Religion Better for Mental Health Than Sport, Study Finds

Researchers from the London School of Economics (LSE) and the Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands studied the impact of various social activities on depressive symptoms in older European people. They found that participation in religious organisations was associated with a decline in depressive symptoms, while being part of a political or community organisation—such as a local branch of a political party—had a detrimental effect on mental health. Membership of sports and social clubs had short-term benefits, but did not lead to a decline in depressive symptoms in the longer term.

Cool story! Thanks for sharing.:slight_smile:

I work in mental health and am very pleased to see this. I don’t think it is the first study over recent years, i saw another where it said that religion is psychiatry’s ‘best kept secret’. Possibly the reason it remains a secret is that within our very please all politically correct society (particularly in a field of work where you are caring for vulnerable people) you must watch what you say lest you find yourself being accused of trying to push your views. You straddle a thin line when the subject of religion comes up. I had a tricky situation a few weeks back when a young Muslim patient asked me outright if i was a Christian and then tried to convert me to Islam. Still it is good news that religion is being more recognised.

Wait, I thought sport WAS religion? lol

Only in Spain, and certain other South American countries… and only if the sport is Soccer. (I don’t know how to spell ‘football’ correctly… what accent is it that they use, the line about the o, right?)

Visit Minnesota sometime. High school hockey is a religion the same as American Football is in Texas. lol

As a Texan I… can’t really argue with this… it’s kind of frightening really. Not as bad as they make it seem in movies, but wow…

:eek: I thought they couldn’t put anything in movies that wasn’t true? Or was that the internet…lol

I’m surprised Art Rooney, Sr. hasn’t been elevated to sainthood yet in Pgh. When I was a kid back in the 70s, our pastor would tell us, with appropriate awe and reverence, how Mr. Rooney put a $20 bill in the basket every Sunday morning. And I don’t know how the priest knew this because the Rooneys weren’t in our parish.

Because he only saved their football team, not hockey or baseball.

Interesting. I suppose that political party membership was supposed to be a control for the social benefits one has by existing within a community. Judging by the article not everyone accepts that.

I’m surprised that the article hasn’t touched on the fact that many devout religious people view suffering in a different light. Religious people may experience depression less because they can turn lemons into lemonade better than those without religion. Religious communities have also been helping cope with these issues for thousands of years. This might be the mental health equivalent of natural, indigenous medicine.

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