Live Love Life Foundation

Live Love Life Foundation is a non-profit organization that deals with mental health issues. It was founded by Veshakha Gulati as a non-profit NGO to bring awareness to mental health in India to prevent suicides.
Spirituality for Depression Relief

Spirituality for Depression Relief

Can Religion or Spirituality Help Ward Off Depression?

People of all shapes, sizes, colors and nationalities get depression. There seems to be little rhyme or reason to whom it strikes and when.

Many people swear by certain things to help them keep depression away. Some people use exercise, while others throw themselves more into their work. Others take a daily dose of a herb like St. John’s Wort or fish oil, because of the association these ingredients have had with a reduction in depression in some studies.

But what about religion? Can a strong sense of spirituality or religion help you ward off depression?

spirituality-relief

According to new research that followed a group of people over 10 years, the answer is a qualified “Yes.”

The new longitudinal research out of Columbia University wanted to follow up on previous research demonstrating this correlation between spirituality or religiosity and a reduced risk for depression.

The researchers continued to follow up on a set of subjects they had used in the previous study, following them from the 10-year mark (when the older research had ended) to the 20-year mark. The subjects in the study were 114 adult offspring of both depressed parents and parents who had no depression.

Those at the highest risk for depression because they were the child of a depressed parent (that genetic and environmental connection that’s important for determining depression risk) had the biggest reduction in risk due to their spirituality or religious nature.

So according to this follow up longitudinal research, spirituality or religion appears to have a protective effect against primarily the recurrence of depression. In some, it may also protect against the onset of depression. This effect was strongest in those whose one or more parents also suffered from depression.