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Faith in God Shows Potential Improvement of Mental Health Outcomes


Recent research indicates faith in a “Higher Power” could substantially increase the chances of a successful outcome from short-term treatment for psychiatric illness.

For this study, a team of researchers followed patients who were under care from a hospital’s behavioral health program in order to investigate the relationship between the patients’ degree of faith in God, or a “Higher Power,” and actual outcomes of treatment.

The results of the study can be found in the next issue of Journal of Affective Disorders. Researchers comment that people with a moderate-to-high degree of faith in God do significantly better in short-term treatment for psychiatric conditions than those who have no faith.

Well over 150 patients participated in the year-long study. Each person was required to gauge their belief in God as well as how they expected their treatment to turn out. Also, a measure of emotional regulation was conducted on a five-point scale. Levels of depression, well-being, and self-harm were all assessed at the beginning and end of the study in order to gauge improvements.

Many of the patients ascribed themselves to no major religion but still saw the same benefits in treatment if their belief in a “Higher Power” was rated high or moderately high. Faith in a higher being therefore has been found to significantly improve treatment for people suffering with psychiatric illnesses according to this research, which was carried out by McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts.

Patients who held “no” or only a “slight” faith in God were twice as likely not to respond to treatment as patients with higher levels of faith.

Researchers strongly feel that the study demonstrates that faith in God is a good thing for the subjects, improving their outcomes. They hope that this research will lead to additional investigation on the clinical implication of spirituality and faith as more than 90 percent of the U.S. population maintains religious beliefs.

I feel that this is an excellent study and do sincerely hope that more research like it is carried out in the future. Since the vast majority of Americans believe in God or some form of a “Higher Power,” most can sympathize with the participants in a personal way.

Because there is no real cure for depression, and there are so many people who suffer from it, anything that helps should be widely utilized and have potentially large application.


1.  Nauert, Rick. “Belief in God Can Improve Mental Health Outcomes.” PsychCentral News. 26 April 2013. Web. 26 April 2013.




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Kevin Giles is a product of Santa Cruz, CA – the stoner capitol of the world. A born again Christian, Kevin loves his Lord Jesus and believes that his purpose in life is determined by God. He first entered drug recovery at the age of 19, suffering from an addiction to marijuana. He is a recent graduate of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, where he earned his Master’s degree in Christian Ministry. Passionate about God’s Word, he aspires to become a pastor or missionary. Kevin has also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Monterey Bay. His interests include traveling, movies, golf, fitness and reading. He also enjoys being outdoors as well as spending time with friends and family. Kevin’s faith, education and life experience give him a unique perspective on addiction, recovery and spirituality.

Filed under: Mental Illness, Research, Spirituality · Tags: depression, faith, God, higher power, mental health, psychiatric illness is operated by Recovery Brands LLC, a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers, Inc.
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