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?
GENERAL: Now, Field Marshal Hague has formulated a brilliant new tactical plan to ensure final victory in the field.
CAPTAIN BLACKADDER: Ah, would this brilliant plan involve us climbing out of our trenches and walking very slowly towards the enemy, sir?
CAPTAIN DARLING: How could you possibly know that Blackadder, it’s classified information?
CAPTAIN BLACKADDER: It’s the same plan that we used last time, and the seventeen times before that.
GENERAL: Ex… ex… ex… actly! And that is what is so brilliant about it! It will catch the watchful Hun totally off guard. Doing precisely what we’ve done eighteen times before is exactly the last thing they’ll expect us to do this time!
There is, however, one small problem.
CAPTAIN BLACKADDER: That everyone always gets slaughtered in the first ten seconds?
GENERAL: That’s right. And Field Marshal Hague is worried that this may be depressing the men a tad. So, he’s looking to find a way to cheer them up.
CAPTAIN BLACKADDER: Well, his resignation and suicide would seem the obvious.