Anxiety, anxiety disorders, spirituality and religion

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The article provides a brief overview of the literature on religion and anxiety. Then, in a discussion of two case vignettes, an impression is given of how religious and spiritual issues interact with anxiety in the clinical (psychiatric) situation. In the final part it is indicated how these religious and spiritual issues may be addressed. It is concluded that the subtler language of existential concerns requires a broad and encompassing approach to diagnosis and treatment.

Key points
• There are associations between religiosity/spirituality, general psychological well-being, anxiety and anxiety disorders
• Shared practices and having meaning and purpose in life tend to be stronger predictors for psychological well-being than the content and strength of one’s beliefs
• It is recommended to look for relationships between three levels of conceptualization: the level of daily worries and concerns, the level of psychopathological forms of anxiety, and the level of existential forms of anxiety
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-625
Number of pages5
JournalSouthern Medical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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