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?
I imagine Jacob Zuma would be on the list. Maybe Jackie Selebi. The odd Miss South Africa if anyone could remember their names. Judge Motata who claimed to have had “a cup of tea” before crashing his car through a wall and swearing at the bystanders? Anyone admitting to working in a Home Affairs Office. And, of course, the presenters of Top Billing. Who else?
UPDATE: This story seems to be true as it is being reported on several Internet sites.