Espiritualidade e Sociedade




Larry Culliford

>     Healing from Within: Spirituality and Mental Health

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Larry Culliford
>  Healing from Within: Spirituality and Mental Health

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Mental health is much more than the absence of mental illness


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Introduction

The concept of spirituality is inclusive and affects everybody. It overlaps with that of religion, but unlike spirituality, religion is potentially divisive and adopted only by some. By permitting consideration of ‘secular’ spiritual activities and short-circuiting destructive arguments about beliefs, a valuable perspective can be applied to the whole field of mental health care.

Comprehensive research evidence shows that religious and spiritual beliefs and practices (see Box 1) help prevent many physical and mental illnesses, reducing both symptom severity and relapse rate, speeding up and enhancing recovery, as well as rendering distress and disability easier to endure. Especially important is that religious and spiritual factors can significantly affect the presentation of mental disorder. Furthermore, psychiatric patients have consistently identified spiritual needs as an important issue, and spiritual care as contributing to symptom relief and general well-being. It follows that psychiatric care should routinely include a careful and sympathetic assessment or ‘spiritual screening’.

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