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I'm just curious how many people out there are BP and still believe in God, (no specific form persay, just a God or Gods)? Personally I believe in some wild and crazy stuff (and which sometimes even changes from day to day). So I often wonder if BP'ers find faith comes easily or not?

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That's a good question. To really find out you'd have to take a random sample of bipolar people, since it could be that people who are religious will be more likely to be interested in responding here, or it could be the other way round, who knows.

I don't know of any relevant research. I went looking earlier this semester to supplement a lecture on religion and psychopathology, and all I could find about bipolar disorder and religion was that when manic people are psychotic they're more likely to have religious delusions than psychotic schizophrenic people are. And religion helps protect depressed black women from suicide.

There's not an actual psychological area of study on religion, so the available research is scattershot when not nonexistent.

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For a long time I really really wanted to believe in God, but I could only try so hard. I think that might have been a bipolar sort of hypomanic obsession. I still don't and I still can't. I don't know if the bipolar gets in the way or not. At this point maybe I walk the line of thinking that there is anything godly or isn't anything godly in existance.

And it bothers me. When I get crazy, there's no greater Thing for me to focus on. I was thinking that might be comforting, if I were to believe in that sort of thing, that is.

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I definitely believe in a higher power and have faith in that. I tend to use the word 'god' because I'm familiar with it. I am attracted to Buddhism, but can't claim to know all about it or practice it regularly. But I really think of it as universal love that people interpret as whatever or whoever they need to believe in. Whatever works for people. I believe I should be a good person--see my signature.

I haven't had an issue as to why 'god' did this to me. I hope that my experiences with this illness can be used to help someone else, even if it is just one person.

Oreo

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i do believe in god, in a higher Source, in a higher power. i'm Wiccan in particular, but you could say i'm Unitarian-Universalist in mentality. i believe that all positive faiths lead to the same Source.

so yes, i believe in god.

sunshine brings up a good point, in that she believes her bp makes her faith stronger. i'm really pondering if it does a thing at all to my convinctions...the only impact faith has on my convictions is that i believe in reincarnation, and if i mess up this life i'll just have another one to make up for it, and i don't want that ;):)

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I'm a Jew and I believe in G-d, I believe He has a plan for my life and anything that comes along to get in my way is part of a challenge from Him that I have to overcome. One of my favourite quotes is "I know G-d will not give me more than I can handle, but does He have to have so much faith in me?". G-d has much more faith in me than I have faith in myself, but it gives me hope that ultimately everything will work out.

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I didn't used to believe, but I had a spiritual expereince when I was manic. It was a beautiful feeling that everything was inter-connected. I've chosen to keep this as my belief. That there is an energy that flows through everything that I call God.

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When I get crazy, there's no greater Thing for me to focus on. I was thinking that might be comforting, if I were to believe in that sort of thing, that is.

Me too. I would so much like to believe and I think it would be very comforting to do so, but I just can't. I call myself an agnostic, meaning that I believe there may be some higher power out there, but I don't feel that any of our religions or spiritualities have really understood or apprehended it. And - please believe I mean no offense to anyone's beliefs, because I don't - but I really believe that if there is some hp, he/she/it is not concerned or involved on a personal level with individuals' lives and needs.

I've tried out a lot of different approaches to religion, some for extended periods of time, including Catholicism (my family's religion), Judaism, Buddhism, Pagan and Native American worship, and even attended a Sufi retreat. (I don't know what, if any, relationship my BP had to this. I know friends and family found my various enthusiasms trying at times.) I find Buddhist meditation extremely helpful and centering, and of course one can practice it without buying into any particular belief system.

I began to question after September 11th. Not the attack itself - human nature being what it is, that was, sadly, not too hard to comprehend, except in its scale. But in the weeks and months afterward, seeing people so desperately searching for their loved ones - and hearing people who had escaped talk about having experienced a miracle, or their families saying "I prayed for them and God delivered them"...didn't they think most or all of the families of those who perished were also praying fervently for their loved ones to be found? I think the people whose loved ones were safe were just talking out of relief, but I started wondering...how come God gets all the credit for the good stuff and none of the blame for the bad stuff? I know different religions have different answers to this question, but none of them satisfy me anymore.

Anyway - I don't mean any offense to any believers, and I certainly respect that we each have our own understanding of these matters. This is just MHO.

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I believe that all good things come from God and that nothing bad comes from God.

During my worst times with Bipolar Disorder, I've raged at and pleaded with my higher power. There have been so many times that I asked why!!!

I don't know the answer to that question but I DO know that God HAS worked in my life. No doubt about it.

I believe that my higher power shows itself best through the love of people. And probably through some animals too. When I feel love from others I mostly attribute it to the God in them.

My highest purpose in life is to love others as best as I can with confidence that love works through me. I believe that my higher power=love and the more I seek God's presence the more I am able to love. For me,. this is a tall order and the most challenging thing I have ever tried to do.

My higher power has helped me with Bipolar II Disorder by the extreme love of a few people.

