Are you mental?

Atheism, secularism & freethought etc.

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Atheists: Have you ever had a psychological condition?

I'm not Atheist
6
4%
Yes, I am on the autistic spectrum (Priority over the other yes option)
6
4%
Yes, I have suffered depression/anxiety, bipolar disorder (or related), and/or schizophrenia
49
35%
Yes, I have another condition outside the psychological "norm" (specify)
6
4%
No
74
52%
 
Total votes : 141

Re: Are you mental?

#61  Postby Cito di Pense » Jun 14, 2010 8:52 pm

Dracena wrote:I go mental once a month :whistle:


Get pregnant. That will make you wish you were still going mental. Eventually. Especially if you give birth.
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Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Are you mental?

#62  Postby Dogmatic Pyrrhonist » Jun 16, 2010 6:13 am

Seeing as the single most important factor in whether non-debilitating mental illness is diagnosed is self-honesty, I think I'd be surprised if theists came anywhere near atheists in percentage that admit to mental illness.
As to the undiagnosed, and severity, I'd wager that theism holds the winning hand on seriously crazy people. In fact, religion gives the seriously unbalanced a framework to hinge their lunacy on and a protective shield to prevent others from declaring them unstable.

If you talk to Napoleon and he tells you to scrub the floor you're insane.

But if Jebus talks to you and he tells you to kill a bunch of doctors, then you're perfectly sane.
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Re: Are you mental?

#63  Postby Jeri Falliwell » Jul 17, 2010 3:05 am

Hi, I've been a lurker here for a while after the Great Cat Herding Schism.

Has anyone read that awful book by Vox Dei where he pulls out the ol' "atheists are autistic" canard. As I see it, one of the big problems with this argument is that, if it is indeed true that atheists are atheists because of their autism, doesn't this indicate that internal revelation (whether it be in the form of creaturely feeling, a burning in the bosom, assurance of salvation etc.) is a psychological phenomenon, rather than a magical "spiritual energy" ? Couldn't people stand before deities and say, "How could I have been expected to believe in God, I was born autistic ya know?"
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Re: Are you mental?

#64  Postby PensivePenny » Jan 01, 2017 4:55 pm

I apologize in advance for resurrecting this zombie, but I couldn't believe after 4 pages of responses, nobody really hit on the irony of the poll..

I'll preface this by pointing out the poll doesn't define "mental" or "psychological condition." It seems some are using a "clinical diagnosis" as the definition and some are using a self-diagnosis. But, I argue that reality define the terms and the DSM-5 already exists to do just that. To some extent, the clinical and self-diagnosis (to a lesser degree) are based on the DSM already.

If we look up the DSM definition for Delusional Disorder we will easily recognize the theist. However, politically unable and unwilling to call religion a delusion, the religious exception (noted in text below) is allowed provided it is a mass delusion (culturally accepted). From my experience with theists, it is personally impossible to acknowledge their belief anymore than I'd acknowledge the belief that someone were abducted by aliens, had their organs removed, studied and reinserted before being returned to their bedroom. Based on this, I would argue that theists are 100% "mental."


A delusion is a belief that is held with strong conviction despite evidence disproving it that is stronger than any evidence supporting it. It is distinct from an erroneous belief caused by incomplete information (misconception or misunderstanding), deficient memory (confabulation) or incorrect perception (illusion). The psychiatrist and philosopher Karl Jaspers proposed 3 criteria for delusional beliefs in 1913: certainty (the belief is held with absolute conviction), incorrigibility (the belief cannot be changed with any proof to the contrary) and impossibility or falsity (the belief cannot be true) (Jaspers, 1967). Delusions are associated with a variety of mental and neurological disorders, but are of diagnostic importance in the psychotic disorders.

...

Munro identified 10 characteristics of delusions (Munro, 1999). The patient expresses the delusional belief(s) with unusual force and persistence, and the belief or beliefs exert and inordinate effect on the patient’s life, often altering or dominating it. Despite profound conviction about the delusion, the patient is often secretive or suspicious in discussing it. Delusional patients tend to be oversensitive and humorless, especially regarding the delusion. The belief is central to the patient’s existence, and questioning it elicits an inappropriately strong emotional reaction. The belief is nevertheless unlikely, and not in keeping with the patient’s social, cultural or religious background. The patient is highly invested emotionally in the belief, and other elements of the psyche may be overwhelmed. If the belief is acted upon, abnormal behavior may result which is out of character for the patient, but which may be understandable in light of the delusion; the belief and behavior are felt to be uncharacteristic by those who know the patient.
more...


