Press Esc to close
Friday 29 April 2016
News updated at 10:45 AM IST
Weather
Max: 36.7°C
Min : 24.5°C
In Bengaluru
Sunny day

'Mixing religion and science in psychiatry dangerous'

Akram Mohammed Mysore, Feb 2, 2013, DHNS

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

Photo Gallery
ISRO's PSLV-C33 carrying India's navigation satellite, the IRNSS-1G lifts off successfully...

ISRO's PSLV-C33 carrying India's navigation satellite, the IRNSS-1G lifts off successfully...

Pranab Mukherjee with Grand Chief Sir Michael Ogio, GCL, GCMG, KSt. J., GG of Papua New Guinea...

Pranab Mukherjee with Grand Chief Sir Michael Ogio, GCL, GCMG, KSt. J., GG of Papua New Guinea...

A man takes a photo of the mummified body of revered Buddhist monk Fu Hou in Quanzhou city...

A man takes a photo of the mummified body of revered Buddhist monk Fu Hou in Quanzhou city...

A farmer walk with a calf on parched lake bed at drought-hit Hukunda near Chikmagalur...

A farmer walk with a calf on parched lake bed at drought-hit Hukunda near Chikmagalur...

Visitors taking selfie with Apple at ‘Apple exhibition cum sales mela’ organised by HOPCOMS...

Visitors taking selfie with Apple at ‘Apple exhibition cum sales mela’ organised by HOPCOMS...

A visitor takes photos of a BMW 328, produced from 1936 to 1940, on display at GUM...

A visitor takes photos of a BMW 328, produced from 1936 to 1940, on display at GUM...

In this photo taken with a fish-eye lens, Volkswagen cars are presented to media...

In this photo taken with a fish-eye lens, Volkswagen cars are presented to media...

The London Eye, in central London, is illuminated in the colours of the Brazilian flag...

The London Eye, in central London, is illuminated in the colours of the Brazilian flag...

A pair of ducks in river Brahmaputra in Guwahati...

A pair of ducks in river Brahmaputra in Guwahati...

A 23-day-old hamadryas baboon plays with a stuffed toy at Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens...

A 23-day-old hamadryas baboon plays with a stuffed toy at Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens...