Being a woman and having a good church attendance may be the solution to avoid suicidal thoughts and its related symptoms.
Compared to the ladies that never got involved in church activities, those who attended the service at least once a week were proven to be five times less prone to commit suicide.
The psychiatric study involved case reports that monitored women starting with the year 1996 until 2010.
The population of the survey was composed of nurses that declared themselves to be Catholic or Protestant. Even if this is a very particular group, the suicide rate was half when compared with the risks in the general population of US women.
Out of the 89,708 participants with ages from 30 to 55 years old, only 36 committed suicide over the 15 years.
The church attendance was not the only factor involved in the study. The researchers observed that there were differences between the Protestant and Catholic women. It seems that the Protestant women were seven times more likely to commit suicide than the Catholic ones.
For women with a regular church attendance and that were lucky enough to be Catholic, the suicide risk was zero. The 6,999 Catholic women who went to church more than one time every week presented no suicidal events in the 15 years of the monitoring.
Scientists say that the suicide risk is not connected to the religious identity, as the Catholics who never went to church were as prone to self-annihilation as the general population.
It seems that only church attendance could actually help decrease the suicide risks. This is considered to be a form of social participation with a profound spiritual meaning. Women are protected from isolation and loneliness, which are both important factors in depression.
The authors of the study explain that the results encourage psychiatrists and clinicians to explore the importance of religion, spirituality and the related practices for patients that suffer from anxiety and depression.
CDC recently published a report showing an increase in suicide rates in the last two decades. Women with ages between 45 and 65 years old were the most vulnerable group.
The Catholic Church considers suicide to be a mortal sin, but in the last years, the approach became softer and more understanding towards people with suicidal thoughts.
It seems that Emile Durkheim was the first psychiatrist to discover the connection between religious practices and mental health benefits. The idea is almost a century old.
However, the new study may have an impact on the way mental health care providers approach spirituality and religion with their patients.
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