Friday, May 27, 2005

Mental Illness and Church Attendance, Head Scratcher of the Day

WebMD has a new article up about a study that showed a correlation between church attendance and good mental health. The article lays out the findings of the study thus:

"The higher the worship frequency, the lower the odds of depression, mania, and panic disorders," says researcher Marilyn Baetz, MD, of the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.

And, here's the kicker, Dr. Baetz then offers this theory to explain the findings:

"A psychiatric disorder is a BIG thing," she [Dr. Baetz] tells WebMD. "It causes you to search for what's going on, for meaning and significance. Pushed to their limit of their own personal resources, the illness causes people to search for answers outside themselves."


Friar Tuck said...

Very interesting post

Kim Traynor said...

Isn't that goofy? I read the article twice thinking I must have missed something...but nope, she jumps from the findings (that people who attend worship services have better mental health than those who don't attend) to this bizarre conclusion that poor mental health drives people to religion! Wha??? So much for the objectivity of science!

I do believe that in tough times (illness, grief, stress etc.) people are more likely to seek God, but Dr. Baetz comment, inserted here for no logical reason, smacks of opiate-of-the-masses antagonism.