Press Esc to close

'Mixing religion and science in psychiatry dangerous'

Akram Mohammed Mysore, Feb 2, 2013, DHNS 23:39 IST

Psychiatrists must stick to their sciences, says Prof Rob Poole

In recent years there has been a trend where patients with mental disorders often find comfort from religious practice.

According to Prof Rob Poole, co-director of Centre for Mental Health and Society, Bangor University, United Kingdom, religious practices differ from what psychiatrists do.

However, commenting on the trend in which psychiatrists offered ‘religious’ solutions to mental disorders, he is of a firm view that psychiatrists should simply stick to their science.

“A well educated patient from West Africa was admitted in our centre for some mental disorder. Family of the patient believed that it was due to a curse, and only if she performed the ‘snake ritual’ she would be rid of the disorder. Her family tricked us and left to West Africa to perform the ritual. We had sent a nurse along with the family. The nurse informed us later that the women was relieved of her illness soon after performing the ritual,” he said.

Though such phenomenon are rare and remains unexplained in medical terms, he offered a liberal scientific view, where he opines that psychiatrists should be ready to work with priests or any other religious heads, if that would offer explanations and solutions to mental disorders.

After delivering a lecture on ‘Spirituality and Boundaries in Psychiatric Practice’, at the Indo-European symposium on coercion, he advised that psychiatrists should refrain from attempting to do the ‘religious stuff’ themselves.

“There are psychiatrists working in a religious and spiritual way. (But) these things should be seperate. If a patient wants religion, he will go to a priest. If he wants science, he will come to a psychiatrist. Mixing and matching these two fields is dangerous,” he said.

Or else, what authority do we (psychiatrists) have to treat mental disorders, he asked.
He mildly criticised a group in United Kingdom, who wanted prayer as a part of treatment of disorders, which he said was part of a ‘distinctly Christian form of psychotherapy.’

Dr Vinayprasad, a MD student from Kasturba Medical College, speaking about psychiatry in India said that people do not prefer to consult psychiatrists for their mental problems, due to the stigma that only mad people required the consultation of psychiatrists.

Go to Top

More from this section
Most trending stories
Photo Gallery
BJP supporters during a BJP campaign rally attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi...

BJP supporters during a BJP campaign rally attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi...

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with his son Hardien walks towards...

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with his son Hardien walks towards...

Rolls-Royce Asia Pacific Regional Director Paul Harris at the launch of eight generation...

Rolls-Royce Asia Pacific Regional Director Paul Harris at the launch of eight generation...

Pigeons fly over the historical Jama Masjid in New Delhi...

Pigeons fly over the historical Jama Masjid in New Delhi...

BJP MP Hema Malini addresses a press conference regarding Braj Holi Rasotsav...

BJP MP Hema Malini addresses a press conference regarding Braj Holi Rasotsav...

Inmates of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose central jail perform a tribal dance...

Inmates of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose central jail perform a tribal dance...

A view of Sunder Nursery at Hazrat Nizamuddin in...

A view of Sunder Nursery at Hazrat Nizamuddin in...

Mahila Congress activists make 'pakodas' to protest against alleged unemployement...

Mahila Congress activists make 'pakodas' to protest against alleged unemployement...

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and First Lady Sophie Grgoire greet visitors...

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and First Lady Sophie Grgoire greet visitors...

Gold medalist Mariama Jamanka of Germany gets lifted by silver medal winner Lauren Gibbs...

Gold medalist Mariama Jamanka of Germany gets lifted by silver medal winner Lauren Gibbs...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.