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?
A reader responds to my post on the state’s recognition of a change in one’s sex/gender.
There seems to be another way to change your gender – even if you don’t intend to: just apply to Home Affairs for a passport. Quote from yesterday’s Cape Times: “Sindie Bosch has been waiting a year for a passport, putting up patiently with delay after delay – and it all got a bit much when she was recently handed the document – in the name of a Mr. Chauke. When she returned to Home Affairs, the assistant at the desk at the Centurion office here asked: “But isn’t that you on the photo?””