Neuro-vahs Witness

A case study in slow developing tumors

If there is abnormal religiosity based on brain lesions, why would a “normal” religious experience mirror the abnormal? How one perceives psychotic episodes depends on the culture and where you were born.

“She reported to have committed self-injuries due to religious sacrifice and a thorough communication with divine voices. AVH (audio-visual hallucination) had first been noticed three years earlier in December 2012 and were considered to be “heavenly.” In the past, she had witnessed episodes of great spiritual interest and devotion starting at the age of 13 and reoccurring at ages 23, 32, and 41. During these episodes, she would join “Jehovah’s Witnesses” for 1–2 years and resign from them afterward because of a significant decrease of religiousness. Yet, she kept showing a higher-than-average devotion to spirituality”.

”Our patient was admitted to the inpatient department, where she presented a psychotic syndrome with grandiose (religious) delusions and extensive tension as well as a distinct feeling of blessedness. At the same time, she showed psychomotor retardation and blocking of formal thoughts” (1)

“A recent study even demonstrated that both religiousness and spirituality may be manipulated through transcranial theta burst stimulation of the right inferior parietal lobe” (2)

And…depending on where you were born—It may be common for psychiatric patients who are Muslim to attribute their hallucinations or other symptoms to “jinn,” the invisible, devilish creatures in Islamic mythology, researchers in the Netherlands have found.

“The findings demonstrate one way in which culture may influence how people perceive their psychotic symptoms, and could help Western psychiatrists better understand patients who have an Islamic background. (3)

Near miss by a space laser