From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
A study finds people who more strongly felt a sense of purpose and meaning in their life, and people who regularly attended services, were less likely to report having had depression.
Joanna Maselko of Temple University says the socializing in religious services could help against depression. And she says people who are not depressed may feel a greater sense of purpose.
But people who most expressed spirituality as a relation with a higher power were slightly more likely to report depression. Maselko can’t be sure why, but she thinks depression drew some people to spirituality:
``They use it as a coping mechanism, in that they start to pray, or think about God, and so they develop that relationship for support.’’ (7 seconds)
The study in Psychological Medicine was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011