New research from Rush University in Chicago suggests that belief in a caring God can improve people's response to treatment for depression. Previous research has suggested that religious belief can help prevent people developing depression in the first place but this is the first study to show that it can help people recover more quickly from it. The study of 136 adults diagnosed with major depression or bipolar depression found that those with strong beliefs in a personal and concerned God were more likely to experience an improvement. Participants who scored in the top third of the Religious Well Being Scale were 75% more likely to get better with medical treatment for clinical depression. The improved response of the people with a belief in a caring God was not linked to feelings of hope engendered by religion but was tied specifically to a belief that a Supreme Being cared.
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