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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Keith Richards has acknowledged consuming a raft of illegal substances in his time, but this may top them all. In comments published Tuesday, the 63-year-old Rolling Stones guitarist said he had snorted his father’s ashes mixed with cocaine.
“The strangest thing I’ve tried to snort? My father. I snorted my father,” Richards was quoted as saying by British music magazine NME. He was cremated and I couldn’t resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn’t have cared,” he said. “… It went down pretty well, and I’m still alive.”
Richards’ father, Bert, died in 2002, at 84.
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