The perceived impact of Christian beliefs in coping with depression.
The association between the experience of depression and the use of religious coping methods has been widely researched in recent studies. However there is a dire need in this area of research in South Africa. Further most of the previous studies have been quantitative in nature limiting the subjective aspect of the depressive experience. The current study was undertaken to explore the perceived impact of religious beliefs on the individual's coping with depression. The sample used was a convenience sample of Christians from various denominations with a history of depression or a current diagnosis of depression. A semi-structured interview was conducted to collect the data from volunteers who agreed to participate, and a thematic analysis method was used to analyze the data. The findings of the research revealed that the use of religious coping methods can have both beneficial and detrimental effects on the individual's experience of depression. Conversely it was found that depression can also have both positive and negative impact on the individual's faith. Furthermore this study has highlighted the importance of the individual's appraisal of their depressive experience which in turn influences the form of religious coping methods (either positive or negative) that would be used.