Fairy tale

Is believing in God a sign of mental illness? Is praying a silly exercise in make-believe, just a big waste of time and a delusional activity?
Religious themes are commonly encountered in delusions and hallucinations associated with major mental disorders, and the form and content of presentation are significant in relation to both diagnosis and management. It is the falseness of unshakeable beliefs which are out of keeping with culture that renders them delusional.
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? If he could hear Jesus speaking to him? He might also insist nothing were wrong with him. After all, he’s practicing his faith.
In 1980, Albert Ellis, the founder of rational emotive therapy, wrote in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology that there was an irrefutable causal relationship between religion and emotional and mental illness.
Even the untrained eye can detect the hallucinating delusion: people on their knees, eyes closed, tears dripping down their faces, hands raised, talking to the voices in their heads, begging a fairy for a Rapture where they will flap their arms like buzzards, fly to meet Jesus on cloud nine, the one that feels like Charmin.

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