New research in Brain and Behavior shows the world a different perspective on the role of spirituality and religion. The study consisted of 99 participants, after narrowing it down from 122, from three generations in a family.
The researchers separated the candidates into two groups – those suffering from a major depressive disorder (MDD) and non-depressed individuals. They made sure that people in the latter category didn't have any family history of mental illness. The study started in 1982, with the aim of understanding how religion and spirituality impact the development of depression in individuals.
They found people who follow these belief systems have lower chances of suffering from depression. Religion and spirituality bring about positive changes in the microstructure of the white matter, which is responsible for handling communication in the brain.