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I believe in brain and behaviour, but I don't believe anyone else should or should not believe that. So with respect to my disorder, I believe that any spiritual, meditative, or athletic activity that promotes blood flow and neuronal activity in key regions of my brain is beneficial. Simply put, I believe spirituality/religion is all in your own head but its ALL GOOD no matter what form you practice.

We have brain stems and mid-brain structures just like reptiles and other mammals respectively. What sets us apart from all other animals is these huge frontal lobes that we have. It is now scientific fact that certain areas of the brain are way lit up through positive meditation, prayer, acts of love and compassion, as well as certain "athletic" activities like Ti Chi, yoga, etc.

Even before globalization, virtually every culture on this planet has had some form of spirituality. If you believe in evolution this directly implies that spirituality provided an evolutionary advantage to the gene pool. Please note it doesn't matter what religion, just that some religion is beneficial for our survivial as a species. Morality also falls into this. Confuscious, for example, was the first written example of the Golden Rule and 500 years or so later Jesus said the same thing. A good moral law requires no religion, but it fits nicely in a religious context as well.

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Adaptations are successful because they lead to the genes that make up those adaptations being more widely-replicated than others. I'd rather they were successful because they promoted the welfare of the group, but they don't. They do, on the other hand, bring about prosocial motivations because others tend to behave better toward you when you are acting prosocially for non-self-interested reasons. So people will be motivated to give for the sake of giving, and will get back useful returns even though that's not the psychological motivation that caused them to do it.

There's some fun cognitive science looking at religious beliefs as arising from cognitive capacities that did not develop for religion, but for other things like thinking about others' beliefs and intentions. I recommend Justin Barrett's "Why Would Anyone Believe in God?" although I do not recommend the last chapter to people who are easily offended, because Justin is religious and wanders out of science and into pro-monotheistic advocacy in the last chapter. The preceding chapters are good, clear, unbiased summaries of research.

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Adaptations are successful because they lead to the genes that make up those adaptations being more widely-replicated than others. I'd rather they were successful because they promoted the welfare of the group, but they don't. They do, on the other hand, bring about prosocial motivations because others tend to behave better toward you when you are acting prosocially for non-self-interested reasons. So people will be motivated to give for the sake of giving, and will get back useful returns even though that's not the psychological motivation that caused them to do it.

There's some fun cognitive science looking at religious beliefs as arising from cognitive capacities that did not develop for religion, but for other things like thinking about others' beliefs and intentions. I recommend Justin Barrett's "Why Would Anyone Believe in God?" although I do not recommend the last chapter to people who are easily offended, because Justin is religious and wanders out of science and into pro-monotheistic advocacy in the last chapter. The preceding chapters are good, clear, unbiased summaries of research.

In terms of pure genetics, these adaptations would of course have to lead to some sort of desire for more sex, as well as reproductive efficiency. It's entirely possible that religious dogma (e.g., "Be fruitful and multiply" in Christianity) and general spirituality would engender one to try and have children.

...

And as for me personally, I'm a deist (believing in God as the force that drives everything in the universe) who's agnostic to God's Theistic abilities (i.e., whether God really cares about humans). My spirituality doesn't have much to do with my bipolar, anyways. My hypomanias are mild and my mixed states are brief (<2 days). And I'm fairly sure it had nothing to do with my depression, though who knows, something subconscious could be going on here. My mother is very superstitious (in a general Buddhist sort of way) and believes in karma, the evil eye, etc., and sometimes that briefly rubs on to me.

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I believe. Or, try to. Of course, my belief comes from a lifetime--well, a lineage, really. It has nothing to do with bp. It's family. Generational. Deep and rooted. One might think, being steeped in it from birth, it would come easy--but it really hasn't. And, to an outsider or nonbeliever, of course it's all "wild and crazy" (or just fucking stupid).

But it's been there from, shit, before I was born. And it'll be carved on my headstone, by God. My faith comes hard, if at least in part because it's attacked by the world at large. But never because of bp. If anything, faith gives me firm ground to take on the challenges that bp throws at me--in the very darkest times I had, I can truly say my faith and my Church were my guiding light.

Of course there's also that damn tenacios, pissy bastard part of me that won't let those other fuckers win. But the one can't get to the end without the other.

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I've spent many years looking for an explanation for the things I feel and see and now feel comfortable with Paganism and Buddhism. I didn't grow up in a religious house but did attend a couple of C.O.E schools. I've never "jelled" with Christianity or the other major religions.

When I was really manic I believe I was a God and could change weather, control people etc.

I believe everything is connected like a web. (Like Chief Seattle said) And my illness gives me the ability to see that. Plus talking to my animal guides and stuff.

At the atomic level we are just waves/particles of energy. But belief systems and how we act is what makes us human.

Hawk

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I believe in reincarnation and a universal source for everything. There is actually a book: Journey of Souls by Michael Newton that resonated with me. I have faith that there is more, but I just can't accept a single solitary individual as a god. It just doesn't make sense to me. I believe that you make your own choices and nothing is "making it alright" except for yourself. I did try to believe in the Christian god for awhile; but it just didn't fit. I don't know if religion has any slant in MI.. but for me personally; I seek to find the truth in things just as I seek the truth in my own mind. I just never found anything that convinced me that God existed. The rest is just pure speculation.

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