Are you mental?

Atheism, secularism & freethought etc.

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Atheists: Have you ever had a psychological condition?

I'm not Atheist
6
4%
Yes, I am on the autistic spectrum (Priority over the other yes option)
6
4%
Yes, I have suffered depression/anxiety, bipolar disorder (or related), and/or schizophrenia
49
35%
Yes, I have another condition outside the psychological "norm" (specify)
6
4%
No
74
52%
 
Total votes : 141

Re: Are you mental?

#21  Postby purplerat » Apr 20, 2010 2:22 pm

Paul1 wrote:
Fallible wrote:I've found that the more I know myself the more peaceful and positive I become.

Me three

Seems like a waste of time

Well it indicates the blog is probably wrong, given the statistics. I agree statistics alone are meaningless. The fact remains that the suicide rate among Atheists, for one reason or another, is higher than that of theists. I my mind, it's important to find out why that is. I won't say whether it is or isn't because we don't have faith, because without a study we won't know.

If I were to do a psychology degree, which I am contemplating, I'd get the opportunity to study this.

I don't doubt that statistically suicide amongst atheists is higher but there are a couple of reasons that jump right out at me. First of all are religious beliefs about death by suicide. A religious person may be less likely to kill themselves if they believe they will be punished for doing whereas an atheist does not have that additional incentive not to commit suicide. This doesn't mean that a religious person is by any means happier or more mentally sound just that they are less likely to go through with suicidal intentions.

Also as a former Catholic I realize that a lot of suicide amongst the religious (particularly Catholics though) gets under reported due to the religious beliefs around suicide. People with religious beliefs about suicide are probably more likely to redefine a suicide or attempted suicide as an accident or something else to avoid the religious consequences of suicide. That's not to say that there's no stigma against suicide in the secular world that might lead to suicides being reported as otherwise but just like the religious belief adds incentive not to commit suicide it also adds incentive to cover up suicide.

I don't think suicide numbers really mean much in terms of how mentally sound the religious are versus atheists. Some people may even choose to end their lives for mentally sound reasons and an atheist would be more likely to do that than a religious person.
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Re: Are you mental?

#22  Postby rJD » Apr 20, 2010 2:54 pm

I had depression in my early 20s but I was not then an atheist (I was completely agnostic), nor did I identify as atheist until several years afterwards, since which point I've never suffered from depression.

Since "mental illness" can include a vast swathe of the population if it is inclusive enough to include depression, and since some religious people would go to their preacher/congregation for support in lieu of counselling and so never be diagnosed as having depression, I'm not sure how significant the results of the poll should be considered.
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Re: Are you mental?

#23  Postby Fallible » Apr 20, 2010 3:15 pm

Right. It may be that depressed Christians are encouraged to pray, converse with God, attend chucrh or simply wait out any dark times because God has his reasons for putting them through the mill. As you say rJD, they may never go to a doctor for a diagnosis.

I also agree with what Purple Rat puts forward regarding theists' attitudes towards suicide.
John Grant wrote:They say 'let go, let go, let go, you must learn to let go'.
If I hear that fucking phrase again, this baby's gonna blow
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Re: Are you mental?

#24  Postby Propagangster » Apr 21, 2010 12:26 am

I don't have a mental illness that I know of, though there are times when I feel like I'm surrounded by people who do have them, so I guess you could say that I have bouts of paranoia but I prefer to think I'm lucid.
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Re: Are you mental?

#25  Postby byofrcs » Apr 21, 2010 2:21 am

The odd thing about suicide is that some studies show it is also seasonal with peaks in the summer/high daylight hours times. We've also see trends down since the '70s (or here) in the UK (whilst Church attendance has gone down too).

The one thing that people probably ignore is that in the past 100 years whilst secularism has risen in the UK, infant mortality rates have plummeted from 140 per 1000 to 6 per 1000 and life expectancy has near doubled. Given that suicide in the UK is on average of just over 11 per 100,000 and falling then I think secular society is doing well, people not only have a greater chance of living to start with they are living longer.

So many ways of spinning these statistics, they'll make you go mad.
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Re: Are you mental?

#26  Postby Mac_Guffin » Apr 21, 2010 2:57 am

I have been depressed at a couple points in my life, have a mild form of OCD, and I used to get panic attacks.
I have never been suicidal though, even in my darkest hour.
Part of it is fear of death and part of it is curiosity and the certainty that I won't always feel depressed (Well, except for the 1st time I became depressed. I feared that I'd always feel like that.).
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Re: Are you mental?

