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Does having an MI influence your religious beliefs?


Does having an MI influence your religious beliefs?  

243 members have voted

  1. 1. Has your MI influenced your religious beliefs (think in general)

    • My MI has lead me to a more devout life w/in my house/tent/bubble of worship
      41
    • I'm as religious as I was before being diagnosed
      38
    • I am less devout mostly because of my MI
      26
    • I've given up on religion mostly because of my MI
      34
    • I'm more devout for reasons that having nothing to do with MI
      21
    • I've lost my taste for religion for reasons that have nothing to do with MI
      53
    • I was never religious in the first place and am still not
      65
  2. 2. What is your religion? (in no particular order)

    • Atheist
      63
    • Agnostic
      31
    • Unitarian Universalism
      5
    • Hindu
      1
    • Shinto
      3
    • Buddhist
      9
    • Islam
      1
    • Judaism
      8
    • Catholic
      18
    • Protestant
      31
    • Pagan
      16
    • Mormon
      3
    • Episcopalian
      3
    • Confucianism
      0
    • Rastafarianism
      0
    • Deist
      2
    • Spiritual w/o a formal religion
      26
    • Satanism
      5
    • Sikhism
      0
    • Other
      21


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It certainly makes me question my spiritual beliefs.  I once talked to God and it was a very comforting experience.  Came to find out later that I was in a state of psychosis at the time.  It seemed so real.  Sigh.  I suppose I'll find out when I die.  *shudder*

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I was raised Catholic but I lost a lot of my faith during a long low. I find it hard to believe anything good about the universe because I mean, why would a good god give us these problems? and some of my headmates have different faiths. we've got a catholic, an atheist, and I think a pagan up here. so I call myself agnostic for now

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I grew up in the pentacostal church. Ive had extreme anxiety and panic attacks for as long as I remember. My father still believes too this day that my MI is really demonic opression and the church always had a very clear stance on depression being a lack of faith in god. For that and many other reasons I rejected christianity in high school.

quite recently ive become very interested in paganism and started reasearching it (though I still dont know much about it seeing as how this "obsession" came from mania and getting my facts right wasnt important at the time) but ive felt a sort of spiritual communucation with the native american diety kokpelli. I became utterly obsessed and pagan ritual type things (or my perception of it.) Was all I could think about. now that I have come down from that mania and have the perspcetive too know it was a mania of course I question the legitimacy of those exeperiances.

So I guess in summary..having been through pychosis in the past..and how real those experiances seem..it might also be hard for me too completely trust any kind of religion.

But who knows? I may reavaluate if I gain more stability.

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  • 1 month later...

When psychotic I often believe universal delisions like I am recieving messages from Jesus Christ and/or God or that I am a witch and practise black magic. This doesn't translate into being a devout follower of Christianity or the occult, respectively, it just translates into crazy actions based on these beliefs - such as acting like Ann Frank re-incarnated because God told me I was her or moving every object in my room around and thinking this is somehow harnessing magic powers. It usually wears off pretty fast with the right AAP.

So religion can be turned on in a person just by altering of chemicals and chemical pathways in the brain (I am an atheist usually). So what is religion really but a universal delusion? Like love it's just a bunch of chemical reactions in our body's nerve centre.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Although I consider myself a Christian, I do not believe in organized man made religion. Because it is man's interpretation and dogma it is full of flaws. What I do believe is that I am a spirit being having a human experience. It is all about ones personal relationship with God, not the name over the door of the church a person attends.

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Growing up, I wasn't exposed to religion at all. My dad is an atheist and my mom is a Christian, but back when I was a kid she didn't practice her religion or go to church and I didn't even know she was a Christian.

 

So I kind of improvised with regards to religious beliefs. If I were more charismatic, I could totally start a cult because I have enough crazy, made-up beliefs to write a bible of my own.

 

I think the MI definitely influenced this since it gave me a lot of existential angst and anxiety, which forced me to come up with a belief system that could combat the angst/anxiety.

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  • 4 months later...

i was raised catholic

in the past i have gone from agnostic to born-again christian to atheist back to agnostic

when manic i sometimes believe that i am a prophet chosen to save the world

 

Wow, this sounds like me (bar the Catholic to born again, etc bit) I was not raised religious but my parents are protestant background (they had to go to church, etc but chose not to when old enough to not do everything their parents told them), became born again during late primary school for some comfort as wasn't getting it from my folks.  It helped me for a while but the depression and anxiety never went away.  One time after a stint with a cult that was cut short by my folks, thankfully, I was going through a manic phase and thought I was meant to save the world too! Wasn't the first time and I hadn't thought about it till I saw this old thread.  Wow, I really did have manic phases (most likely am now) and I still haven't been officially diagnosed by a pdoc - last pdoc I saw didn't think I had bipolar at all.  OMG, you really need to find a sensible, switched on pdoc, don't you!? Some of these "quacks" are nuttier than some of us! Guess it takes one to know one. 

