Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?
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25-03-2013, 03:23 PM
RE: Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?
(25-03-2013 01:12 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Kim.
I'm sorry, but that study has been trotted out before. It in no way provides a link between religion, fundamentalism and mental health disorder. Not at all.

I think it does provide evidence for a link between brain atrophy and stresses involved in belief. As well, I think this study is very informative as it also displays quite profoundly, that these stresses involve believers as well as non-believers.

Do I think certain aspects of religion resemble and assume the attributes of a mental disorder? If one considers addiction a mental disorder then, yes I do... but the op was not asking specifically about addiction, only mental disorders in general.

I think there could be a multitude of links between many human situations and any number of mental disorders. We are only human. I gave the personal example of my own situation, to which (in hindsight) I do feel as if I may have experienced an ongoing mental disorder. As well, I do not doubt that people recovering from religion might feel similarly and gain some insight from such discussion.

I don't think discussion of this subject warrants disrespect for believers, non-believers, or anyone with a mental disorder. I have no problem with and place no stigma on mental health issues or the discussion of them. I respect anyone willing to discuss mental health issues, including my own and myself. However, I might take issue with not talking about mental health issues simply because it might reflect badly on me or anyone.

Ghost, I'm sorry if you've taken offense to something I've said or inferred about the mental state of religious folk or my own mental state, but I took the op to be a serious opinion inquiry about "symptoms that almost mimic the mindset of a fundamentalist". Maybe I don't find that to be an offensive discussion in and of itself, considering we're referring to observed behaviors of human beings. I think the discussion of this topic can be reasonably respectful. Drinking Beverage

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25-03-2013, 03:48 PM
RE: Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?
(25-03-2013 03:04 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  People who remain in dysfunctional relationships are almost always restaging early trauma(s), as are people who repeatedly seek dysfunctional relationships. So in your case, if you've identified the problems with your marriage as being something you are prone to and have since avoided men like your ex then yes, it was probably temporary. However, if you've continued to gravitate toward assholes, it's just plain dissociation. Unsure

Ha! Assholes; they all seem to gravitate toward me. Before my marriage, I think I wasn't experienced enough to know what was going on - I never met people like that. However now, I can spot them a mile away! Kind of weeds out the playing field from the get go. Wink

***
Durring my relationship, I do feel at times, I was not rational. Now, it's a very strange feeling; like walking out of a fog or waking up. I've heard myself say similar things that I've heard people recovering from religion have said. I feel like I sincerely understand the betrayal they must feel. It's almost like a feeling of shame and there's certainly a lot of anger associated with it. I think there are similar feelings associated with mental illness and I think recovery depends on a similar compassion and a willingness to discuss.

***
Horrifyingly, I'm still surrounded by assholes. I think I just need to relocate. Dodgy

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25-03-2013, 03:59 PM
RE: Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?
(25-03-2013 11:33 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  
(25-03-2013 11:04 AM)kim Wrote:  The Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides details on brain atrophy and studies have shown a direct link to brain atrophy in life changing religious experiences. It seems these life changing experiences such as being "born again" have been linked to brain atrophy.
From the article:
"The study, published March 30 in PLoS One, showed greater
atrophy in the hippocampus in individuals who identify with specific
religious groups as well as those with no religious affiliation."


