Religion Vs. Delusions With Religious Content

Decent Essays

I spent 6 weeks at Unit 1 Dandenong Hospital further exploring the field of psychiatry, a branch of medicine that interests me and something that I may pursue as a career in the future. Whilst on this rotation I encountered a number of patients with delusions of religious content (DRC), however it took me a while to understand the differences between DRC and religious beliefs. As of this day I still am a bit confused as to the differences between the two as the literature behind this is still quite limited. I have included a brief discussion regarding this issue in the field of psychiatry and my journey through it.

Religion vs. Delusions with religious content (DRC)

Case Study

Mrs A, a 32 year old Cambodian mother of 1 and practicing Buddhist, presented to Unit 1 Dandenong with a long history of schizophrenia, primarily focussed on 3 figures that she visually hallucinates - a “female Buddha”, an angel and a devil. She also experiences auditory command hallucinations from these figures – the devil commands self-harm whereas the other 2 figures command well-being.

During interactions with Mrs A, she appears pre-occupied with these figures and is seen whispering to them. On questioning Mrs A regarding these pre-occupations, she confirms that she is mainly communicating with the “female Buddha.” Due to a language barrier and lack of collateral history, it is unsure whether Mrs A is a long-term practicing Buddhist and whether these behaviours are “normal” in her practice of

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