For Anxious Young Adults, Religion Can Be a Wellness Tool, Says New Study

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For Anxious Young Adults, Religion Can Be a Wellness Tool, Says New Study



(RNS) — Lieryn Barnett sometimes is so depressed, all she wants to do is sleep, she said. 


Other times, she’s so full of energy, she’ll be up in the middle of the night, singing or playing guitar. Or her mind will race at the same time her body won’t have the energy to do anything. 


All are symptoms of the bipolar disorder Barnett was diagnosed with when she was an adolescent.


Medication and therapy have helped her deal with the condition, the 29-year-old said.


So has her faith. 


“Christ gives your life value, purpose, hope and eternal security. Without that hope I probably would not be here today,” said Barnett, a member of Two Cities Church in Winston-Salem, N.C., who has written about her experiences with bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety.


A new study by the Christian research firm Barna Group suggests that Barnett may not be alone in her anxiety — or in finding that faith can be an asset when dealing with mental health concerns.


“The church and institutions of faith need to be emotionally connected and places that are able to handle the kinds of emotional, mental health, anxiety-oriented questions that this generation is bringing to them,” Barna President David Kinnaman said. 


The study, released Tuesday (Sept. 10), is the research firm’s largest and its first global look at what it calls “the connected…

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