 

Nowadays I am a solitary, eclectic neo-pagan animist/pantheist thingy, can't really give a certain title to it but I love nature, believe spirit or energy is in everything/everyone and not "out there" or "up there, in heaven". 

 

I was originally raised Muslim, though I had major difficulties with it. Never felt like Allah was "Real" to me. I read the Koran and looked for Him. I abandoned Islam in my teens and started exploring. The Baghavad Gita, the Bible, Pagan books, Buddhist books, everything.

For a time I identified as Wiccan/Pagan but then realised that magical thinking and OCD do NOT play well together. I still do ritual once in a while, but I no longer do spellwork. I keep an altar and "feed" my crystal each day, and that's it.

The closest I've felt to a genuinely spiritual connection - to something Other - was actually after my first EMDR session. We created the "safe space" and to my surprise, there was a person in there with me. Not a real person, but an archetype, a pseudomythic character if you will. I recognised him as resembling my imaginary friend from childhood, and he radiated this incredible energy of safety, kindness and love. I can feel him there - in my safe space, he's there all the time now. I don't know what to call that experience, but I'm grateful for it.

 

Although there could be a degree of possible psychosis or something here, I think you are very fortunate to have found this being in your safe space, and who cares if he is real or imaginary, if he helps you?! I think that is cool, as long as you don't lost touch with reality completely (a little doesn't hurt as the world, as it is, sucks quite a lot and fantasy worlds are a handy coping mechanism at times).  :)

 

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I was brought up christian, but loosely as my family have never really been hardcore about it... I guess for a lot of them it was just easier to say they were christian than to think about religion. I fought against it for years because of certain individuals in my life at the time, I was adamant that I wanted nothing more to do with it ever because it just didn't make sense to me yadayada.

 

I accidentally found paganism. My MI influenced me to follow the earthy route, I do have names of deities that I pay tribute too but I think of them as metaphors, like naming the wind rather than thinking of them as thinking beings. Maybe I'm more of an energy person? It's calming to focus on it in times of MI instability but I don't think either paganism or MI have interfered with each other?

 

I came to realise I couldn't care less what other people believed in so long as they weren't in may face trying to convert me. Leave me in peace and I shall do the same.

 

My brain isn't really thinking straight right now.

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  • 1 month later...

I would say mi had caused me to lose the confidence to practice my beliefs because if I have an mi then it would cal into question what among my beliefs are vulnerable to the influence of the mi, I suppose. I have benn a studier rather than practitioner if thee occult for that reason, I tried to only reisy in empiricism to build boundaries for myself. Does not always work. I am stil afraid that my mi is not mi but years of psychic attack.

I still practice banishing rituals anf where certain objects to protect myself from that attack and I wonder if when I become reunited with my beliefs if that is progress or regression. I am afraid to talk about it and be judged so I only tout science. Inside I have a totally different landscape of beliefs. I feel bettet banishing entities myself than I feel on the medication they give me for my anxiety, so I wonder if myt snxiety is a manifestation of something else. my therapist said he does not totally reject the possibility of a metaphysical side to our reality anf that my diagnosis is a pigeonhole.

My boyfriend was angry that he said that but I found it rather liberating. I have been more comfortable lately pursuing my beliefs because I think there is room for them. My rituals make me feel safe and powerful and no one can disprove them anymore than they can prove my mi. its not something I would share with family or doctors but its something I hold close in private...my mi probably plays a role and vice versa, they are both validly true and untrue to me. It helps me cope so I find it symbiotic

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  • 5 months later...

I think MI has played a small role in my beliefs.

 

I was casually raised a Methodist, turned atheist at 11, became Christian again for about 8 months when I was 18, then agnostic. I've just been studying religious and spiritual systems my entire life. I believe in a lot of Buddhist philosophy and follow that now. Buddhist practices such as mindfulness are often found in modern therapy. I also practice different forms of yoga. I don't believe in an anthropomorphic deity in the sky watching over us - but I do believe that reality has energy (prana, chi, ki, life energy) that makes up existence.

 

A couple years ago I was simply on Wellbutrin, no other drugs or alcohol. I meditated heavily before I fell asleep. I woke during the night, outside of my body. The best I can describe in English written terms is that I was pure white, blazing light - it was me, I was it, I was in it, it was all I could see. And I was all-knowing; the answer to every question I knew as I thought it, I understood reality and existence and the answers to life's questions of meaning, I felt immense power and clarity and I was infinity. It was amazing, although I suspect it didn't last very long. As I became more aware, I realized I wasn't in my body and that is the moment when I was ripped back into my body. It was an intense vibrating sensation, and then there I was, back in my body, thinking WHAT THE FUCK, what the fuck, what the fuck. I was in sleep paralysis and I couldn't move for a few moments. Movement came back to my body slowly.

