Stop Walking on Eggshells

When someone in your life has borderline or narcissistic personality disorder

Can Prayer Cure Mental Illness?

A new study finds that many people believe prayer ALONE can sure mental illness.

In this article in The Guardian, a new study says that religious Evangelicals largely believe prayer can cure mental illness instead of medical intervention.

Lifeway Research, a Christian organization, found that 35% of Americans and 48% of those who identified themselves as evangelicals believed that people with serious mental disorders can overcome their illnesses with "Bible study and prayer alone."

Of the 1,001 people surveyed, 35% of Americans said they believe in the statement: "With just Bible study and prayer, ALONE, people with serious mental illness like depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia could overcome mental illness."

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Of the respondents who self-identified as either born-again, evangelical or fundamentalist Christian—48% agreed.

The megachurch pastor Rick Warren addressed the issue earlier this week, the first time he has done so since his son Matthew committed suicide in April. Warren, who founded Saddleback Church with his wife in 1980, a group that now boasts 20,000 weekly worshippers, told CNN that he hoped to reduce stigma about mental illness.

Pastor Rick Warren said that his son suffered from borderline personality disorder and depression. Matthew Warren had also been forcibly admitted to a mental institution and attempted to overdose on pills ten days before his suicide.

"If love could have kept my child alive, he'd be alive today, because he was incredibly loved," Warren said.

Warren and his wife Kay said their son had access to good healthcare but they had some issues with laws designed to protect patients. "The right to privacy and that right to autonomy, it's a dance," she said. "I don't have good answers. It's a dance. So we've got to do a better job with that."

Have you tried prayer to not only cope with your situation, but to effect a cure for borderline personality disorder? Does it seem more likely for religious people to seek medical attention for diabetes or a broken leg, but use prayer for mental health? If so, why is that?


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Randi Kreger is the co-author of Stop Walking on Eggshells.


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