...this thread has certainly grown...great stuff, good to see such conversations happening...
There's been a few points I'd like to chip in on, and wrap into this one reply rather than multiple separate responses:
How prevalent is potential demonic possession, claims of such etc, within the MH System?
Just from my own working experience;
Its common...but not hugely so. Particularly in reference to the query of how many people presenting to MH Systems are claiming to 'work for Satan'.
I've had a few...very few actually over the last 18 years...who claim to be in league with Satan.
Far more claim to be in league with God.
Far more claim to be under attack from
Satan and darker forces...but generally VERY few - I'm thinking maybe only half a dozen, if that, out of
the thousands and thousands of people I've worked with with acute inpatient wards, community services and the like make the claim to actually be
Its far more commonly a case of being 'persecuted' by something...rather than being one of the 'persecutors'...
Psychotic Experience or Spiritual Experience?
This is a biggie.
Sure - my own training and qualifications when it comes to mental health is principally from a clinical perspective. Its pretty cut and dried from
that angle, very much an A+B=C approach.
However, I am also someone who comes from a very spiritual culture (NZ Maori), and someone who views ALL experiences as having a spiritual basis
anyway...as for me as a Maori I see us as *Spirit* first and foremost...we're just merely experiencing a physical embodiment for the time
I've worked with numerous people who were quite mad...no bones about it, they were barking mad...the big question for me wasn't the *madness* but
rather the root cause of that madness. The question for me was "What DROVE them into madness"...I've seen, heard, experienced some REAL freaky things
in this line of work...things that I'd stake my life on being FAR more requiring the input of say a Priest than a Psychiatrist! Things that to me sat
far more squarely in the realms of the paranormal rather than the psychiatric.
Thankfully I've worked within MH services that are a bit more open to that, to such suggestions and alternative
working with people of my (Maori) culture.
In general mainstream MH services however its still very much a western medical model approach...so any such suggestions tend to go down like a cup of
cold sick...but even thats changing, albeit slowly.
Multiple Personality Disorder
I can say, in the 18 years and countless thousands of people I've worked with that I've come across one
. Just one person who would - and was
deemed - to be experiencing MPD.
Media and TV programmes tend to blow things waaaaay out of perspective and proportions.
MPD is pretty damn rare. There are other types of disorders, dissociative disorders and various axis-II personality disorders which can present with
various *symptoms and indications* of MPD...and perhaps thats where there is some additional misconception of the prevalence of them.
Or maybe they just aren't as common here in NZ...after all, many countries have their own *favourite flavours* when it comes to who gets diagnosed
with what. At the end of the day its all a case of interpretating the presenting/perceived symptomology defined within whatever diagnostic reference
is being applied...be it the DSM-IV or the ICD-10 currently in most places. Psychiatry and diagnosis isn't a science...it isn't...if it was there'd be
a whole lot more uniformity in what happens. Psychiatry is an artform
...as such its open to a HUGE amount of interpretation...so misdiagnosis
certainly does happen...heck, I'd personally argue it happens quite regularly...
Commonality of Death Threats
Firstly let me say that again theres quite a skewed perception around how dangerous
people are who may be experiencing a mental illness. Yes
sure, there have been some really big front-page tragedies that have happened involving people who were mentally ill...but for the most part the
actual *threat* levels presented are pretty here nor there when taking it all into picture.
It isn't hugely uncommon though, for someone who may be experiencing a psychotic episode, to make threats.
The question is WHY those threats are being made.
Again...just from my own working experience...by far the greater majority of any threats to others are bourne out of fear towards others...fear that
person may be feeling of possibly being harmed by others. So the threats tend to be far more a case of 'perceived self-defence' or a bit like a
rattle-snake rattling its tail telling people to back off. The person themselves may have no intention at all to cause harm to anyone...but out of
fear for their own safety can say all manner of things as a self-defence mechanism...so a little bit of understanding can go a long way. At the end of
the day its often not so much about what
is being said and far more about why
its being said...connecting with the emotion underlaying
it all is often where focus needs to be...rather than focussing on the CONTENT, focus on the INTENT.
In many ways the perception of Psychosis = Threat is likely driven by ignorance around what psychosis actually is...and certainly fueled again by
media/cinematic portrayals of psychotic disorders...after all, it sells newspapers, it sells movie tickets, so who cares how accurate it is right?
Psychosis/Psychotic does not by default mean dangerous. Not at all. Psychosis doesn't mean aggressive or attacking behaviours. Not at all.
Psychosis is quite simply, in a nutshell, a 'separation from reality'. (won't get into any debates and so forth around "what IS reality?" as
ultimately, hate to say it, 'reality' in this sense is whats decided and defined as such by the person with the assessment form in their hands)
Psychosis is about altered perceptions, beliefs, inputs/stimulus...it does not mean 'gonna cut your head off and put it in a fridge'.
...but....bottomline...be it possession, be it psychosis, be it someone just extracting the pickle...this person probably needs some help...do what
you can to get it for them...
edit on 30-7-2012 by alien because: (no reason given)