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

Are you mental?

#1  Postby Paul1 » Apr 19, 2010 5:55 pm

Having read Seth's blog (nontheism/atheism-a-genetic-defect-t5351.html), I am interested by his implied proposition that religion provides a necessary mental construct. Whether he did imply it or not, it doesn't matter.

I started a topic on Richard Dawkins' forum which provided scientific evidence that the suicide rates among Atheists was much higher than those of mono-theistic religions. NOTE that we cannot say that this is due to an innate lack of mental well-being constructs among Atheists, just as we cannot say that being gay means you lack mental constructs. Both groups suffer from persecution so this could be a contributing factor towards mental illness. Also it might be that Atheists, as scientists, are more aware of any conditions they might be suffering from, as they do not necessarily subscribe to the idea that we think completely freely.

I'd like to see how many Atheists here have suffered a mental condition or are suffering now. NOTE AGAIN, it means nothing without also comparing the results to mental illness among religious people...but I am curious. I might go to a religious board and ask permission to create a poll there.

I hope no one is hesitant towards the poll. As Atheists we should never fear the statistics, we like reality.
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Re: Are you mental?

#2  Postby paceetrate » Apr 19, 2010 5:59 pm

We may like reality, but we've also learned to be wary of people waving polls around. :roll:
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Re: Are you mental?

#3  Postby ymitchell » Apr 19, 2010 6:30 pm

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Re: Are you mental?

#4  Postby Sphynxcat » Apr 19, 2010 6:34 pm

As someone famous (I can't remember who, sorry) once said: the fact that a religious person may be happier than a non-religious person is no more to the point than the fact that a drunk man is often happier than a sober one.
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Re: Are you mental?

#5  Postby Ash » Apr 19, 2010 6:48 pm

George Bernard Shaw I believe :scratch:

And no, no mental illness for me.
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Re: Are you mental?

#6  Postby purplerat » Apr 19, 2010 7:31 pm

I don't think there's much value in analyzing pure statistics in mental illness between the religious and the non-religious. Since much of what we define as mental illness is based on what we consider normal it's hard to compare two groups which have a fundamentally different understanding of what reality is. Even in defining mental illness I think you would find a difference between the two groups and I would suspect a person who's reality is based on reason would be more likely to seek/admit to a diagnose of mental illness where as a religious person might just blame their feelings on not being right with God or whatnot. Suicide is a particularly bad indicator because of how religious people may view it versus non-religious people. Both in whether a person attempts suicide and whether or not it's reported as such can be drastically affected by religiosity without any bearing on the persons mental well being.
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Re: Are you mental?

#7  Postby Wiðercora » Apr 19, 2010 9:17 pm

As far as I'm aware, I've not had any mental illness.
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Re: Are you mental?

#8  Postby Fallible » Apr 19, 2010 9:54 pm

Yeah, I've had depression and anxiety, also appendicitis, tonsillitis, a gum abcess and an ovarian cyst.
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Re: Are you mental?

#9  Postby Thommo » Apr 19, 2010 10:00 pm

Seth's blog wrote:The authors wrote, “These results suggest that religious conviction provides a framework for understanding and acting within one’s environment, thereby acting as a buffer against anxiety and minimizing the experience of error.” The researchers suggest that religion provides a method for people to reduce the stress and uncertainty of life and a way to focus on stress-reducing thoughts while suppressing inconsistent thought patterns, which helps to reduce judgmental errors.


Basing a poll on a poorly written blog which obviously twists the conclusions of some pretty nebulous studies?

Seems like a waste of time (selection bias will in itself destroy any vestige of drawing a statistically valid conclusion).

You might notice that the central premise of the blog post in the second underline in the above extract is not actually drawn from the first underlined section, which is what the authors of the study actually claimed.
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Re: Are you mental?

#10  Postby Mr P » Apr 20, 2010 6:48 am

A prolonged bout of depression following a number of deaths in the family which has been alleviated (partially) by my new-found skepticism and the knowledge and support of this community :thumbup:

Honesty can be brutal at first but ultimately beneficial.
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Re: Are you mental?

#11  Postby juːtoʊpiə » Apr 20, 2010 7:02 am

Anxiety here. Mental illness does not neccessarily factor into the disparity in suicide, though; I imagine that someone who doesn't believe they will be judged for their actions after they die would, in ceteris paribus, be more likely to kill themselves than someone who does.
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Re: Are you mental?

#12  Postby byofrcs » Apr 20, 2010 9:44 am

I have depression/anxiety every day when working on problems but the beauty of my particular reductionist-methodical-naturalist-anarchist model is that I find that I am able to work out solutions and this process is getting faster.

I've deliberately spent the last 4 years seriously questioning my understanding of the world around me (I'm a life-long atheist from as long as I remember being been alive but have never integrated it into understanding the world around me). This is where Dawkins' book "The Blind Watchmaker" really kicked me when I read it back in the late 80's. Since that time there has been this underlying depression that you get when you are working on a problem but you can't see a solution. It's a hell of a lot clearer now.

Every day science adds to an ever increasing foundation of knowledge that supports humanity though inevitably every day some religious nutter pisses against the wall and then tags it on some blog. What they haven't yet realised is just how obsolete they are.

So I ticked 'No' as I was an atheist for a long long time before I actually worried that I was an atheist.
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Re: Are you mental?

#13  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Apr 20, 2010 9:48 am

As everybody knows, I am barking mad! :grin:
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Re: Are you mental?

#14  Postby Cassiopeia » Apr 20, 2010 9:55 am

Depression and also a bit of anxiety here, but that is not related at all to my being a believer or not.

To me, it´s rather about age and experience - my depressions were worst in my twenties - I´ve always had a depressive personality whether I still believed in God at a certain time or not, and it is much, much better nowadays actually, the older I get, the better. I´m one of these people who just looove getting older. :)
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Re: Are you mental?

#15  Postby Fallible » Apr 20, 2010 10:00 am

I've found that the more I know myself the more peaceful and positive I become.
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
Into a million itsy bitsy tiny pieces, don't you know,
Just like my favourite scene in Scanners .
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Re: Are you mental?

#16  Postby Cassiopeia » Apr 20, 2010 10:01 am

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



Ditto!!! :mrgreen:
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Re: Are you mental?

#17  Postby byofrcs » Apr 20, 2010 10:31 am

Is the next step then to bring out a "dummies" book for what we took the hard way around in discovering so that the rest of humanity doesn't have to worry as much and can get on with life - kind of like a Unix man page for the human condition.
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Re: Are you mental?

#18  Postby Tsuyoiko » Apr 20, 2010 10:42 am

I'm neuro-atypical and proud of it! :dance:
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Re: Are you mental?

#19  Postby Paul1 » Apr 20, 2010 1:57 pm

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.
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Re: Are you mental?

#20  Postby natselrox » Apr 20, 2010 2:20 pm

Tsuyoiko wrote:I'm neuro-atypical and proud of it! :dance:


Neurodiversity FTW! :thumbup:

Edit: I am too afraid to look into myself.

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