Psychology and Psychiatry on Religion
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30-12-2013, 01:19 PM
Psychology and Psychiatry on Religion
After having being diagnosed with psychosis in 2012, i find it amusing how MY believing things that I thought god was telling me through the newspaper, etc was psychosis but someone reading the bible and thinking god is speaking to them through the words there in is not psychosis but religion. After all both are virtually the same (belief in an invisible friend, that he can communicate with you, etc)

I wonder how and where the line is drawn. Is religion not a mental disorder because it's so mainstream? If so, could it be conceived that as Religion becomes less prevalent it will inversely be considered more as a mental illness?

“The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit.” ― Richard Pryor
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30-12-2013, 02:49 PM
RE: Psychology and Psychiatry on Religion
Not everyone who's religious claims to have direct contact with their god of the speech variety.

"Everyone is alone. Everyone is empty. People no longer have need of others. You can always find a spare for any talent. Any relationship can be replaced. I had gotten bored of a world like that."
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30-12-2013, 03:11 PM
RE: Psychology and Psychiatry on Religion
(30-12-2013 02:49 PM)Gilgamesh Wrote:  Not everyone who's religious claims to have direct contact with their god of the speech variety.

But neither did I. I never had auditory hallucinations (or visual ones for that matter). I just had over religious thoughts about everything and thought god was speaking to me though the natural world in specific commands like "wash your hands" in a bathroom sign. Granted my delusions were significant enough that my family was concerned about my well being and ended me in the hospital. How is that a delusion and someone believing Psalm 19:1 not psychosis?

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01-01-2014, 01:56 AM
RE: Psychology and Psychiatry on Religion
(30-12-2013 03:11 PM)djkamilo Wrote:  But neither did I. I never had auditory hallucinations (or visual ones for that matter). I just had over religious thoughts about everything and thought god was speaking to me though the natural world in specific commands like "wash your hands" in a bathroom sign. Granted my delusions were significant enough that my family was concerned about my well being and ended me in the hospital. How is that a delusion and someone believing Psalm 19:1 not psychosis?

What you are describing are termed delusions of reference. It is obvious that the bathroom sign is not specifically addressed to you because it is a sign on a wall that is intended for everyone that visits the bathroom to read. When Pentecostals see everyday miracles, for example, those are typically events which do implicate them personally. They would not read the sign in the bathroom as referring to them but would recognise it for what it is. Their miracles are usually fortuitous and serendipitous events.

In the DSM the dividing line is:
--cultural normativity, i.e. is the belief normal in culture X?
--plausibility, i.e. is it understandable, is there clear contradictory evidence that is being ignored?

Your delusion about the sign is neither culturally normative nor is it plausible, the nature of a publicly posted sign contradicts your idea that it is intended for you.

But you are right it is difficult sometimes to determine whether something is a delusion of reference or just a simple false belief in isolation. In such cases a patient would be asked to describe a typical day and when they are delusional they will express many delusions of reference: the newspaper, a TV show, a book, a label on a product etc. and in that case it would become clear that they are delusional. Not even the most fanatical Pentecostal would experience so many "miracles" in a single day.
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01-01-2014, 02:01 AM
RE: Psychology and Psychiatry on Religion
(30-12-2013 03:11 PM)djkamilo Wrote:  How is that a delusion and someone believing Psalm 19:1 not psychosis?

Psalm 19:1 is a culturally normative belief and--perhaps more importantly--it is impersonal and is at least prima facie plausible.
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01-01-2014, 02:05 AM
RE: Psychology and Psychiatry on Religion
Psychiatry and psychology are basically jokes in terms of differentiating reality from religion.

The pseudo-sciences remind me of the charactes in movies that never believe those actually haunted by the supernatural.

In real life, it is practically the opposite.

Religious people are haunted by the supernatural whereby they are possessed by fantasy, yet the pseudo-sciences see nothing wrong with such delusions so long as no real harm is done.

The problem is that religion causes real harm all the time, and most people are not smart enough to understand that.
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01-01-2014, 03:26 AM
RE: Psychology and Psychiatry on Religion
The difference between a religious psychosis and a mental psychosis is :

A religions psychosis happens TO them through brainwash, hypnosis, manipulation, grooming, etc.

A mental psychosis happens from WITHIN one through chemical imbalance, traumatic stress disorder, etc- but also possibly to, through abuse and/or situation.

Both are subject to factors out of the individuals control, but both can gain skills to help symptoms and mental health and wellbeing.
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04-01-2014, 04:36 AM
RE: Psychology and Psychiatry on Religion
(30-12-2013 01:19 PM)djkamilo Wrote:  After having being diagnosed with psychosis in 2012, i find it amusing how MY believing things that I thought god was telling me through the newspaper, etc was psychosis but someone reading the bible and thinking god is speaking to them through the words there in is not psychosis but religion. After all both are virtually the same (belief in an invisible friend, that he can communicate with you, etc)

I wonder how and where the line is drawn. Is religion not a mental disorder because it's so mainstream? If so, could it be conceived that as Religion becomes less prevalent it will inversely be considered more as a mental illness?

I think there might be lots of protests if everyone of religions with personal gods were diagnosed with psychosis. Psychology and psychiatry might not be trusted by people and the government (in religious countries) and not receive funding etc.

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05-01-2014, 10:43 PM
RE: Psychology and Psychiatry on Religion
(01-01-2014 03:26 AM)LadyJane Wrote:  A religions psychosis happens TO them through brainwash, hypnosis, manipulation, grooming, etc.

There is no such thing as "religions psychosis" or "brainwashing" and it is unclear whether there is such a thing as "hypnosis" (the evidence is unclear).

There is no evidence that "manipulation" and "grooming" can cause psychosis.

Quote:A mental psychosis happens from WITHIN one through chemical imbalance, traumatic stress disorder, etc- but also possibly to, through abuse and/or situation.

There is no such thing as a "mental psychosis" either.

Your distinction between "religions psychosis" and "mental psychosis" does not come from psychiatry or psychology. There is no such thing in the current edition of the DSM nor in any current textbook of psychiatry or psychopathology.
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06-01-2014, 12:19 PM
RE: Psychology and Psychiatry on Religion
I saw this in Amsterdam a couple of years ago spraypainted on a temporary wall:

"If you say you believe in a talking burning bush they give you respect but if you claim you've seen a talking burning bush they put you on meds"
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