Religious Trauma Syndrome

This month’s issue of the Human Givens journal has a cover article on religious trauma syndrome.

Stevie Noah describes the Christian fundamentalist upbringing that left her with religious trauma syndrome and how human givens is providing a framework for moving on.

In early 2009, I hit the lowest point in my life. I was suffering from severe depression. Searching on the Internet, I ran across a book called How to lift depression … Fast by a pair of UK psychotherapists who suggested that maybe I was depressed because my emotional needs weren’t being met. It was the first time in 40 years of life that I ever considered that I had emotional needs and that it was good and healthy for me to meet them.

I had grown up in a religion, in an environment, in which I was indoctrinated to put God first, everyone else second, and myself a distant third. I was innately sinful, deserving of death, deserving of hell, were it not for the grace of God and the mercy of Jesus. No wonder I was depressed.

I’ve heard therapists say that if someone is caught in an abusive relationship, one of the most powerful things they can do is to start doing things for themself, to start taking themself seriously. And this book suggested something similar for my depression, that I start engaging with life in a positive way, that I start taking my own emotional needs and my own mental health seriously.

I attribute that shift in perspective with helping me ultimately escape Christian fundamentalism. That’s the turn that redirected me to where I am today.

I haven’t read the article yet. But imagine my reaction when I discovered that this month’s Human Givens Journal has a cover article on religious fundamentalism and the trauma it causes.