The American Psychiatric Association is causing waves with identifying a family of Religiously-Based Disorders. The DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual), the “Bible” of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, recently codified diagnostic criteria and treatment plans for those stricken with such maladies.
The new diagnoses are based on the groundbreaking work of a Taradiddle University neuroscientist, Andrew Canard. Dr. Canard spent years using brain imaging techniques like PET and MRI to study the cognitive-affective inner worlds of the religious. He explains some of the findings:
Over the last five years, I have painstakingly studied the brains of all types of people: members of the 700 Club, moderate Muslims, liberal Jews to the ultra-Orthodox Haredim, Buddhists, those who follow one or more of the constellation of faiths known as Hinduism, and atheists. In each and every case the more religiously conservative a person is the more likely that their prefontal cortex is inhibited by the more ancient structures of the brain.
In other words, the more religiously conservative you are, the more impaired your thinking.
The following is a snapshot view of the new disorders in the DSM – 5.
Transient miraculous global amnesia is a common psychological phenomenon where the religious forget the widespread devastation caused by man made disaster or an act of God and focus on an ambiguous “sign” their deity cares for them.
Example: After the tornado destroyed the downtown area, the sermon on Sunday was on how God showed his love by twisting the steel beams of the obliterated children’s hospital into a cross.
Rapture frenzy This mental disorder is characterized by an obsessive fixation on the biblical teaching of the end of the world. What differentiates this pathological classification from regular Rapture Ready Obsessive Disorder (RROD) is the religious zeal the patient has. In the typical case of RROD the afflicted is simply irritating to coworkers, friends and family members. However, the person is still able to function in society (hold down a job, etc.). A person who has Rapture frenzy is liable to cut off all connections with the nonreligious world and has a penchant for hoarding vast amounts of Kool-Aid.Penile–affective fixation syndrome (PAFS) is a group of symptoms commonly expressed by the Abrahamic faiths (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) and are centered on the male phallus. Symptoms commonly include penile abuse with a strange fixation on the foreskin. Infants are the main targets of those who have PAFS. In extreme cases an adult male actually sucks off the foreskin of the male baby, potentially leading to all types of infection. Adult converts to certain sects are expected to allow other men to handle their penises and cut off the new adherents’ foreskin.
Intermittent Goddidit explosive disorder can be observed when a follower of the “one true faith” is confronted with information that contradicts his or her dogma. The pathology can be expressed in a variety of ways:
- A wave of the hand that dispels centuries of accepted scientific knowledge.
- Invoking the Almighty to anything that is not known. Example: Mike Pence didn’t know anything about astrophysics. All he needed to know about the birth of the universe was that Goddidit.
- Hands being firmly held over one’s own ears and singing “La! La! La! I can’t hear you!”