The Psychology of Fasting (New Research Findings!)

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I take a look at the brief history of fasting in our world and the various spiritual practices and faiths which engage in the practice of voluntary starvation for self-restraint, spiritual oneness and intercession. I also document three research articles qualifying the psychological impact of fasting neurologically, cognitively and from a well-being perspective (life satisfaction and mood). Be sure to leave comments on your Ramadan or fasting experience. How have you found it to benefit or impact your mental health?

Three articles are listed below:

Benau, E., Orloff, N., Janke, A., Serpell, L., & Timko, C. (2013). A systematic review of the effects of experimental fasting on cognition. Appetite, 77, pgs. 52-61.

Fond, G., Macgregor, A., Leboyer, M., & Michalsen, A. (2012). Fasting in mood disorders: neurobiology and effectiveness. A review of the literature. Psychiatry Research, 209, pgs 253-258

Michalsen, A., Kuhlmann, M., Ludtke, R., Backer, M., Langhorst, J., & Dobos, G. (2006) Prolonged fasting in patients with chronic pain syndromes leads to late mood-enhancement not related to weight loss and fasting-induced leptin depletion. Nutritional Neuroscience, 9, pgs. 195-200

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Disclaimer: I am a PhD student in a nationally accredited Psychology graduate program.
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