According to scientists from University College London, spiritually oriented people are more prone to mental disorders. Research has shown that they are the ones who have the biggest problems with anxiety, various phobias or neuroses, but also with drugs and even eating.
Religiously oriented individuals are more susceptible to mental illness.
It was also found that they are more likely to use drugs intended for people with psychological problems. “Our main finding is that people who view life spiritually have worse mental health than those who view life neither religiously nor spiritually,” said Michael King of University College London.
7,403 people participated in the research and were asked about their religion and psychological state. Thirty-five percent of respondents described themselves as religious, which meant that they go to church, mosque or synagogue. Another 19 percent of people said they were spiritually oriented, but did not follow any particular religion. The remaining 46 percent were neither religiously nor spiritually based.
In spiritually oriented people, the researchers observed a 50 percent higher risk of developing an anxiety disorder and also a 72 percent higher probability of suffering from a phobia. They also had a 77 percent higher risk of drug addiction and a 37 percent higher risk of neurosis. Among these people, they noted a 40 percent higher probability of using psychotropic drugs.
As for mental illnesses, the researchers did not find significant differences between the remaining two groups. However, believers had fewer problems with alcohol and drugs.
“We came to the conclusion that people who are spiritually oriented without professing a specific religion are more prone to psychological disorders,” explained the researchers, who plan to investigate this connection further.