Thursday, September 4, 2008

All the unborn chicken voices in my head

Check this out. People are having delusions about being in reality television shows. Or, alternatively, being in The Matrix. It really isn't that surprising. Psychotic folk commonly incorporate their beliefs into their delusions. I don't suspect you'll find a lot of atheist schizophrenics thinking God tells them to kill their children. But you will get plenty of Christians who do. This though,

"But the more radical view is that this pushes some people over the threshold; the environment tips them over the edge," said Dr. Joel Gold, who is a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at New York University. "And if culture can make people crazy, then we need to look at it."

It is probably radical because it doesn't fit that well with common thinking about psychosis. Not that culture can't affect the content of delusions...but I'm unaware of much thinking that culture can result in delusions.

Last winter, my wife and her mother went on a Rock of Love marathon while we were visiting for Christmas. Sure, it almost sent me over the edge, but not such that I thought I was part of the show. But that's just me, and as dumb as I am, I'm not nearly dumb enough to be on that show. A professor of mine once told me of a hospital where he was working with three schizophrenic patients each thinking they were Jesus. I'll bet their conversations were much more interesting than the contestants on reality TV.

Here's the coolest part about the article - where the NYT editors decided to include it: the "Fashion & Style" section. I guess psychotic delusions about being in The Truman Show are fashionable and stylish, compared to those fuddy-duddy psychotic delusions about the government secretly monitoring your every action. No way would someone with a Truman Show delusion wear white after Labor Day. Way too fashionable and stylish them folk are.

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