If we are afraid to call theism what it is, reason will remain subordinate to it, imo. I find it appalling that religion gets a pass when it comes to diagnosing mental disorder.
When the insanity overshadows, the sanity. The sane take their leave. Last word is up for grabs. Enjoy :cheers:

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Re: Are you mental?

#65  Postby tuco » Jan 01, 2017 5:26 pm

Hmm 2010, things change. I do not love it anymore and its apparently getting worse. Oh well, at least its not religion ;)
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Re: Are you mental?

#66  Postby Keep It Real » Jan 01, 2017 7:52 pm

Paranoid schizophrenia, obviated through the use of antipsychotics (flupentixol). Interestingly enough, most of my psychotic episodes featured hell motiffs/delusions so you could well point the finger at religion if it came to attributing guilt for my delusions.
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Re: Are you mental?

#67  Postby PensivePenny » Jan 01, 2017 8:41 pm

Keep It Real wrote:Paranoid schizophrenia, obviated through the use of antipsychotics (flupentixol). Interestingly enough, most of my psychotic episodes featured hell motiffs/delusions so you could well point the finger at religion if it came to attributing guilt for my delusions.


That fucking sucks. So, psychotic episodes manifested delusions of hell? Are you atheist, now? I assume the meds are helping control the condition?
When the insanity overshadows, the sanity. The sane take their leave. Last word is up for grabs. Enjoy :cheers:

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Re: Are you mental?

#68  Postby VazScep » Jan 01, 2017 8:50 pm

My own bouts of psychosis were pretty rich in religious motifs, including the idea of Hell. It didn't really affect my atheist outlook. On the contrary, I remember thinking "ah, yes, this explains the prophets: they were also mentally ill."
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Re: Are you mental?

#69  Postby Keep It Real » Jan 01, 2017 8:51 pm

PensivePenny wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:Paranoid schizophrenia, obviated through the use of antipsychotics (flupentixol). Interestingly enough, most of my psychotic episodes featured hell motiffs/delusions so you could well point the finger at religion if it came to attributing guilt for my delusions.


That fucking sucks. So, psychotic episodes manifested delusions of hell? Are you atheist, now? I assume the meds are helping control the condition?


I'm effectively cured because of the use of antipsychotics - haven't had a psychotic episode for nearly three years and see no reason why I need ever have another one. Thanks for your empathy PensivePenny - my episodes were the single most stressful experiences of my life! I thought i was in hell/purgatory during some phases of some episodes, in others I was having to make choices that would condemn me to hell or my loved ones. I am indeed an atheist now and I was an atheist when I had the episodes too.....the agnosticism plus a psychotic delusional imagination gave me hell/god delusions never the less. A hypothetical possibility...there may be a hell...I could just be wrong....I've been wrong before etc. :hide:
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Re: Are you mental?

#70  Postby PensivePenny » Jan 01, 2017 9:07 pm

KIR... I can't even begin to imagine what psychotic episodes and delusion are like. But, I can relate to the fear of going to hell. It took me from the age of 16 when I last went to church to the age of about 34 before I could shirk the "agnostic" moniker for "atheist." It was a struggle for me. I thought about things like theism, existentialism and the like almost daily. I was very introspective. Fear of hell is the one thing that prevented me donning the "atheist" badge. I still think about theism and existentialism sometimes, but now, I imagine IF there IS a god, when I stand before him in on judgement day, I'm going to slap the beard off him and ask, "Are you fucking kidding me? How dare you command US to behave morally in a way YOU have never managed to." :lol:

Seriously, if I had had delusions of hell like you describe, I doubt I could have ever escaped. You have my admiration. I have mostly beaten the depression I use to experience. All of it a result of reconciling reality with the shit I was taught as a child. Cost me my parents, aunts uncles, cousins and sibling, but such is life. Keep up with those meds! You have good incentive. :clap:
When the insanity overshadows, the sanity. The sane take their leave. Last word is up for grabs. Enjoy :cheers:

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Re: Are you mental?

#71  Postby VazScep » Jan 01, 2017 9:15 pm

PensivePenny wrote:Seriously, if I had had delusions of hell like you describe, I doubt I could have ever escaped. You have my admiration. I have mostly beaten the depression I use to experience. All of it a result of reconciling reality with the shit I was taught as a child. Cost me my parents, aunts uncles, cousins and sibling, but such is life. Keep up with those meds! You have good incentive. :clap:
My own delusions about Hell involved a variation on the idea I'd encountered before from theists, and it was something that compounded the sense of delusional terror. It's not simply "fuck, I've gone to hell", but the next realisation: "fuck, I've gone willingly."
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Re: Are you mental?

