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If you have depression, did atheism contribute to it?

It did for me. Mainly on the subject of death. Like, when my grandmother died, and my old dog had to be put down, and even going to funerals to be moral support for friends or family, it’s hard for me to live with “I/they literally will never see them again” I don’t think I’ve ever fully coped with it, but I’d be more upset with myself believing in an afterlife as an easy way out.

DaisyLove94 4 July 28

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57 comments

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0

Wow, sorry it affected you that way. I got depressed later I think, but not worrying about going to hell has probably made me slightly less depressed, if anything. I take it you didn't worry about that outcome? What religion were you raised in?

Carin Level 8 Aug 1, 2018

I was raised catholic but I’m convinced it was for show because we weren’t a “mass on every Sunday” family. I was baptized and got put through communion and confirmation but no one really cared so it was just a label. I never feared an afterlife even though people said there was one. I just went about my day not worrying about anything. That was growing up, as an adult I worry about everything lol just not religion

5

Sorry about your losses. Atheism did the opposite fof me. I ditched all the reliance on prayer, faith, and a supposedly benevolent god. There was a little more to it, but yeah, it definitely helped me to be the happy fucker I am today. Depression is no joke, so I hope you find your way out.

I think the finality of life makes it all the more important. It’s always easier to comment as the third party, because I know if certain people in my life died, I’d be lost.

Marz Level 7 July 29, 2018
5

I have dealt with depression. Atheism has nothing to do with it.

4

Atheism makes me happier. I'm free to think for myself, including how I regard death. @birdingnut makes a good point.

Death is always hard. Grief is normal and shows that you are a fine, caring person.

4

Religions make me depressed. Antiquated social and economic and political theory depresses me. The continuing scourge of racism, overt and otherwise, depresses me. The inexcusable greed of some elites depresses me. The inevitable elevation of scum to the highest levels of business and politics depresses me. The continuation of nonsense from the Bronze Age and people's belief in it depresses me. All these things and more make me depressed. But my atheism? No.

3

Religion caused depression for me. It went away when I stopped believing.

Mermaid911, I can relate to you. The Mormon religion really intensified my depression after another member in my ward killed my daughter. The church said the killer was not to blame, even though she was convicted of reckless driving, because it was all "part of god's plan."

3

For me atheism alleviated a lot of my death related anxiety and depression. I think it's different for everyone. By any interpretation of Christianity, it was likely that my mother was not exactly a saint. I mean, she was to me. But I'm a realist. Her death left me questioning if I even believed in hell. I concluded I did not. It was my first step in honesty to myself. But I wasn't really sure, and that maybe, what if, hung over my head. In relegating my religious upbringing to the past and simply living, I found myself able to bring my mother to the afterlife I do believe in. The one where lessons taught and love given continue to live on in memories of loved ones. Finding my way to that vantage point has been a massive relief.

3

I experienced times of deeper depression because of religion. Religion that taught me for years that praying hard enough miracles happen. I never had a miracle. I thought I wasn't praying hard enough. If you had no miracle to erase the problems in your life you were not worthy. God's punishment was what ever disaster you were having at the moment.
It was pure Catholic hell living that way.
Once I removed organized religion from my life my spiritual walk improved which actually helped with my depression.

3

No. I see the world for what it is: a space in time complete with wonderful experiences and sometimes extreme hardship. I suffer from depression, but most of that is caused by situations outside of my control - if humans weren't so stupid, I would be fine. Sometimes I wish that I could believe in bullshit, but I can't.

2

Whatever gets you through Daisy. You don't have to answer to anyone but yourself about what you would like to believe. You may see them again. We don't know. Rationale is great if you have nothing on your mind but sometimes rationale can cause unnecessary neuroses. And in the words of the cartoonist Ashleigh Brilliant from the late 60's I think. "I've given up my search for Truth and now looking for a good fantasy!"

2

I think being atheist, it was more comfortable for me to reach out for help with my depression, versus blind faith.

I wonder about that! As we atheists have more logical minds, we may be able to see various mental illnesses as more similar to physical illnesses, with biochemical causes rather than moral failing or lack of willpower or character. What do you think?

2

No. On the contrary. No more fears and no more guilt.

2

I think I was more depressed as a Christian than as an atheist. I did not like being a sinner who had to beg forgiveness of a god I had not wronged. I also never had a religious epiphany as so many claimed to. I went to a church full of speaking in tongues and whatnot, so I was not compatible with their beliefs. Especially when I talked about the parts of the Bible where people doubted--their view was that Jesus showed Thomas the holes in his hand as a rebuke, rather than evidence, for example.
I am definitely better off now.

2

Yes it has. My limited social circle was very religious. Becoming agnostic pretty much cut that circle off including family. Hard not to take it personal. But it also showed me the people who truly do care for me as a person

2

NO. Besides, who says everything ends when we die?

Einstein taught us that all matter is a form of energy, so since energy can neither be created nor destroyed, we have always existed and will always exist in some energy form, and quantum physics already tells us different dimensions exist.

"For physicists, the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion." -Einstein

2

nope life did

weeman Level 7 July 29, 2018
2

I never believed there could be a afterlife. It's a far fetched concept that isn't possible. I've had depression from a lack of coping skills in what was happening in my life, be it child abuse, cheating husband, or a sexist supervisor. I don't think believing in a fantasy afterlife would have helped me cope with those situations. Being an Atheist gives me strength and keeps me grounded. All I needed to escape depression was believing in myself more.

2

I first experienced depression in my 20s. Single, in the Army, not a good fit, not at all doing anything career wise that I was interested in.I wouldn't have said I was a xian then, I was pretty flighty back then. I experienced depression off an on for several years in my 30s and 40s, while I was trying to be a good Xian. And I have had anxiety and depression off an on through my 50s while being openly atheist. So, no connection for me between religion or lack thereof and depression.

2

I do and it didn't. In fact, atheism helped to relieve my depression a bit.

2

Somewhat. But I'm also introverted, so I don't make that many friends or connections anyway. Being an atheist hasn't help with getting dates, so some of my depression and loneliness are contributed to atheism.

1

My atheism and depression run concurrently. I don't think one caused the other, but I think it would be naive to assume that there isn't some kind of correlation.

1

Though I don't have depression, I do think being an atheist does make coping with death harder. For me anyway. That's about the only time I "wish" I believed. I believe that belief in "seeing them again" makes it easier for many.

That’s pretty much how I feel.

1

No I have always been an atheist never been a theist - depression is something that hits everyone at some point. I think I had to sort of 'get ' the world and how it works - Yes people let you down they die they don't keep their promises etc.etc. and we learn how to cope in such a world as this is all there is. I think truly getting a life is when you achieve some measure of self confidence and build on that get stronger 9not harder ) just stronger enough to take the knocks because it is all so random. One day you have a dog the next day not - you learn to grieve and so it goes ... you learn all the time how to deal with living.

jacpod Level 8 July 30, 2018
1

I've been an Atheist since I was a baby I have no basis for comparison

1

Ohferpetessake. You will never see approx. Half of them again if you do "believe" because some will not be going where you are, and It's So comforting to think about them in eternal torment, right? Plus no dogs, cats, etc. have souls, according to religion, so they're gone forever too. Get a grip! This is the fuzziest of thinking, and not even mostly true!

1

No...people murdering animals is the main contributing factor. Abusing them, exploiting them, terrorizing them, and murdering them.

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