Spirituality and its essence affects mental health in a number of ways. It plays a significant function in assisting people in sustaining a positive mental health and also help recover from mental health problems as the case may be. Although, Spirituality is a universally acknowledged concept, it is viewed by people differently and in diverse manners. Basically, it involves the belief and faith in a higher power and this forms a core aspect of an individual’s identity and purpose in life.
Spirituality and mental health are entities related together such that spirituality can help an individual in terms of emotional stress, mental disorders, pain due to loss etc. Spirituality focuses more on the healing of the individual and not just on the ailment or condition. Spirituality also provides a faster and more effective recovery of the person by concentrating more on recognition of strength and will to get better. Also, spirituality can instill a feeling of being attached to a bigger personality than one self hence, providing an extra effort to the individual’s mental strength in solving mental health problems.
People have diverse spiritual beliefs and this tends to influence their choice of mode of receiving support or treatment of mental health issues. Putting the spiritual needs of such people at a higher pedestal can help provide support for their recovery and help them make the best out of their mental health predicament.
However, it is important to note that spirituality doesn’t always have a positive effect on the mental health of people. The effect of spirituality depends on the individual’s beliefs and if such a person’s belief system is the one promoting negative tendencies such as hatred for other non-believers, this affects the thinking orientation and can lead to increased stress causing mental health disorders. Also, people tend to feel they are being chastised anytime they experience health difficulties or problems and due to this, they avoid getting treatment and this is turn leads to emotional distress and sometimes loss of life.
There are situations where patients would rely entirely on spirituality to solve mental issues and refuse to take treatment. For instance, a patient undergoing treatment for a mental disorder and discovers there is a slight improvement in the state of the illness and decides to stop the treatment because the patient believes he or she is healed. This may later aggravate into more serious mental health problems.