Researchers have known for a while now that piety can help protect a person from depression and anxiety. Now, a new study published online in Psychological Medicine has gone further in developing the relationship between mental health and spirituality by comparing the effectiveness of different forms of this piety, which they label religiosity:
Lead researcher Joanna Maselko, Sc.D., characterized the religiosity of 918 study participants in terms of three domains of religiosity: religious service attendance, which refers to being involved with a church; religious well-being, which refers to the quality of a person’s relationship with a higher power; and existential well-being, which refers to a person’s sense of meaning and their purpose in life . . . .
Maselko and fellow researchers compared each domain of religiosity to their risk of depression, and were surprised to find that the group with higher levels of religious well-being were 1.5 times more likely to have had depression than those with lower levels of religious well-being.
Maselko theorizes this is because people with depression tend to use religion as a coping mechanism. As a result, they’re more closely relating to God and praying more . . . .
Researchers also found that those who attended religious services were 30 percent less likely to have had depression in their lifetime, and those who had high levels of existential well-being were 70 percent less likely to have had depression than those who had low levels of existential well-being.
Another reason it would be nice if these numbers were higher . . . .