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?
The local Sasco branch at the University of Western Cape is contesting the SRC election to be held later this week. They usually win the elections because they run on an ANC ticket. In previous years their election posters usually contained pictures of a smiling President Thabo Mbeki, the same picture used by the ANC during the national election campaign in 2004. I see this year Sasco posters have a large picture of Nelson Mandela. No sign of President Mbeki. The students at Sasco obviously decided they will get more votes with Mandela than with Mbeki. Or did they choose a picture of the ANC leader they really like and not the one they have to pretend to like if they were going to share in the patronage of the ANC deployment committee?BACK TO TOP