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Symptoms of religious content on psychiatric patients

BACKGROUND: A number of studies have identified the role of religion in personal life, social relationships, attitudes and values related to health and mental illness. Moreover, religious personal experience has been proved to contribute to the genesis and configuration of psychiatric symptoms. Few empirical studies have investigated in Brazil the interaction of religiosity and psychopathology. OBJECTIVE: The study aims to evaluate the relationship between mental symptoms of religious content, social and cultural factors and general psychiatric symptoms. METHOD: A number of 200 consecutive admissions in a General Hospital psychiatric in-patient unit were reviewed. In order to identify symptoms of religious content, a specific item was added to the BPRS-extended form. Statistical significance was considered above the 0.01 level. RESULTS: Moderate to intense symptoms of religious content were present in 15.7% of all patients. No significant interactions were identified between religious affiliation, religious commitment and psychiatric diagnosis. Strong correlations were found between religious content and symptoms of the manic spectrum. CONCLUSIONS: Although the descriptive design of the present study refrains further conclusions, the results indicate that the relationship between manic symptoms and religious experiences should be further investigated in future studies.

Religion; psychopathology; manic symptoms; culture

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