Those same atrophies show up in brain scans of people who were abused as children. It seems much more plausible that the authoritarian and abusive parenting style that is so widespread across the religious/non religious spectrum is to blame.
But.......in fundamentalism, authoritarian and abusive parenting style is taught, commanded, and preached through its teachings. So, then these children grow up and suffer from numerous "mental-disorder-like" issues (depression, OCD, severe anxiety and panic disorders, PTSD, etc,) and continue the pattern--only to be supported in continuing the cycle for generations through these beliefs and teachings. On top of this, many therapists and other "helpers" point them back to finding support in these churches and belief systems that created it in the first place (or REALLY helped it along!). From my experience as a mental health professional and a former fundamentalist Christian, I have observed firsthand how fundamentalism can not only create and propagate mental health disorders and struggles, but it can do so in the protected area of religion, as being obedient and honorable to a god.
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25-03-2013, 04:05 PM (This post was last modified: 25-03-2013 04:09 PM by darthbreezy.)
RE: Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?
I would say it depends on the level of fundamentalism, that the similarities to a DSM axis disorder could range from characteristics of a personality disorder to a full-blown NOS psychotic disorder. It has not been put on an axis in the DSM so, technically, it is not a mental disorder. I would agree that is certainly mimics one or several recognized mental illnesses, and that a mass delusion never has (and never will) negate a delusion (i.e. Millions of children believe in Santa, who is used as a moral authority with "naughty or nice" lists and the threat of coal instead of toys to keep children's behaviors in line. Are they all correct? Of course not.). However, rejection of reality is a qualifier in abnormal psychology; unfortunately, religion, even in its extremes, is considered normal in many societies, even if those societies have differing religious beliefs (Christians think Muslims are wrong, Muslims think Christians are wrong, etc). It's only when someone comes around claiming to be the messiah that we can give a clinical diagnosis, which is pretty unfortunate when you consider the indoctrination of children (I'm 22 and have anxiety and depression brought on by feeling as if nothing I do is ever good enough, which is taught to children starting in Sunday school--do they go hand in hand for me? There are a ton of factors so I can't answer that definitively, but withholding worldly facts and sheltering children from a true education because it conflicts with religious beliefs is neglect at best, and using prayer instead of medicines and hospitals is abuse) and the propogating of bigoted beliefs that impact what are supposed to be secular governments...

Keep your rosaries out of my ovaries, and your theology out of my biology.
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25-03-2013, 04:18 PM
RE: Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?
(25-03-2013 03:59 PM)bethiebugs Wrote:  But.......in fundamentalism, authoritarian and abusive parenting style is taught, commanded, and preached through its teachings. So, then these children grow up and suffer from numerous "mental-disorder-like" issues (depression, OCD, severe anxiety and panic disorders, PTSD, etc,) and continue the pattern--only to be supported in continuing the cycle for generations through these beliefs and teachings. On top of this, many therapists and other "helpers" point them back to finding support in these churches and belief systems that created it in the first place (or REALLY helped it along!). From my experience as a mental health professional and a former fundamentalist Christian, I have observed firsthand how fundamentalism can not only create and propagate mental health disorders and struggles, but it can do so in the protected area of religion, as being obedient and honorable to a god.
That's true. But authoritarian parenting is the primary parenting style everywhere. So, the fundamentalist hits his child and yells at him "Obey me because god said so" and the atheist hits his child and yells at him "Obey me because I said so".

The results are the same. And, of course, hitting isn't the contributing factor. Bruises heal, but the psychological trauma of being yelled at or hit by a person who purports to love you is the real damage. One doesn't have to be religious in order to cause anxiety, depression, procrastination, etc. in an adult through authoritarian style parenting.

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25-03-2013, 04:23 PM
RE: Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?
(25-03-2013 03:59 PM)bethiebugs Wrote:  But.......in fundamentalism, authoritarian and abusive parenting style is taught, commanded, and preached through its teachings. So, then these children grow up and suffer from numerous "mental-disorder-like" issues (depression, OCD, severe anxiety and panic disorders, PTSD, etc,) and continue the pattern--only to be supported in continuing the cycle for generations through these beliefs and teachings. On top of this, many therapists and other "helpers" point them back to finding support in these churches and belief systems that created it in the first place (or REALLY helped it along!). From my experience as a mental health professional and a former fundamentalist Christian, I have observed firsthand how fundamentalism can not only create and propagate mental health disorders and struggles, but it can do so in the protected area of religion, as being obedient and honorable to a god.

