Thursday, August 21, 2014

When The Religious Becomes A Mental Patient

Do you know that religiosity can be used as a "pill" for emotional pain? There is a difference between "religion" as a psychological defense mechanism and a true "relationship" with God.

A few years ago, at a plush residential village, a religious woman in terrible shape became a mental patient. Her son and husband invited me over to speak to her in their home. When I arrived, she was firmly holding a Bible, reciting Bible verses, while running amok, shouting and breaking glasses, and seeing invisible things around the house. Her husband and children could not understand the "gap" of reality they were witnessing in their loved one.

The religious woman, as well as countless unknown others, lives in the unreal world of religious fanaticism. Something breaks down inside a person and goes to the motions of religion for protection or comfort. A sort of "pill" to medicate some unexplainable pain within. The poor religious woman was stuck. It was fortunate that she was taken to doctors and a place where she could receive appropriate help. 

There are many others stuck in religious fanaticism, though to a lesser degree than this religious woman who became a mental patient. They will never end up in a mental hospital or go to a psychotherapist for treatment. Yet they will go through life rigidly repeating religious acts or ceremonies, not in an earnest desire to know God, but in an attempt to avoid dealing directly with pain.

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