 

I just don't know what to make of this experience. I was back to perfectly normal upon waking up, so it wasn't like I was going around in psychosis or delusional, right? I mean, I wasn't even IN my body! So how could it be mental illness??? It baffles me to this day. Was it the Wellbutrin? I'd been on it for a year without having other OBEs.

 

But the experience did make me think twice about the fact that just because in my physical body as a human I can't know and understand everything, doesn't mean there isn't some greater meaning out there. I mean, we can't see radio waves, but we know they are there, right? Perhaps we just haven't developed all the instruments that will become accessible to humans in the future that will tell them quite a bit more than we know right now.

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I am less religious, but I am closer to God as a result of having my mental illnesses. I have had some very sour experiences with churches because of what they teach, but I have been convinced of the existence of God for over 24 years, and my relationship with Him is stronger because of what He has carried me through.

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I have become more religious as a result of my problems.  I grew up in a nominally Christian household, but didn't start thinking seriously about my faith until after I had my first major episode of anxiety/depression.  I credit my faith to getting through my toughest times.  Were it not for a belief in a God that heals and a higher purpose to life, I would have simply given up and chosen suicide.  But because of my faith, I feel that no matter how dark things get for me 'this too will pass' and some purpose will eventually come out of suffering.

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It's complicated.

I was raised Catholic but exposed to lots of faiths. We lived on the road, mostly Mexico and Central America, but also Europe, India, and Asia. The idea that any one religion was the whole picture never made any sense to me.

My religion at this point comes down to compassion and respect for people and the beauty of the universe. Religion is about the relationship between me and not-me.

Where my MI comes into the picture...

Back in 2001 I had a pretty bad round of depression and possibly PTSD. I went on wellbutrin and had good results. Before that, I thought I was my mind. But when I lost my mind, it became obvious that my mind is not me. And how much of that me or that mind is me vs how much is the little blue pill?

So... Less certainty, more compassion, less knowing, more looking. And I'm giving that compassion to the bald monkey in the mirror as well, because it is an animal I am responsible for.

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I was raised in an agnostic household. Most of my siblings are atheists, though the ones who aren't are all practicing pagans of different stripes. I identify loosely as Satanist, and, though spiritual, revere no god (except the purpose and composition of my own spirit).

 

I don't know that I would necessarily be considered a "proper" modern Satanist of the LaVeyan stripe. All my studies have been alone. I've never spoken to another person about it. But I have found the Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth comforting and supporting. I've had a cold and lonely life in many ways. I've spent a long time in pain and confusion. I've found some comfort in reassuring myself that, as long as I'm not hurting anyone who's not hurting me, it's not only all right for me to be who I'm called to be, that's my "sacred duty," if you will: to keep an open mind and strive always to be more true to my innermost self. I also feel like, in striving, I've become a better person to others. In focusing on becoming my whole self without apology, I find that when I reach out to help others, it's from a heartfelt place instead of anxious obligation, so my offerings are better.

 

 

I'll say that I've focused on practice more in the last few years, though I've held these beliefs for awhile. It could be argued that I lean on practice more the worse I struggle. It's a good balm to tell myself that every struggle matters.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I was somewhat spiritual growing up. I had a belief in a deity, and believed in a lot of new-agey type things. Prayer, ritual, reiki, spiritual energy... things like that.

While my MI didn't directly cause me to abandon these beliefs, it indirectly helped to dismantle them for me. As my MI became more apparent, I began researching more and more about it and about how to treat it. In doing so, I increased my level of scientific literacy as well as my interest in the sciences. The more I explored the world through a scientific lens, the less I came to believe in spirituality and the existence of a deity. Scientific explanations for "spiritual" phenomenons just made more sense than explanations involving gods and spirits. Suddenly, there was no God. At least in my mind and understanding of the universe.

I am sometimes envious of those who are religious, as I understand that it can be a great comfort for some people. Churches/mosques/temples/synagogues are also a good place to find community for some people. I feel like, could I bring myself to believe in a deity, attending a church/mosque/temple/synagogue would help me to find a place in my community. (For reference, I live in a city where I only know two people. All my friends live at least a few hours away.)


That said, I do mix a bit of Buddhist philosophy with my atheism. However, the Buddhism is more of a meditation practice for me than an actual religion. And I ascribe to some Buddhist moral beliefs. I would go to a Buddhist temple if I could (I used to attend one when I lived in Boston and it was wonderful), but where I live now doesn't really have any sort of Buddhist centers. We have a shitty "Buddhist meditation center" that charges $35 per meditation session and has no affiliation to any Buddhist sects or organizations, and is just someones way of making cash off of people searching for "inner peace" or whatever.

 

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