posted by sumydid
    But now that I recall all the people I've known who fit into the SBNR category--yep, most of them have a host of mental and emotional problems. Interesting study.
    Have you met any religionists with "a host of mental and emotional problems"? I only ask because I am curious about your own terms of reference. You said "...yep, most of [the people I've known who fit into the SBNR category] have a host of mental and emotional problems." And yet that is not the claim that the research is making. Most people I've known - both from the SBNR category and from the religious category - have not had "mental and emotional problems". Is this not also true for you?
  3. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    15 Jan '13 05:53
    Originally posted by sumydid
    [b]New Research Links Spiritual-Not-Religious to Mental Disorder

    ... study.[/b]
    I guess that depends on what "Spiritual" actually means.

    For some its wacky New Age stuff.

    For others its just a realisation of self in the Universe.
  4. Standard memberfinnegan
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    15 Jan '13 12:33
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    I guess that depends on what "Spiritual" actually means.

    For some its wacky New Age stuff.

    For others its just a realisation of self in the Universe.
    Surely
    a realisation of self in the Universe
    is an example of
    wacky New Age stuff
    ?
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    15 Jan '13 18:03
    Originally posted by sumydid
    [b]New Research Links Spiritual-Not-Religious to Mental Disorder

    British psychiatry researchers recently stirred the roiling religious affiliation and identification pot with a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry that concludes that “People who have a spiritual understanding of life in the absence of a religious framework are vulnerab ...[text shortened]... R category--yep, most of them have a host of mental and emotional problems. Interesting study.[/b]
    From the article:

    quote:

    An atheist friend put it this way:

    “Maybe SBNRs are going nuts because, on one frequency, they keep thinking there’s got to be something else, and on another they kind of know there’s not. Religious cognitive dissonance. As an atheist, I don’t have that problem and I suppose neither do organized religion followers.”


    unquote.

    Demonstrating that these reports can be interpreted to suit the interpreter.
  6. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    15 Jan '13 19:14
    Originally posted by finnegan
    Surely
    a realisation of self in the Universe
    is an example of
    wacky New Age stuff
    ?
    I wont argue.
    I was trying to differentiate between

    A. Those that are interested in the human spirit, psychology, self-improvement, altruism, making the most of a short life, fairness, knowledge,
    charity work, responsibility and leaving something for future generations.

    AND

    B. Ostensibly the same people - but who endow inanimate objects with spirit,
    worship Gaia, hug trees and send notes to the universe (a la Noel Edmonds)

    nb Typed quickly ... hence poor grammar!!!
  7. Standard memberAgerg
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    15 Jan '13 19:481 edit
    Originally posted by sumydid
    [b]New Research Links Spiritual-Not-Religious to Mental Disorder

    British psychiatry researchers recently stirred the roiling religious affiliation and identification pot with a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry that concludes that “People who have a spiritual understanding of life in the absence of a religious framework are vulnerab R category--yep, most of them have a host of mental and emotional problems. Interesting study.[/b]
    Yeah but the majority of fundies like yourself also have several mental disorders - only gripped as they are in their delusions, they don't seek out help.
  8. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    15 Jan '13 21:24
    I would guess that those in my group A never know whether or not to call
    themselves Spiritual or not (I know I do) whereas the group B folk positively
    advertise their "Spirituality".

    I would perhaps go as far as to suggest that the group B people are religious
    but without religion and are the SBNRs of the study.

    The group A people are absolutely sane. (As sane as I am.........) 😉
  9. Standard membersumydid
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    16 Jan '13 04:53
    Originally posted by Agerg
    Yeah but the majority of fundies like yourself also have several mental disorders - only gripped as they are in their delusions, they don't seek out help.
    Why so defensive and condescending?

    To be sure, all groups of people have a variety of mental issues to boast about. But like I said, I find the study interesting... especially in that almost ALL the "SBNR" folks I've known share abundant and similar mental disorders. I never drew the correlation until I saw this article.

    So, what say you? Coincidence? Lies? Obviously you have a problem with it, so let's hear where it's wrong and why.
  10. SubscriberFMF
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    16 Jan '13 05:001 edit
    Originally posted by sumydid
    I find the study interesting... especially in that almost ALL the "SBNR" folks I've known share abundant and similar mental disorders. I never drew the correlation until I saw this article.
    Why do you think the study did not find the same thing that you claim you have found, i.e. "almost ALL the SBNRs" you've known have "a host of mental and emotional problems". What do you think would explain the fact that the research did not find this to be so?
  11. Standard memberapathist
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    Yes, I'm crazy.
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    16 Jan '13 13:432 edits
    Originally posted by sumydid
    [b]New Research Links Spiritual-Not-Religious to Mental Disorder

    British psychiatry researchers recently stirred the roiling religious affiliation and identification pot with a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry that concludes that “People who have a spiritual understanding of life in the absence of a religious framework are vulnerab R category--yep, most of them have a host of mental and emotional problems. Interesting study.[/b]
    Ok, let us for a moment assume that the study is correct.

