Faith or Delusion? At the Crossroads of Religion and Psychosis

@article{Pierre2001FaithOD,
  title={Faith or Delusion? At the Crossroads of Religion and Psychosis},
  author={J. M. Pierre},
  journal={Journal of Psychiatric Practice},
  year={2001},
  volume={7},
  pages={163-172}
}
  • J. M. Pierre
  • Published 2001
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Journal of Psychiatric Practice
In clinical practice, no clear guidelines exist to distinguish between “normal” religious beliefs and “pathological” religious delusions. Historically, psychiatrists such as Freud have suggested that all religious beliefs are delusional, while the current DSM-IV definition of delusion exempts religious doctrine from pathology altogether. From an individual standpoint, a dimensional approach to delusional thinking (emphasizing conviction, preoccupation, and extension rather than content) may be… Expand

Paper Mentions

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A diagnostic model for delusion is presented, which is easy to handle in the daily routine of psychiatrists and which acknowledges that reality cannot be examined with scientific methods/criteria and that the assessment of reality itself underlies historical and cultural fluctuations. Expand
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Both mental health professionals and religious believers may require criteria to distinguish adaptive and maladaptive expressions of religious experience. Expand
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This case was originally presented as a live video case conference held between UMass Memorial Medical Center (Worcester, Massachusetts) and Shanghai Mental Health Center (Shanghai, China) where the patient’s primary care physician, psychiatric consultants, neuropsychiatric consultant, visiting psychiatrist from China, and participants in the video conference all had Chinese backgrounds or interests. Expand
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The interface between religion and psychosis is explored, and its relevance in clinical practice is commented on, with strong arguments for the involvement of temporolimbic instability in the generation of religious psychotic symptoms. Expand
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The prevailing psychiatric view that religious beliefs are not delusional if they are culturally accepted is presented, and it is argued it is clinically valuable and consistent with a growing awareness of the social - as opposed to purely epistemic - function of belief formation. Expand
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To place DLBs into a forensically relevant framework, psychiatric expert witnesses should adopt a broad biopsychosocial understanding of belief formation and maintenance that integrates clinical expertise with knowledge about dimensional aspects of delusions, cognitive biases, and the processing of online misinformation. Expand
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