Bipolar & Wellness: The Power of Spirituality
The healing power of worship has been realized by many with bipolar disorder, among other mental illnesses; here are just a few things to consider:
Strong element to recovery
Research has shown that “people with a strong sense of religious identity and who participate in their faith seem to do better, on average, than people without an active spiritual life,” noted Jeff Levin, PhD, MPH, author of a study of five large Jewish communities that has shown belief in a higher power and worshipping in community can be linked to strong elements in recovery, no matter what your faith tradition.
Devotion and resilience
In the study Levin found that Jewish adults who attend synagogue on a regular basis reported better health than either secular Jews or those who did not go to services. While personal spiritual practice is more complicated, there was a strong overall association between devotion of any type and resilience.
Higher quality of life
A study of 168 people with bipolar in 2013 and published in the journal Bipolar Disorders found that those who report believing in a beneficent higher power and feeling a spiritual connection, have better coping skills, lower rates of anxiety and depression, and greater longevity.
Power of belief
A defining factor in who embraces religion may be a desire for interdependence, while people who are not religious have a stronger need to be self-reliant and independent, according to research by Steven Reiss, PhD. Religious rituals fulfill the desire for order and teachings about salvation and forgiveness tap into the need for acceptance, while promises of an afterlife may offer a sense of tranquility.