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?
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There is something surreal, absurd even, about the US supreme court’s recent three-day hearings on President Obama’s healthcare law. In essence, nine people, all appointed by presidents of the United States and not elected by nor accountable to the American people, will have the power, come June, to determine whether the president’s landmark 2010 legislation will stand as is, be ruled unconstitutional and done away with entirely, or be ruled unconstitutional in part and so be hobbled and in doubt. It is surreal and absurd that we are even having this conversation again, given that the crux of the matter is that 50 million Americans do not have health insurance. Wasn’t the point to make sure the richest and most powerful nation on the planet could protect its own people, as other nations do, including Canada, our neighbor to the north? – Kevin Powell on The Guardian website.