Online forums

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please complete your profile

Complete your profile

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community.

Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

Join the online community Community rules Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Forums / Anxiety / Need advice over ‘religious’ support which is not helpful to me

Topic: Need advice over ‘religious’ support which is not helpful to me

10 posts, 0 answered
  1. Budgiebird
    Budgiebird avatar
    11 posts
    2 October 2021
    I suffer with severe anxiety and panic as well as several chronic health conditions. I live with my elderly mother. She is a kind, sweet woman but obsessed with religion. This is not an anti religion post. Although I no longer feel I have a faith I absolutely respect anyone who does.
    My problem is when I get upset with anxiety or feel desperate over my chronic illnesses her response is always something like ‘You need to turn back to God’ or ‘ Do you know the next life is forever so maybe you need to talk to a priest’ . I know she believes this and she is not deliberately saying it to upset me but it makes me more anxious and stressed when her only words of ‘support’ relate back to religion. What can I do ?
  2. George_K
    George_K avatar
    9 posts
    3 October 2021 in reply to Budgiebird

    Since you said priest I'm going to assume your mother is Roman Catholic. If not then perhaps you can still adapt this.

    Anxiety, stress, and chronic illness were not unknown to the ancients and many of those in the Bible endured periods of suffering, the cause of which was not always clear to them. Would it be possible to talk to your mother by drawing parallels between your own health issues and those found in Scripture? Job for instance lost his wealth, his family, even his health, and not because of wrongdoing on his part. Jesus sweated blood He was so stressed at the agonising death ahead of Him. Alternatively you could look at Roman Catholic saints - I'm assuming some endured health issues and hardship too. Without knowing the specifics of your health situation - no I am not asking, it's hard to draw exact connections or parallels, or provide advice.

    Or am I misunderstanding the issue, and it's really not about your health but rather your mother focusing on your eternal future while you're struggling with the here and now of your health?

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3219 posts
    3 October 2021 in reply to Budgiebird

    Hi Budgjbird!

    I have a friend who does what your mother does - makes everything that happens about religion when he knows I'm not religious. It's super annoying.

    I think all you can do is say to your mother that while you know she means well and is trying to help, in fact you are not religious and that much as you appreciate it, she's not being helpful to you.

    Is there anyone else you can talk to about your illness and problems? A good friend or another family member? Do you have a good doctor?

    If your mum is going to continue with this I would be trying to get support from someone else who won't push their belief system on you, especially when you're already upset and anxious.

    It must be frustrating for you.

    People here will be happy to support you if you'd like to talk more here.

    I hope things pick up for you!

    🙂👍🐦

    1 person found this helpful
  4. tranzcrybe
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    tranzcrybe avatar
    619 posts
    3 October 2021 in reply to Budgiebird
    Sometimes such words can come across as blaming you for your condition and this is very hurtful - 'Because you don't do this, it's why you suffer that', whether intentional or otherwise, nothing could be further from the truth. God didn't seek revenge on you and, if anything, it is those who suffer who are the more worthy.
    1 person found this helpful
  5. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    15310 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to Budgiebird

    Hello Budgiebird, and I appreciate those who believe in religion, however, only some family from my ex's side used to do exactly the same, not all the time, only when I used to see them, and all it only wanted me to do was leave.

    If that's how they feel and they shouldn't be inflicting their thoughts of religion on me, and even if I had similar thoughts, it might be a different type of religion and intruding on what I believe.

    What it does is take away how you are feeling and replace it with an invisible belief that someone pretends will help you, rather than addressing the real problems and how to resolve them.

    Circumstances have created these situations and no religion has either caused it or can fix it.

    I'll leave it there.

    Geoff.

    2 people found this helpful
  6. Budgiebird
    Budgiebird avatar
    11 posts
    5 October 2021 in reply to George_K

    Thank you George ,

    I think your last paragraph summed it up - it does come down to my mother focussing on my eternal life rather than the chronic pain and suffering I endure each and every day with my chronic illnesses plus the anxiety that goes with that. While she thinks she understands I guess because she can’t actually feel the physical symptoms of my health battles she can only focus on life after death.

  7. Budgiebird
    Budgiebird avatar
    11 posts
    5 October 2021 in reply to Hanna3

    Hi Hanna

    Thank you for your reply. Yes I do have a good gp and psychologist and some close friends I talk to regularly.
    I think I need to start to rely on them for support when I’m stressed and upset more than my mum as I can’t change her beliefs and it only gets me more stressed.

  8. Budgiebird
    Budgiebird avatar
    11 posts
    5 October 2021 in reply to tranzcrybe

    Thank you tranzcrybe.

    I appreciate your reply. Nicely put and worth remembering. :)

  9. Budgiebird
    Budgiebird avatar
    11 posts
    5 October 2021 in reply to geoff

    Thank you Geoff ,

    Yes. Religion cannot help with me my illness. I’m going to try hard to ignore any religious comments in the future.

  10. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    15310 posts
    7 October 2021 in reply to Budgiebird

    Hello Budgiebird, sometimes when people have this belief, they can become very persistent, as the religious people I've been with have.

    Geoff.

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up