Author and Religious Abuse Survivor
Suffer the Children: From Fanaticism to Mental Illness
Ms. Eastwood has a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology. Though not a licensed therapist, she provided counseling services to domestic violence abusers for many years, working under the direction of licensed therapists. While delivering services to DV abusers, she quickly noticed that the most challenging cases often used the Bible to justify their violence against their spouses. This revelation matched her experience growing up in a conservative, evangelical home.
Why I Wrote This Book
Suffer the Children:
From Fanaticism to Mental Illness
For many years I commiserated with people about a shared upbringing that included images of hell, stories of damnation, and nightmares of demons. These legends and pictures were fed to us when we were very young, sitting in church next to our parents.
Often during conversations about religious abuse, I’d say, “Someday, I’ll write a book, and the title will be, Suffer the Children, From Fanaticism to Mental Illness. Everyone agreed that the topic deserved exploration.
Though my personal story might be of interest to a limited audience, I wanted to speak to a systemic problem plaguing young children from all sorts of fundamental religions. Too often, vulnerable children from those organizations are left alone with their fears and self-doubt. Frequently that fear grows and manifests as depression.
To see how prevalent the problem is, I developed an online survey designed to elicit information about the degree of isolation, humiliation, and depression each respondent remembered. I also asked whether the respondent suffers from adult depression. I wanted to answer a simple question: Is there a link between religious abuse and adult depression?