Religion and mental disorders
In the item VII in the Conclusion of The Spirits’ Book, a work that laid the foundations of the spiritual doctrine, Kardec alludes to effects that occur in the lives of people who understand the philosophy of spiritism and see in it not just more or less curious phenomena.
The resignation about the vicissitudes of life would be, according to Kardec, one of these effects. It is understood, however, that in Spiritist view resignation does not mean passivity, but acceptance of things we cannot change, while we strive to bring a change. "Spiritism - noted Kardec - see things so high, that losing the earthly life three quarters of its importance, the man did not fret so much about the tribulations that accompany it. Hence, more courage in afflictions, more moderation in desires. Hence, too, the idea of banning shorten the days of existence, so that spiritist science teaches that by suicide, always loses what wanted to win."
The certainty about the future, we can truly become happy, and the ability to establish relationships with loved ones offers to spiritists a supreme comfort. "The horizon expands to infinity, thanks to the show, that it is witnessed unceasingly, life beyond the grave, whose mysterious depths is provided to fathom," added Encoder of Spiritism.
Another effect, always in the words of Kardec, it is to stimulate the man's indulgence for the others faults, although the selfish principle and all that follows it are what's most tenacious in man and therefore the most difficult to uproot. "Everyone - wrote Encoder - makes sacrifices voluntarily, provided they cost nothing and deprive nothing. For most men, the money has yet irresistible attractive and very few understand the word superfluous when it comes to their people. Therefore, the selflessness of personality is very great sign of progress."
Let us focus now that the effect Kardec listed as the first and most general, which is to develop the religious sentiment in the people who make contact with the spiritual doctrine, even those which, without being materialistic, look with absolute indifference to spiritual matters.
If at the time of Kardec, with the prestige that has affected the dominant religions, would be moot to see importance in someone developing the religious sentiment, an effect that the encoder expressly highlighted in the work cited, we believe that today, although the discredit of religions has even accentuated, such doubt its strength greatly missed.
We say this because several studies published in recent years have shown the importance of faith, even in matters of health, because it is what keeps the flame of hope, so important in overcoming the conflicts and trials of life.
In favor of this thought, was released weeks ago the results of a study by University College London and published in the "British Journal of Psychiatry", in which 7400 individuals were interviewed, of which 35% were following a religion and 46% declared themselves atheists and agnostics.
One conclusion of the study is that the lack of practice of a religion elevates the risk of mental disorders and accentuates the tendency to seek the use of drugs.
The authors of the study, which was coordinated by Professor Michael King, acknowledge that further studies are needed to really explain the link between non-religious and mental disorders, but understand that the published work suggests an explanation, even partial, for the phenomenon, namely the lack of structure of a formal religion in the spiritual quest can leave believers more vulnerable to mental health problems.