How are Psychological Disorders Perceived and Addressed in Psychological Settings vs. Religious Communities?
Andrea Ham Psychology and Religion How are Psychological Disorders Perceived and Addressed in Psychological Settings vs. Religious Communities? The question of how psychological disorders are perceived and addressed through a psychological lens versus a religious lens is vital to the maintenance of a mentally healthy and stable society. In some communities, mental illness is stigmatized and connotes a negative stereotype in the eyes of the public. In some Chinese communities, for instance, mental illness is considered a punishment that resulted from the sins of one's ancestors. In the Ultra-Orthodox community, mental illness is also stigmatized in a manner that lowers one's social stature and affects various aspects of one's life such as being chosen for an arranged marriage. Due to the existence of these societal pressures, people may feel socially burdened to such an extent that they will refuse to seek treatment due to their anxiety of admitting that they are plagued with such a disease. In fact, it has been discovered in recent research that ultra-Orthodox Jews share a tendency in the avoidance of attending mental health clinics due to their fear of being stigmatized by their community. (Greenberg & Witzum, 2001) A similar trend can be found in religious Christian communities in which prior to the 18th century, individuals suffering from mental illness were cast