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?
As soon as Zuma began to look good in his job [as Deputy President], mediating the conflict in the Great Lakes and making bold statements on HIV/Aids, Mbeki began to get uncomfortable. This led to the bizarre allegations of a plot to oust Mbeki – Ramaphosa was supposedly one of the conspirators – all of which proved to be nonsense. But Mbeki’s paranoia led to a peculiar media statement from Zuma in 2001 when he denied he had designs on the presidency. Still Mbeki perceived Zuma as a threat, which led to the extraordinary course of events over the next eight years until Mbeki’s recall from office. – Ranjeni Munusamy at Daily MaverickBACK TO TOP