#27  Postby Beatrice » Apr 21, 2010 3:05 am

I need more than one option for this one.

Aspie/depression/other stuff :shifty:
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Re: Are you mental?

#28  Postby Paul G » Apr 21, 2010 3:30 pm

Depression as a result of a physical illness, whether contracting the virus was a result of me being an atheist is yet to be discovered. Probably because it's so fucking unbelievably retarded nobody has seriously looked into it.
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Re: Are you mental?

#29  Postby Mister Agenda » Apr 21, 2010 9:01 pm

Why is everyone so interested in our suicide rate and not at all interested in our murder rate?
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Re: Are you mental?

#30  Postby byofrcs » Apr 21, 2010 11:02 pm

Mister Agenda wrote:Why is everyone so interested in our suicide rate and not at all interested in our murder rate?


Because this is a statistic that Christians use against secularism whereas murder rates do not correlate so Christians can't abuse murder statistics to show correlation.
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Re: Are you mental?

#31  Postby Paul1 » Apr 22, 2010 12:09 am

Mister Agenda wrote:Why is everyone so interested in our suicide rate and not at all interested in our murder rate?

Because the population of prison inmates who are proclaimed Atheists is hugely low compared to the percentage of Atheists no in prison. Then again, most people who murder and get caught can't be too bright.

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The sudden blip among men... happened around the time Labour got into power. The next blip seems to be happening again at a time of party change.

The suicide rates look pretty continuous to me. Perhaps the statistics were based upon a study too selective.
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four. If that is granted, all else follows.
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Re: Are you mental?

#32  Postby shh » Apr 22, 2010 12:46 am

Insanity is part of the human condition, it's just whether or not you're the same kind of insane as most other people.
wiki wrote: despite the fact that chocolate is not a fruit[citation needed]
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Re: Are you mental?

#33  Postby Imagination Theory » Apr 22, 2010 1:04 am

I suffer from severe unipolar depression, OCD, and other anxiety disorders.
Я пью за разоренный дом,
За злую жизнь мою,
За одиночество вдвоем,
И за тебя я пью, -
За ложь меня предавших губ,
За мертвый холод глаз,
За то, что мир жесток и груб,
За то, что Бог не спас.


Андре́евна

אני מתגעגע הביתה
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Re: Are you mental?

#34  Postby juːtoʊpiə » Apr 22, 2010 6:44 am

Mister Agenda wrote:Why is everyone so interested in our suicide rate and not at all interested in our murder rate?

Because the murder rates put us in a favourable light.
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Re: Are you mental?

#35  Postby blackarmada » Apr 22, 2010 10:10 am

Dunno, never went to a psychologist before. Though i feel i like i just don't belong sometimes.

To think that there's a purpose to life (As in some entity that decide that for you), now THAT is true insanity.
財也大, 產也大
後來子孫禍也大
若問此裡是如何,
子孫錢多膽也大,
天樣大事都不怕,
不喪家產不肯罢
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Re: Are you mental?

#36  Postby GreyICE » Apr 22, 2010 1:13 pm

I've been assured I'm ADD, and I've had a bout or two of depression, so I'll throw my hat into the 'abnormal' ring. Not that I think anyone is particularly normal.
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Re: Are you mental?

#37  Postby Mac_Guffin » Apr 22, 2010 4:57 pm

I haven't been properly diagnosed, but my former therapist said I might have a bit of ADD.
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Re: Are you mental?

#38  Postby Jack Rawlinson » Apr 22, 2010 9:18 pm

I'm as sane as the next man. You can ask him if you don't believe me. His name is Nigel and he's invisible and only three inches high, and he rides around on my shoulder. He'll tell you.
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Re: Are you mental?

#39  Postby rJD » Apr 22, 2010 9:22 pm

Jack Rawlinson wrote:I'm as sane as the next man. You can ask him if you don't believe me. His name is Nigel and he's invisible and only three inches high, and he rides around on my shoulder. He'll tell you.

Nigel says you're a mad bastard. :ask:
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Re: Are you mental?

#40  Postby br0k3nglass » Apr 22, 2010 9:24 pm

"Being healthy just means you have the same diseases as everyone else"
Isn't life a hundred times too short to live it - in a state of boredom?
- Friedrich Nietzsche
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