Could spirituality and religion promote stress resilience in survivors of childhood trauma?
Trauma is a precursor to many mental health conditions that greatly impact victims, their loved ones, and society. Studies indicate that neurobiological associations with adverse childhood experiences are mediated by interpersonal relationships and play a role in adult behavior, often leading to cycles of intergenerational trauma. There is a critical need to identify cost effective community resources that optimize stress resilience. Faith-based communities may promote forgiveness rather than retaliation, opportunities for cathartic emotional release, and social support, all of which have been related to neurobiology, behavior, and health outcomes. While spirituality and religion can be related to guilt, neurotic, and psychotic disorders, they also can be powerful sources of hope, meaning, peace, comfort, and forgiveness for the self and others. This article provides an overview of religion and spirituality as they relate to the neurobiology of resilience in victims of childhood trauma.
Brewer-Smyth, K; Koenig, HG
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