For millions of people in the United States mental illness is a very real problem. Though, for most, medication is the main treatment, therapy can offer a chance to really come to terms with what they are suffering through and teach people how to cope and live as normal a life as possible. Some of the most effective forms of therapy are groups. Their effect can be amazing.
However, for some of us, there is a barrier that keeps us from being able to engage in these groups. In many of these groups, one of the first steps is surrendering to a higher power. I can’t do that. I am an atheist. I have never believed in any higher power. Not to mention, I do not like the idea that I can’t accomplish this on my own.
Where these groups should be encouraging strength in one’s self, to me, they are actually telling you that you have no real power over your mental health. That you are in fact weak and must rely on the grace of some god. Like I said, for many this does work, and I respect that. But i feel the relapse is sometimes inevitable for a large section, because they have been told they are powerless to change without some outside source.
I think its important for people to seek help in a way that they feel truly helps. But, we need more religion free groups. I’ve been looking for a group for myself, and in North Carolina, it seems damn near impossible to find one that is not somehow religious.
I want to get better, but feel that would be impossible through a group who’s core tenant is something that I believe is demonstrably false. I can’t move forward if I can’t buy into the program completely.