    And Spiritual But Not Religious (SBNR) people are 77% more likely to be drug-dependent than religious people.

    If (for example) only 1% of religious people are drug-dependent then only 1.77% of SBNR people would be drug dependent.

    Now that's a statistically significant increase with respect to the religious group, but it still leaves the overwhelming majority
    as non-drug dependent.

    In other words if someone told you that they were SBNR then while that would make them 77% more likely to be drug-dependent
    than someone who told you that they were religious, they would still (in this example) have a 98.33% chance of not being
    drug-dependent.




    Thus if what you are claiming "yep, most of them have a host of mental and emotional problems" were true then that would require that
    a large number of religious people have "a host of mental and emotional problems" too.
    For a simple majority (lets say 51% ) of SBNR people to have drug-dependency problems, then 29% of religious people would have
    drug-dependency problems.

    We both know that the true number is much much lower than that.

    Thus it cannot (according to this study) be true that a majority of SBNR people are drug dependent. (and I chose that metric as it had the
    highest Odds Ratio. The lower the odds ratio then the closer the levels are, for a 50% difference, something that 51% of SBNR people have,
    34% of religious people have)

    Which demonstrates yet again why proper statistical analysis is required rather than biased "personal experience" and anecdotes.


    You also missed the part in the article where it cautions thus...

    [quote]..... Coming Soon to a Pulpit Near You!

    As with periodic surveys showing relationships between levels of religiosity and well-being, this latest research is apt to find its way into many a sermon at declining churches across the U.K. and its former colonies. The gist (perhaps under a veneer of Christian pity): “There ya go! Your fakey-fakey, sage-burning, labyrinth-walking, church-of-the-blessed-ME ‘spirituality’ doesn’t make you happy.” Throw in some (largely inconclusive) studies on prayer and healing, an the result seems fairly obvious: Traditional believers are happier, healthier, and a heck of a lot saner. So there!

    Not so fast. Like all research, the BJP study bears much closer scrutiny and, as its authors note, the relationship between religion and mental health—as with religion and happiness or religion and physical health—requires much deeper examination. (A very brief primer on the evaluation of empirical data might be in order at this point, but I’ll spare the reader a discussion of distinctions between correlation, causality, and selection. Really friends, though, since we’re all reading Pew, PRRI, and Gallup data on an almost daily basis now, it’s worth studying up here, here, and perhaps especially here.)

    As Professor King confirmed, the survey data cannot tell us whether those who are already “vulnerable to mental disorder,” through genetics, psychosocial trauma, or a mix of both, are likely to feel comfortable or to be made welcome in traditional religious settings. Those suffering with psychological conditions, says King, “may reject organized religion, or they may seek existential meaning for their distress in spiritual matters. It is hard to assess causality.” The relationship, that is, may be a matter of selection, with those more vulnerable to psychological distress opting out of institutional religion.

    After all, one person’s healthy “religious framework” might be a problematic constraint for another. Some such frameworks might be sufficiently rigid to comfort socially normative congregants while excluding those further out on the margins than the mere unfamiliar newcomers, single people, those without children, and so on who are often given a less than hospitable welcome in many religious communities. It’s fair to assume, as well, that even religious groups truly desiring to embrace all comers may be off-putting to people already predisposed to or suffering from mental disorders. The “organization”—liturgical, ideological, social—in organized religion may itself render the worship experience psychologically difficult even for those who might wish to participate.

    In this light seems something of a stretch to suggest that disengagement with organized religion causes mental health difficulties. ..... [quote]
  13. Standard membersumydid
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    17 Jan '13 04:333 edits
    The study suggests that group of people who define themselves as "spiritual," but reject all religions, have a higher percentage of mental disorders than the other groups (and by other groups, that includes Atheists).

    My life experience tells me that this study seems to have merit.

    Think about it in obvious, general terms. Atheists: Don't you find it strange that someone would declare an absolute belief in some kind of god or higher power, yet not be able to define it, and also reject all other established findings and experiences? At the very least, someone that fits that description could be defined as wishy-washy and noncommital. Being wishy-washy and noncommital--when it comes to something as crucial as this--might be an indication of mental or emotional issues.

    But I'm thinking outloud and this is not a flame thread or an attack on anyone. Again, I just found the study interesting. If it's wrong, then it's wrong--but I haven't seen ANY evidence that would suggest it is. Jumping my ass as if I'm the one that conducted the study, certainly isn't going to change my opinion.
  14. SubscriberFMF
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    17 Jan '13 04:44
    Originally posted by sumydid
    My life experience tells me that this study seems to have merit.
    Why do you reckon the research does not support the claim you make about the SBNRs you've known? Why do you think the sample of SBNRs you've known and the SBNRs sampled in this study have given rise to such different findings?
  15. Standard membersumydid
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    17 Jan '13 04:46
    Originally posted by FMF
    Why do you reckon the research does not support the claim you make about the SBNRs you've known? Why do you think the sample of SBNRs you've known and the SBNRs sampled in this study have given rise to such different findings?
    Why do you ask so many rhetorical questions that are based on false information?
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