My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?
History cannot be written (or spoken about) to make the current generation feel good about the present. Societies cannot live in peace unless they are prepared to delve into all that has gone before — to ask the uncomfortable question, point the accusing finger, challenge the sacred myth. This is why, sadly, during this, the country’s centenary year, we have lost an opportunity to build deeper understanding of each other. – Prof Peter Vale in Business DayBACK TO TOP