Religious Trauma Syndrome
Posted: 27 March 2013 07:21 PM   [ Ignore ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2243
Joined  2012-10-27

This is an excellent article, worth reading.

Religious Trauma Syndrome: How Some Organized Religion Leads to Mental Health Problems   

By Valerie Tarico, AlterNet | Interview

Groups that demand obedience and conformity produce fear, not love and growth.
 
At age sixteen I began what would be a four year struggle with bulimia.  When the symptoms started, I turned in desperation to adults who knew more than I did about how to stop shameful behavior—my Bible study leader and a visiting youth minister.  “If you ask anything in faith, believing,” they said.  “It will be done.” I knew they were quoting the Word of God. We prayed together, and I went  home confident that God had heard my prayers.  But my horrible compulsions didn’t go away.
 
By the fall of my sophomore year in college, I was desperate and depressed enough that I made a suicide attempt. The problem wasn’t just the bulimia.  I was convinced by then that I was a complete spiritual failure. My college counseling department had offered to get me real help (which they later did). But to my mind, at that point, such help couldn’t fix the core problem: I was a failure in the eyes of God. It would be years before I understood that my inability to heal bulimia through the mechanisms offered by biblical Christianity was not a function of my own spiritual deficiency but deficiencies in Evangelical religion itself.  

Dr. Marlene Winell is a human development consultant in the San Francisco Area. She is also the daughter of Pentecostal missionaries. This combination has given her work an unusual focus. For the past twenty years she has counseled men and women in recovery from various forms of fundamentalist religion including the Assemblies of God denomination in which she was raised. Winell is the author of Leaving the Fold - A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving their Religion, written during her years of private practice in psychology. Over the years, Winell has provided assistance to clients whose religious experiences were even more damaging than mine. Some of them are people whose psychological symptoms weren’t just exacerbated by their religion, but actually caused by it.   

Read the rest at:

http://mobile.alternet.org/alternet/#!/entry/religious-trauma-syndrome-how-some-organized-religion-leads-to-mental,5150f58ed7fc7b567084fb70

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 March 2013 08:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2588
Joined  2011-04-24

hmmm I’m immediately suspicious when reading about newly coined disorders like these.

People like Marlene Winell do not make up the majority of religious indoctrination escapees, and it sounds like she suffered from a few psychological issues to begin with.

I hope many atheists don’t jump on this bandwagon.

 Signature 

Raise your glass if you’re wrong…. in all the right ways.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 March 2013 04:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2886
Joined  2011-08-15

From what I’ve read it appears to be akin to PTSD. The are hundreds of anecdotal reports on the net claiming similar symptoms. She could be on to something but it takes years of peer reviewed studies for a final analysis. The cults do employ similar techniques such as sleep deprivation, confinement, humiliation, starvation, the same techniques used by the military to extract intell. It was first used on captured Ameicans in the Korean War to “brain wash” them, leaving mental scars lasting a lifetime. Also, leaving a cult can be a dangerous task. Just ask some former scientologists.

Cap’t Jack

 Signature 

One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 March 2013 08:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2243
Joined  2012-10-27
Lois - 27 March 2013 07:21 PM

This is an excellent article, worth reading.

Religious Trauma Syndrome: How Some Organized Religion Leads to Mental Health Problems   

By Valerie Tarico, AlterNet | Interview

Groups that demand obedience and conformity produce fear, not love and growth.
 
At age sixteen I began what would be a four year struggle with bulimia.  When the symptoms started, I turned in desperation to adults who knew more than I did about how to stop shameful behavior—my Bible study leader and a visiting youth minister.  “If you ask anything in faith, believing,” they said.  “It will be done.” I knew they were quoting the Word of God. We prayed together, and I went  home confident that God had heard my prayers.  But my horrible compulsions didn’t go away.
 
By the fall of my sophomore year in college, I was desperate and depressed enough that I made a suicide attempt. The problem wasn’t just the bulimia.  I was convinced by then that I was a complete spiritual failure. My college counseling department had offered to get me real help (which they later did). But to my mind, at that point, such help couldn’t fix the core problem: I was a failure in the eyes of God. It would be years before I understood that my inability to heal bulimia through the mechanisms offered by biblical Christianity was not a function of my own spiritual deficiency but deficiencies in Evangelical religion itself.  