I concur.
I think that many mental health issues are unwittingly handled in this manner and much of it is because not enough attention has been paid to the underlying, assumed protected areas. I think this is one reason many abused spouses go back to their abuser; not only is it what they are used to or familiar with but it's still socially more acceptable to "work it out" rather than divorce. That kind of thinking seems to place blame on the victim more than the perpetrator of abuse. In my opinion, the entire culture needs to be reevaluated and altered to support a more neutral position for mental health and recovery issues. Shy

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25-03-2013, 04:39 PM (This post was last modified: 06-04-2013 12:51 AM by Doctor X.)
RE: Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?
******

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25-03-2013, 04:46 PM
RE: Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?
(25-03-2013 04:23 PM)kim Wrote:  
(25-03-2013 03:59 PM)bethiebugs Wrote:  But.......in fundamentalism, authoritarian and abusive parenting style is taught, commanded, and preached through its teachings. So, then these children grow up and suffer from numerous "mental-disorder-like" issues (depression, OCD, severe anxiety and panic disorders, PTSD, etc,) and continue the pattern--only to be supported in continuing the cycle for generations through these beliefs and teachings. On top of this, many therapists and other "helpers" point them back to finding support in these churches and belief systems that created it in the first place (or REALLY helped it along!). From my experience as a mental health professional and a former fundamentalist Christian, I have observed firsthand how fundamentalism can not only create and propagate mental health disorders and struggles, but it can do so in the protected area of religion, as being obedient and honorable to a god.

I concur.
I think that many mental health issues are unwittingly handled in this manner and much of it is because not enough attention has been paid to the underlying, assumed protected areas. I think this is one reason many abused spouses go back to their abuser; not only is it what they are used to or familiar with but it's still socially more acceptable to "work it out" rather than divorce. That kind of thinking seems to place blame on the victim more than the perpetrator of abuse. In my opinion, the entire culture needs to be reevaluated and altered to support a more neutral position for mental health and recovery issues. Shy
YES!!! This is what I hope to do in my work, but have found it extremely difficult as the assumption and pressure to not question or challenge any religious belief system or personal belief is prevalent. As a former abused spouse myself, I know all too well how it relates to this whole severely taboo and largely hidden truth.
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25-03-2013, 04:50 PM
RE: Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?
(25-03-2013 03:48 PM)kim Wrote:  
(25-03-2013 03:04 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  People who remain in dysfunctional relationships are almost always restaging early trauma(s), as are people who repeatedly seek dysfunctional relationships. So in your case, if you've identified the problems with your marriage as being something you are prone to and have since avoided men like your ex then yes, it was probably temporary. However, if you've continued to gravitate toward assholes, it's just plain dissociation. Unsure

Ha! Assholes; they all seem to gravitate toward me. Before my marriage, I think I wasn't experienced enough to know what was going on - I never met people like that. However now, I can spot them a mile away! Kind of weeds out the playing field from the get go. Wink

***
Durring my relationship, I do feel at times, I was not rational. Now, it's a very strange feeling; like walking out of a fog or waking up. I've heard myself say similar things that I've heard people recovering from religion have said. I feel like I sincerely understand the betrayal they must feel. It's almost like a feeling of shame and there's certainly a lot of anger associated with it. I think there are similar feelings associated with mental illness and I think recovery depends on a similar compassion and a willingness to discuss.

***
Horrifyingly, I'm still surrounded by assholes. I think I just need to relocate. Dodgy

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25-03-2013, 04:59 PM
RE: Is fundamentalism a mental disorder?
(25-03-2013 03:48 PM)kim Wrote:  Assholes; they all seem to gravitate toward me.
Horrifyingly, I'm still surrounded by assholes. I think I just need to relocate.
I don't think that'll help Confused

I have the very same problem with self-centered creeps. Seem to attract them like a magnet. Crosses to bear, Kim. Maybe if someone came up with some sort of a jerk repellent... Consider

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