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Faith and Religion Protect us from Depression


What does the faith of a person depend on? Is it the heart or a momentary need that it feels, or the conscience, or maybe the upbringing? According to scientists - it doesn't depend on any of the above.

Faith depends on the shape of the brain, and more specifically the thickness of brain tissue, as was found out in a recent study. Those persons who are more spiritually inclined have a thicker brain tissue, as opposed to others, state scientists categorically.

In the experts' view, this fact may help prevent the occurrence of depressive states in religious people. A recent study proved that there is some connection between spirituality and brain tissue. However, this does not confirm that a thicker brain necessarily makes people become religious.

"The beliefs that we have, and the moods that we bear definitely have an influence on the brain and by using new techniques for processing the images, scientists can study and see all of this, " believes Dr. Myrna Wasserman, who works at Columbia University.


Scientists are positive that our belief in a higher power can increase our resistance to depression. Those who are at a higher risk of falling into depressive states have a thinner cerebral cortex when compared to those that have a low risk of depression.

The experts carried out a study - they surveyed a total of 103 people, all between the ages of 18 and 54. They were asked how important religion was to them, how often they went to a temple or church in the past 5 years and others.

Beside the answers to the questions, the scientists wanted to find out the thickness of their cerebral cortex. For this goal, the brains of the participants were photographed.

All of the participants were descendents from volunteers who were examined in past studies, again related to depressive states in people. Scientists suppose that knowledge of religion and spirituality are linked to a thicker cerebral cortex. The link turned out to be strongest in people that have a higher risk of depression.