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Does Christianity Cause Mental Illness?

Schnorr, Marcia

Journal of Christian Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/CNJ.0b013e3182785f09

ABSTRACT: At the time this article first appeared in JCN, religious beliefs were a concern in psychiatry. Some thought religious attitudes, beliefs, and rituals were symptoms of mental illness, and religious ideation and delusions could be caused by religious beliefs. This article explores how distorted Christian beliefs and practice can contribute to poor self-image, negative feelings, guilt, and thus mental illness. However, rightly understood, Christian faith and practice enhance mental health.

In Brief

At the time this article was published in 1984, concern about religious beliefs versus true pathology was an issue in psychiatry. Can Christian beliefs impact mental illness?

Author Information

At the time this article originally appeared in JCN Marcia Schnorr, MS, RN, CCRN, was a nursing instructor at Kishwaukee College, Malta, Illinois, and a staff nurse at Rochelle Community Hospital in Rochelle, Illinois.


Reprinted from JCN, Volume 1, Number 1, Spring 1984, pp. 24-26.

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