#72  Postby PensivePenny » Jan 01, 2017 9:20 pm

VazScep wrote:
PensivePenny wrote:Seriously, if I had had delusions of hell like you describe, I doubt I could have ever escaped. You have my admiration. I have mostly beaten the depression I use to experience. All of it a result of reconciling reality with the shit I was taught as a child. Cost me my parents, aunts uncles, cousins and sibling, but such is life. Keep up with those meds! You have good incentive. :clap:
My own delusions about Hell involved a variation on the idea I'd encountered before from theists, and it was something that compounded the sense of delusional terror. It's not simply "fuck, I've gone to hell", but the next realisation: "fuck, I've gone willingly."


So, you have or had genuine psychotic delusions too?

I'm only half joking here, and not to make light of mental illness at all, but I actually find comfort today in the extremely unlikely event there IS a hell, it would be preferable to the alternative if the alternative is filled with evangelicals. It has helped me.
When the insanity overshadows, the sanity. The sane take their leave. Last word is up for grabs. Enjoy :cheers:

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Re: Are you mental?

#73  Postby Keep It Real » Jan 01, 2017 9:22 pm

PensivePenny wrote:KIR... I can't even begin to imagine what psychotic episodes and delusion are like. But, I can relate to the fear of going to hell. It took me from the age of 16 when I last went to church to the age of about 34 before I could shirk the "agnostic" moniker for "atheist." It was a struggle for me. I thought about things like theism, existentialism and the like almost daily. I was very introspective. Fear of hell is the one thing that prevented me donning the "atheist" badge. I still think about theism and existentialism sometimes, but now, I imagine IF there IS a god, when I stand before him in on judgement day, I'm going to slap the beard off him and ask, "Are you fucking kidding me? How dare you command US to behave morally in a way YOU have never managed to." :lol:

Seriously, if I had had delusions of hell like you describe, I doubt I could have ever escaped. You have my admiration. I have mostly beaten the depression I use to experience. All of it a result of reconciling reality with the shit I was taught as a child. Cost me my parents, aunts uncles, cousins and sibling, but such is life. Keep up with those meds! You have good incentive. :clap:


The atheist/agnostic labels aren't mutually exclusive you know. I lack belief in gods but it is hypothetically possible one/many exist so I'm an atheist and an agnostic. That leaves the door wide open for a fucked up paranoid trip of Messiah complex, visions of hell, thinking natural sounds are god's communications to you etc. I was raised atheist/agnostic so never had to leave anything behind. I hope you get on ok with your rellies these days - you only get one set. I'm currently not on speaking terms with my father and it causes me severe nightmares and much waking anguish too. He's so fucked up, but it's not his fault, he had a fucked up childhood. But as I always say - people aren't responsible for their actions but we have to hold them responsible never the less! FFS this planet is jokes. :lol:
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Re: Are you mental?

#74  Postby VazScep » Jan 01, 2017 9:30 pm

PensivePenny wrote:So, you have or had genuine psychotic delusions too?
Yes.
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Re: Are you mental?

#75  Postby Keep It Real » Jan 01, 2017 9:32 pm

VazScep wrote:
PensivePenny wrote:So, you have or had genuine psychotic delusions too?
Yes.


Do you blame illicit drugs for the manifestations perchance? I know I do - cylocybin fucked me up.
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Re: Are you mental?

#76  Postby PensivePenny » Jan 01, 2017 9:47 pm

Keep It Real wrote:
The atheist/agnostic labels aren't mutually exclusive you know. I lack belief in gods but it is hypothetically possible one/many exist so I'm an atheist and an agnostic. That leaves the door wide open for a fucked up paranoid trip of Messiah complex, visions of hell, thinking natural sounds are god's communications to you etc. I was raised atheist/agnostic so never had to leave anything behind. I hope you get on ok with your rellies these days - you only get one set. I'm currently not on speaking terms with my father and it causes me severe nightmares and much waking anguish too. He's so fucked up, but it's not his fault, he had a fucked up childhood. But as I always say - people aren't responsible for their actions but we have to hold them responsible never the less! FFS this planet is jokes. :lol:


I'm afraid the ship has sailed with my "rellies." I haven't seen or heard from them in 10 years? Maybe more. They shut me out. I could understand if I was the cause of a lot of grief growing up, but I wasn't. Mostly religious differences. Never been in any legal trouble, criminal or civil. I have low expectations of people, just love me, have my back on the rare occasions I need it. I guess that's expecting to much :lol:

Every so often I get to feeling sentimental and google my family. A few years ago, I discovered my one and only sibling, 15 years my junior, had died. I keep a copy of his obit on my fridge to remind me it wasn't a dream. When he was 14, he lived with me because my parents (separated) couldn't or wouldn't give him the attention he needed. He stayed with me through the 8th grade, almost the whole school year. He went from failing (would have been the second time he was held back a year) to being on the dean's list (honor roll, A's and B's). I actually failed to finish my own studies because I spent so much time with him. At least I showed him he "could" do it if he wanted. It was his choice after that.

