Religious faith after psychotic illness

Psychopathology. 1998;31(5):234-45. doi: 10.1159/000029045.


Religion can play an important role in the lives of psychiatric patients. We assessed how often a psychotic illness can lead to a change in the strength of religious faith and how commonly religion is used for coping with such illnesses in a sample of consecutively admitted patients. 52 patients with psychosis were interviewed regarding their religious beliefs after their index admission. 69.4% of the patients were religious, and 11 (22.4%) stated that religion was the most important part of their lives. 30.4% of the sample described that there had been an increase in their religiousness after the onset of illness. 61.2% of patients were using their religion for coping with the illness. Such patients had a better insight into their illness and were more compliant with antipsychotic medication. We conclude that the experience of a psychotic illness is likely to lead to an increase in religious beliefs. Such beliefs are commonly used for coping with the illness and some patients attach a great importance to them.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology*
  • Religion*
  • Self Concept