Dr. Marlene Winell is a human development consultant in the San Francisco Area. She is also the daughter of Pentecostal missionaries. This combination has given her work an unusual focus. For the past twenty years she has counseled men and women in recovery from various forms of fundamentalist religion including the Assemblies of God denomination in which she was raised. Winell is the author of Leaving the Fold - A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving their Religion, written during her years of private practice in psychology. Over the years, Winell has provided assistance to clients whose religious experiences were even more damaging than mine. Some of them are people whose psychological symptoms weren’t just exacerbated by their religion, but actually caused by it.   

Read the rest at:

http://mobile.alternet.org/alternet/#!/entry/religious-trauma-syndrome-how-some-organized-religion-leads-to-mental,5150f58ed7fc7b567084fb70

I don’t know that there is a “bandwagon” to jump on.  It is just an interesting article about one woman’s experience personally and as a therapist, and her publication. Everything should be looked at skeptically.  I think you may be protesting too much.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 March 2013 07:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2011
Joined  2007-08-09

Whether this is or is not a formally recognized psychiatric syndrome with a DSM classification is of secondary importance. Of primary importance is the damage done by indoctrination during youth. My experience is that of a Roman Catholic boy who was “taught” from before I can remember that if I did not adhere to the dogmas and doctrines of “the Church,” I would be condemned to a fiery hell forever. Notwithstanding that I left “the Church” at age 21, I was in my forties before I completely stopped having nightmares about it. This occurred shortly after my father died: in thinking about who he was, it became clear in a new way that he would never allow someone to suffer in eternal torment with no hope of redemption. As intelligent as I was, this is what it took for the nightmares to stop. I’m 59 years old and mostly it’s behind me but I have no doubt that its effects linger in ways I’m not aware of.

Skepticism is an essential part of Humanism but I wonder whether mid atlantic did any research. There are some peer-reviewed articles on the subject; according to one of them, religious trauma syndrome “is under consideration for inclusion in DSM-IV . . .” I hope that psychologists and psychiatrists will continue to investigate this, because as a lifelong victim, there is no doubt in my mind that this disorder is real.

 Signature 

I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 March 2013 08:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2243
Joined  2012-10-27
PLaClair - 30 March 2013 07:16 AM

Whether this is or is not a formally recognized psychiatric syndrome with a DSM classification is of secondary importance. Of primary importance is the damage done by indoctrination during youth. My experience is that of a Roman Catholic boy who was “taught” from before I can remember that if I did not adhere to the dogmas and doctrines of “the Church,” I would be condemned to a fiery hell forever. Notwithstanding that I left “the Church” at age 21, I was in my forties before I completely stopped having nightmares about it. This occurred shortly after my father died: in thinking about who he was, it became clear in a new way that he would never allow someone to suffer in eternal torment with no hope of redemption. As intelligent as I was, this is what it took for the nightmares to stop. I’m 59 years old and mostly it’s behind me but I have no doubt that its effects linger in ways I’m not aware of.

Skepticism is an essential part of Humanism but I wonder whether mid atlantic did any research. There are some peer-reviewed articles on the subject; according to one of them, religious trauma syndrome “is under consideration for inclusion in DSM-IV . . .” I hope that psychologists and psychiatrists will continue to investigate this, because as a lifelong victim, there is no doubt in my mind that this disorder is real.

I agree.  My own experience has been very much like yours.  I, too had a father who was a devout Catholoc.  He didn’t make overt threats about eternal damnation but the idea was always there.  He was the kind of Catholic who believed in his religion and thought he was doing the right thing by passing it on to his children.  He was a good man and his religion was part of who he was.  I’ve often wished I could have believed in the religion but it became impossible. Breaking away from it gave me a lot of guilt feelings because I knew I was hurting him and that he never could understand why I broke away.  I think he blamed himself and saw it as a failure on his part.

Profile