Anyway... it still hurts. But, what can you do, right? Life deals some of us shitty hands.
When the insanity overshadows, the sanity. The sane take their leave. Last word is up for grabs. Enjoy :cheers:

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Re: Are you mental?

#77  Postby PensivePenny » Jan 01, 2017 9:52 pm

VazScep wrote:
PensivePenny wrote:So, you have or had genuine psychotic delusions too?
Yes.


Do you have it under control? I'm surprised. Having read some of your writing, you've obviously achieved a great deal scholastically. Having psychotic delusions must be quite a burden under the best of circumstances. Yet you have a wonderful brain in spite of it.
When the insanity overshadows, the sanity. The sane take their leave. Last word is up for grabs. Enjoy :cheers:

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Re: Are you mental?

#78  Postby Keep It Real » Jan 01, 2017 10:09 pm

PensivePenny wrote:
Anyway... it still hurts. But, what can you do, right? Life deals some of us shitty hands.


I haven't given up on my father - I sent him a long email on boxing day reaching out. No reply yet but it's early days.

Sometimes I feel like I've been dealt a shitty hand but then I think that tomorrow is a new day and who knows what's over the horizon. I'm lucky to be mentally well, financially sound, in good health....count your blessings innit. I know what you mean though - the relationships with your immediate family are so very important. I'm lucky that I get on with all of them, except my father, and I'm working on that one. Fucking religion eh? Poisons everything.
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Re: Are you mental?

#79  Postby PensivePenny » Jan 01, 2017 10:19 pm

Keep It Real wrote:
PensivePenny wrote:
Anyway... it still hurts. But, what can you do, right? Life deals some of us shitty hands.


I haven't given up on my father - I sent him a long email on boxing day reaching out. No reply yet but it's early days.

Sometimes I feel like I've been dealt a shitty hand but then I think that tomorrow is a new day and who knows what's over the horizon. I'm lucky to be mentally well, financially sound, in good health....count your blessings innit. I know what you mean though - the relationships with your immediate family are so very important. I'm lucky that I get on with all of them, except my father, and I'm working on that one. Fucking religion eh? Poisons everything.


Yup. I hope you hear from your dad. For me, they've hurt me too deeply. Even if they begged my forgiveness, I'd turn them away. I couldn't risk them hurting me again. They turned their backs when I needed them most. I could have forgiven them for years afterwards, but I'm beyond that. For better or worse, I am who I am today, in part because of them, their religion and what they taught me. Religion, as "poisonous" as it is may very well have been the challenge that made me think as deeply as I do. Without it, who knows, I could have just ended up a bottle blonde with a closet full of shoes and a thousand FB friends. I didn't do too bad :)

Now, we just need to help you work through that whole 'free will' thing ;) I think I may have a better idea why you feel the way you do about it.
When the insanity overshadows, the sanity. The sane take their leave. Last word is up for grabs. Enjoy :cheers:

Peace all
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Re: Are you mental?

#80  Postby VazScep » Jan 01, 2017 10:29 pm

PensivePenny wrote:
VazScep wrote:
PensivePenny wrote:So, you have or had genuine psychotic delusions too?
Yes.


Do you have it under control?
Sorry, I should have wrote "Had." As far as I'm concerned, it was a blip three and a half years ago. I was off meds six months after I went into hospital, and haven't since had any thought-disorder (by which I mean, batshit crazy; there's no equivocation on this stuff).

I'm surprised. Having read some of your writing, you've obviously achieved a great deal scholastically. Having psychotic delusions must be quite a burden under the best of circumstances. Yet you have a wonderful brain in spite of it.
Thanks for the kind words. To counterbalance the connection of madness with religion, I'll admit that the primary motifs in my early thought disorders were about paradoxical and weird ideas in logic, computer science, type theory and the infinite. I suspect it's not a coincidence that I also enjoyed (and still enjoy) writing on these topics. As for the vague affinity I felt for prophets wandering around the Middle East and talking with bushes, I felt a far stronger affinity for Cantor and Goedel, in as much as I wondered whether they were so obviously doomed to go mad, that anyone who dwells too much on their sort of mathematics is playing with fire. The crazy notes I was writing while in hospital weren't full of religious nonsense poetry, but nonsense mathematics.

Maybe a combination: before I got committed the second time, a consultant asked me whether I found myself making more frequent use of metaphor, to which I replied, "well, what is the meta for?" My brother was there at the time, and said that he thought the consultant looked pretty impressed with that one. I still think it's pretty cool.
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