In “Spiritual Brain”, Montreal Neuroscientist Mario de Beuregaard speaks eloquently of the pseudoscience of atheism and secularism. Jeffersonian division of State and Church was not about silencing religion but rather about ‘power’. The major political externalization of aetheism to date is the genocidal communist regimes. Religious people, especially Christians, are the most persecuted in the world. So many of my patients speak of their abuse, especially the torture victims, and the disregard they experienced for their spiritual practices when they went to psychiatrists who ignorant of what moved them most.
Shabbir Amanulla MD FRCPC was most enlightening. I so enjoyed the medical and psychiatric evidence that Dr. Amanulla presented. He is from India and described the diversity and respect that exists there with regard to medicine and religion. That’s exactly what I saw in this old culture when I was there visiting with the psychiatrists in Mumbai. There was none of the arrogance of youthful Canadian culture in that old and diverse country. I loved his stories he told cringing of his patients there and here. I made notes of his slides. They’re a poor representation of the fullness of his elegant presentation.
- physician having belief would be more trusted
- had patients draw their idea of mental health
- taking a spiritual history
- when they are suicidal?
Dr. Amanullah presented several cases which which showed the limits of conventional therapies with the need for these to be explored first and then the consideration of a more holistic approach to the problem within the context of the patients religious beliefs.
- when they believe suicidals will go to hell?
- father image of god as punishing
We don’t have to be of same faith. Interesting cases regarding that.Shabir presented case of a nun - Depression , GAD-SSRI’s SNRI’s etc been tried-some improvement , not much-always pleasantCase - depressed NunAsked her how you use the Rosary-I said, you’ve tried all these medication and explained the use of rosary, looked at scriptures, Saul, follow up in months, nurse accompanying tried behavioural techniques - came back and had no panic attacks, interacting with other nuns,If I had used conventional approach I would have treated her as ‘unresponsive depression’Should we not be meeting people where they hope? (I loved this beautiful expression of Dr. Armanullah’s “Should we not be meeting people where they hope?! Pure psychiatric brilliance. Yes meet people where they are but also where they hope)Case - the priestShared a humbling letter - after counselling - a patient born in Belfast, mother jewish, was raped repeated by priest, very angry , used mindfulness techniques, became a priest, came to see me , was angry with church, and with god, - I deferred any spiritual approach because of the College and not wanting trouble as it can be unfriendly towards this - but after all the conventional approaches, medication ECT, behavioural were used I asked him about his family ,his father, he began dcrying , asked him about being repeatedly rape, then asked him to tell me about the stories in the Bible, he became calm….you say god is such a bad person, I said, , but you enjoy coming into see me and talking about God - this one question caused an incredible change in the patient after all the conventional approaches had failed.