Never said I wasnâ€™t dyslexic or that Iâ€™m a good typist. (Spell check usually corrects that mistake, wonder how it missed it this time.) I said I was into it, as in interested, to be an expert I would have to be certified in that specialty.
In any case, my name is Dr. Kirby Surprise (Yeah, well maybe my ancestors should have changed the last name, but it is the family name), my California license number is 22543, just surf on over to the California board of psychology web site and click on license verification. In any case Iâ€™m just trying to amuse people here, find folks who are playful and awestruck at the wonder of things, and I like to write.
Treating delusions always involves having to tell someone what is real. Itâ€™s easy, just have someone trust you enough to believe that what their heart, mind and experience tells them is true, isnâ€™t. In each culture and time people have tended to have symptoms that follow societal expectations (yup, people go crazy the way they are expected to. At least in form, neurological dysfunctions not withstanding.) Paranoia is an emotional state, a symptom separate from delusions that can be caused by chemical and neurological problems as well as software (psychodynamic and learning) problems.
Diagnostically (love using words like that, makes me feel smart), there are two kings of delusions; bizarre and non-bizarre. Understanding the difference helps explain how people were before we had modern conspiracies and conspirators like the CIA to blame for our paranoia (not that we shouldnâ€™t be paranoid about the CIA and Homeland Security, they are probably monitoring our posts right nowâ€¦.Damm, shouldnâ€™t post things like that, they might retaliate. In fact, that computer virus I got attached to that email from that nice man in Nigeria asking for assistance was probably, no, Iâ€™m sure it was an attack by the CIA on me, because they know I know.) That was an example of a non-bizarre delusion. Itâ€™s remotely possible, but highly unlikely. Now, a bizarre delusion would be that I AM the director of the CIA (how do you know Iâ€™m not?) and that when I had a CAT scan of my head, they found one. I can hear it purring, thatâ€™s why I put cat food up my nose. This delusion may not have any paranoid content. If you like cats, the one in your head may be comforting, and if you have the kind of personality that does well in public service jobsâ€¦well, you get the idea.
In the past people chose delusions based on the content of their cultures, just as they do today. Spotting bizarre delusions is relatively easy because they tend to be so, well, bizarre. But what about the person who believes that supernatural spirits are seeking retribution or give favors for good or bad behavior? In most of the world thatâ€™s called religion. Thereâ€™s a consensus within each culture on what kind of delusions it will tolerate, or enforce. The scientific empirical perspective is actually pretty open (unless of course it disagrees with your beliefs.) It goes by the premise that if something is not testable or disprovable, you canâ€™t rule it out. So, letâ€™s pick on Christianity for a second (they have more of a sense of humor, some of the other belief systems say itâ€™s ok to kill you for pointing out theirâ€¦..beliefs.) From the empirical perspective; Jesus was the son of God and the savior. Nothing to say about that, canâ€™t test it, doesnâ€™t pertain to facts that can be examined or events that can be reproduced. From the empirical perspective; The world was created in six day a few thousand years ago. No actual evidence of creationism, overwhelming evidence from many fields of scientific investigation of a very old universe and evolution. But you canâ€™t call the belief a delusion because too many people believe in it, were taught it, and if you try to present facts and logical analysis, itâ€™s like arguing with the folks with diagnosable delusions. The belief is truly not a delusion however, because the surrounding culture accepts and endorses it, making it an actual advantage for the individualâ€™s survival in the culture to believe. It may also provide a sense of identity and have other positive psychological advantages. Of course, if I told someone the ward is full of astral rats, crappy thoughtforms and clouds of dark depressed emotional energy left behind by the suffering clients served there, Iâ€™d be the one with the delusions.
Were the ancient civilizations who believed in pantheons of gods whose names are barely remembered today delusional because of those beliefs? Is that the way we will be seen in the distant or perhaps not distant future?
Hell, I donâ€™t know, Iâ€™m still wondering if thereâ€™s a camp forming here and looking forward to the burn.