Religion/Mental Illness/Schizoprenia

by ranmac 16 Replies latest jw friends

  • ranmac

    I have a very close friend whos history of traumatic experiences and drug use has culminated into very severe mental and physical detioratation. I dont want to get into personal information but one major symptom is that he has become religiously deluded about himself. To be blunt, he believes he is a special prophet chosen by Jehovah. This has been beyond shitty to experience. I dont act shocked or argue when we talk but try to let him know that no matter what he believes I still love him as my friend. We have been doing our best to get him help medicaly and mentaly but its very difficult trying to help someone who wont help himself.

    Interestingly enough I know personaly a few other people who have the same delusions of being annointed, a messiah or some other lofty spiritual importance after some sort of mental breakdown.

    Does anyone else have any experiences with this or theories on religious abuse and mental illness etc.


  • wearewatchingyouman

    I have a buddy who thinks he's one of God's prophets due to similiar reasons.... I say as long as they don't think God is telling them to kill people let 'em be... we should all be as lucky to delude ourselves into thinking we are God's special person... as long as it's positive and loved based... really, what's the harm? I mean there are worse things that one's brain could trick us into thinking....

  • exwhyzee

    After reading some passages in the Bible it has occured to me that some of it's authors could have been experiencing what you are talking about .

    Now that your friends mental state has deteriorated, he is recalling his religious knowledge in a distorted way and probably anything else that effected him deeply or caused him distress. If he'd have been raised a Hindu, he'd probably be having different delusions. Christian Mental paitents typically have Christian delusions. Amazingly, just the right medication targeting his specific deficicency, can be the silver bullet that puts him right again. Getting him in to be evaluated is the difficult part. Sometimes it means having the authorities intervene.

    The patient often likes thinking of himself as Jesus or a Prophet which in turn makes it difficult for him to remain on stabilizing medications.

  • PaintedToeNail
  • PaintedToeNail

    Ranmac, you are a good friend to stand by someone so seriously mentally ill. Mental illness is devastating to the person going through it and their families and close friends. When working in law enforcement, we often encountered people with severe mental problems and they often had delusions of a religious nature. Perhaps the part of the mind is where God and worship are clustered are particularly vulnerable to illness. We usually had to have people forcibly incarcerated in a mental hospital, but this is usually only a temporary fix and the patient doesn't want to continue with the meds that made them feel better, because the feel so good now...a paradox. You have an uphill battle with your friend, you have my admiration and I wish you and your friend the best.

  • OnTheWayOut

    I don't have specifics on what you asked, but it sounds like you did great.

    Working with the public in emergencies, I have learned to never ever humor someone's delusions or psychiatric emergencies. If you don't see or believe the things they see or believe, don't lead them to believe that you do. There are times when you can ignore their desire for you to confirm their belief, but typically, it's best to admit you don't see it their way. Trying to let him know that no matter what he believes, you still love him as a friend is wonderful. I am going to use that.

  • Violia

    Usually you can't argue/debate someone out of their delusions. Proper medication and eventually the cloud will lift. Just be supportive and try to keep him from hurting himself if you are in that position. Saying things like " I know YOU believe that.."hopefully will not make him feel he needs to defend himself to prove you are wrong.

  • bigmouth

    I've spent a greater portion of my life than I'd like to in various psych wards.

    A disproportionate number of my fellow patients entertained delusions of grandeur, particularly if they were in a manic phase or had a form of schizophrenia. The most common one was that they were an incarnation of Jesus or God or at least a special prophet of some sort. Some think they are simply a famous person.

    XYZ is probably correct in that Christians have Christian delusions and Hindus likewise etc.

    I don't believe any part of the brain is wired specifically to worship. The immense force of religious teaching and dogma has a massive effect on the developing child and the way belief is processed through life can come back in very distorted ways when one 'breaks down' for lack of a better phrase.


    OnTheWayOut "If you don't see or believe the things they see or believe, don't lead them to believe that you do."

    This is good advice. Over the years I have known a number of people believing themselves to be a vehicle for either gods or demons. Politely pretending to share or even accept their delusion is neither kind, considerate or helpful.

    If I come accross as having strong feelings against encouraging people suffering from this type of delusion there is a reason. To my great cost, my mother was one such person.

  • ProdigalSon

    Is his name Robert King?

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