What Constitutes a Spiritual Awakening?

When we have the first sip of a drink, or whiff of a drug, it is then controlling our bodies. Once we indulge in the first drink, our judgment and normal concerns are skewed. The Idaho bill comes in response to a number of cases throughout the country in recent years of teachers and students facing disciplinary action for expressing Christian beliefs about gender. Religious parents may not pay sufficient attention to signs of scrupulosity in their children because they are occupied in taking pleasure in their child’s religiosity.

When these physical, mental, and spiritual components come together, an individual with alcohol use disorder will be rendered powerless to arrest a vicious cycle of obsessions, cravings, and alcohol abuse. Spiritual malady can trigger feelings of irritability, restlessness, and discontentedness. The overall sensation can feel like crawling out of your own skin. These feelings can become unmanageable – more on the unmanageability of life for alcoholics below.


In support of the latter notion, theorists have speculated that psychopathology could impair religious functioning and give rise to spiritual struggles (Hill & Kilian, 2003). Although the present study may provide a window through which to view relations between religious cognitions and PTSD symptoms, they may be very different for a sample of combat-exposed veterans who go on to develop chronic, debilitating PTSD. While we believe that the present study represents an important contribution to our understanding of the intersection of trauma and spirituality, particularly given the paucity of information on this topic, it has limitations that must be considered.

  • Now, the inability to stop drinking or using is the allergy part.
  • Our results indicate that clinicians must recognize that religious and spiritual beliefs may be present not only as a resource but as a negative force in the face of stressful life events.
  • Once you’ve found something that you can believe in, it’s important to remember that your Higher Power is there for you when you need it.
  • A sense of disconnection from oneself, nature, or a higher power.
  • Practicing prayer and meditation helps us be mindful of our surroundings and gain consciousness of our spirituality by bringing us closer to our higher power.
  • Thoughts like we can eventually manage our lives while in active addiction.

In these situations, I feel further from God than normal and then I wonder who moved me or God and the answer is always me. Spiritually, we have a difficult time connecting to a higher https://ecosoberhouse.com/ power. It is common to find yourself being angry at God or saying things like “if God was real this wouldn’t have happened to me” or not understanding why things are the way they are.

Practice Makes Perfect

Practices such as meditation, prayer, or connecting with supportive spiritual communities can offer solace, guidance, and a sense of connection to something greater than oneself. It is important to note that spiritual practices and beliefs should never replace professional mental health treatment. Instead, they can complement and enhance the established therapeutic interventions, fostering a more comprehensive approach to mental wellness. Spiritual maladies can significantly impact personal relationships, often leading to a breakdown in communication, understanding, and connection. When individuals are grappling with spiritual imbalances, it can make it difficult to be fully present in relationships and establish meaningful connections with others.

  • Specifically, spiritual struggle may be part of victims’ maladaptive cognitions and emotions about the causes and implications of traumatic events.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous often makes reference to the publication of WIlliam James, “The Varieties of Religious Experiences,” which was published in 1902.
  • In fact, negatively-valenced reappraisals of the traumatic event may fail to reduce the current perceptions of threat by merely redistributing the threat from human forces to spiritual ones.
  • But first, it’s crucial that you understand the difference between a spiritual experience and a religious one.
  • They may start to skip meetings, distance themselves from their support system, and eventually relapse.
  • And unless this malady is recognized, and a course of action (the Twelve Steps) is taken to enable God to remove it, the root of our alcoholic illness can lie dormant and burn us when we least expect it.

We assessed exposure to trauma and non-trauma events during the first year of college, spiritual struggle due to the most stressful event, and PTSD symptoms resulting from the index event. Spiritual struggle partially mediated the relationship between trauma and PTSD symptoms. These results suggest that spiritual struggle is an important cognitive mechanism for many trauma victims and may have relevance for cognitive therapy for PTSD. This study presents ways in which spiritual struggle reflects negative personal meanings for stressful events and provides evidence that struggle can facilitate the development and maintenance of PTSD symptoms. Specifically, spiritual struggle may be part of victims’ maladaptive cognitions and emotions about the causes and implications of traumatic events.

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Such awakenings need not involve religion or “finding God.” In a general sense the experience relates to recognizing and beginning to internalize a connection with that which is beyond self. Some people have an image of an instantaneously life-changing event—the equivalent of being struck by a bolt of lightening or being spoken to by a burning bush (a la Moses) or some similarly dramatic and unmistakable occurrence. They may anticipate a sensational event that will forever change their lives, permanently elevating them above the routine din of the daily grind, and giving them the secret to ongoing happiness.

Future studies should measure baseline spiritual struggle, to examine whether change in struggle predicts change in PTSD. Though spiritual struggle is generally thought to arise as a result of significant adversity, spiritual struggle due to non-traumatic stressful events could serve as a diathesis for PTSD to a subsequent traumatic event. Additionally, although the mean time between the index event and assessment of struggle and symptoms was four months, some participants may have experienced their event so recently that time was insufficient for the event to have observable effects (Maxwell & Cole, 2007). Parallels between spiritual struggle and established (secular) negative cognitive responses to potentially traumatic events clearly exist, as does a small body of literature associating spiritual struggle with greater PTSD symptoms. However, research elucidating the character and directionality of the relationship between struggle and PTSD symptoms is needed.

The Spiritual Malady

While a sense of spiritual emptiness is an experience familiar to many people, it is extremely common for those who struggle with addiction. While the absence of spirituality in no way causes addiction, it is generally accepted that addiction has a spiritual malady spiritual component. This acknolwedgement led to the incorporation of spirituality as an important ingredient in the process of recovery, and provides an important intersection between Western psychology and psychotherapy and twelve-step recovery.

  • On page 62 the text explains that “Selfishness-self-centeredness!
  • Despite still having the occasional struggles with mental health, Bryan strives to be a little bit better a person each day.
  • Today’s guide explores the spiritual malady meaning in the context of 12-step recovery groups like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous).
  • When people become too self-reliant, they often start to think that they don’t need AA anymore.

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