Religion and Schizophrenia in Mental Illness Disclaimer

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by Ben Huot

You are now in the Notices Section (All notices apply to both and

Useful Help

As far as religion and Schizophrenia are concerned belief systems can offer help but can also cause problems. Religion especially within communities like churches can be very helpful. But religion can also exasperate obsessive compulsive disorders and delusions. As always try to do within reason and continue to take your medication.

God and medicine can work together. Faith in God does not need to contradict psychiatry and modern psychology anymore than it does eating healthy or following human laws. In fact, I believe that key ideas in modern psychology comes from the New Testament originally. Paul appears to me to be the first Existentialist.

Also, from my experience, you can still live a good life and have Schizophrenia. It will likely be far from a typical one though. Schizophrenia is, as I have experienced, a disability and not a special power or a gift of any kind. Certainly people can do great things with Schizophrenia but I do not believe the illness is the same thing as supernatural power, or gives any more insights than someone gets from being blind or in a wheel chair.


From what I have read, experienced, and seen in others Schizophrenia has no more connections to anything spiritual than any other emotional or physical disease or trauma. I see the cause of Schizophrenia as being biological tendency plus trauma. That being said having one disability does not keep you from having another disability as well or entirely different problems. So for people who experience spiritual issues I see this as different than Schizophrenia.

There is no denying religion does have some connection to mental illness. As a Christian, I think the most important part of the brain for survival in our current kind of world culture (which is what is most affected by Schizophrenia) is in some ways an impediment to understanding God and spiritual things. So I think the major connection between religion and Schizophrenia is people with Schizophrenia have greater potential to understand some aspects of the spiritual world better than those who do not have Schizophrenia.


There is a big trend today in mental health, especially in the Veterans Affairs, to treat mental illness with meditation. From my experience, I figured out how to meditate but it took too much energy to be helpful. I think simply taking deep breathes can be extremely useful though and are much simpler to do especially in crisis.

Meditation is a vast field and there are many different types of meditations from many different traditions for different things. I think the key to getting use out of this is to find someone that really understands this that you can trust (and who does not mix it with other traditions). Start out slow and small and gradually build up to a moderate level. I think it would be good to read about some of the theory behind this as well.

I would not recommend going beyond a moderate level until you are sure know what you are doing and are willing to accept that it may be difficult emotionally at times. Furthermore I don't know if it will help everyone. Buddhism was not initially developed to deal with mental illness but to work with people of typical mental conditions.

Inappropriate Examples

I have not found an effective sedative strong enough and appropriate for Schizophrenia in Traditional Chinese Medicine either. Maybe people at that time just weren't treated like we can today with modern medicine. One of the concerns with Christianity and mental illness involves Biblical prophecy.

In Christianity, we often have people predicting the end of the world. This happens despite it saying clearly by Jesus Christ Himself (in the end of the Gospel of Matthew) that even He does not know when He will return. When it happens, it will be fast and without warning, and it will be at a time of great peace. Christ also talks of people giving false testimony of His return. No one will be left wondering when Christ does return - it will be obvious to all. To prepare for it though, we are to do good works, not stockpile things.

Note that when I predict the End of the World as We Know It, this is not the actual apocalypse. We as Christians have to admit that losing electricity and modern plumbing or even modern medicine does not mean Christ has returned or is not blessing us. Most Christians throughout world history had none of this and likely were not any less happy. Think of the example of Job. Job had great wealth and God allowed him to lose it all to see if he only served God because he was wealthy.