Today’s Top Tweet (above) points to an issue that demands mature reflection. Instead of the often extreme views presented at web sites like Mad in America or, at the other end of the spectrum, the baffling ideological hegemony of the APA, there is a third stance positioned somewhere between those polarized perspectives.
With regard to today’s tweet, just because someone has a delusion or perception that a drug effectively blocks, it does not necessarily follow that the thing the person was deluded about or perceiving does not exist.
For example, say a person thinks that terrorists, the CIA or perhaps the mafia are after them. Then a drug calms the person down and, so it turns out, she or he is never murdered as previously feared.
Does it logically follow that terrorists, the CIA or the mafia do not exist? No, it means that these entities do exist but that they were probably not after that person.
Same thing with spiritual entities, good and bad, one could argue.
I applaud this man for writing about his experience but, with all due respect, it seems he is relieved to feel better and playing the role of “good patient”—and I’m sure many in the psychiatric community would approve of that.
Problem is, that kind of thing can lead to and reinforce superficial claims about the nature of reality. And THAT, in my opinion, can hurt people who actually do sense demons, angels and, who knows, maybe ETs.
Life is rarely as simple as either/or. Although some psychiatrists and members of the general public might like us to think so. I think the wisest thing the author of the tweeted story says is, “I don’t know for sure.”
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