Are We Living In A Delusional Society?
"If delusions are accepted by the masses they become beliefs."
Posted Jul 26, 2011
Creative individuals have fresh perceptions and may make important discoveries that only they know about. A delusion is a belief that is sustained despite what almost everyone else believes and not ordinarily accepted by other members of the person's culture or subculture. Many Americans are not in agreement with the beliefs and ordinary accepted behaviors of our political leaders at this time, as we await their decision about the national debt.
Delusional disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis denoting a psychotic mental disorder that is characterized by holding one or more non-bizarre delusions. Is it delusional to believe that our healthcare system is promoting health? Is it delusional to think that our country will ever be out of debt? Is it delusional to think that we the people are a priority in the USA?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) defines six subtypes of the disorder; one type is grandiose (the believes that he/she is the greatest, strongest, fastest, most intelligent person ever), the persecutory type (a person believes that someone is following him/her to do some harm in some way), somatic type (a person believes that he/she has a disease or medical condition), and mixed, i.e., having features of more than one subtypes.
Is it delusional to distrust the FDA and pharmaceutical companies when we listen to the commercial on TV which describes the fatal side effects of the medication that they are advertising? Or are the FDA and pharmaceutical companies delusional?
I see clients daily who have developed illnesses as a result of the medications that they are so freely prescribed and told to have trust in. They believe their doctors when they are told "take this." Is it delusional to question or distrust your physician at times or is it clear thinking?
Are we living in a delusional society that is becoming the norm, which makes this type of thinking non delusional? Delusions are false judgments held with extraordinary conviction and subjective certainty, resistant to contrary experience and counter-argument, whose content is impossible-or at least not verifiable.
If wealthy hedge fund managers, corporate Americans etc would give up their tax breaks our budget may move toward balance. Is that delusional thinking or creative insightful thinking? According to President Obama in his recent speech he stated "We are on the verge of a deep crisis." Has Washington been delusional while our country continues to be in trillions of dollars of debt?
A person with delusional disorder may be high functioning in daily life and may not exhibit odd or bizarre behavior aside from these delusions. Look at many of the politicians who are leading double lives, committing heinous crimes and when caught, they have beliefs to support their behaviors. Grandiose ideas are part of delusional thinking. These people believe that they are the greatest, strongest, or most intelligent ever.
The DSM-IV, and psychologists, generally agree that personal beliefs should be evaluated with great respect to complexity of cultural and religious differences since some cultures have widely accepted beliefs that may be considered delusional in other cultures. Our culture is changing and with it the belief that everyone is created equal. I believe our country has a chance if we start to think creatively and with insight.
Specifically, to be a "delusion," a belief must be sustained despite what almost everyone else believes, and not be one ordinarily accepted by other members of the person's culture or subculture. As I mentioned before, many Americans are not in agreement with the beliefs and ordinary accepted behaviors of our political leaders at this time, as we await their decision about the national debt.
On the other hand, creativity is like a muscle. It has to be used, especially at this time. Meditation is a wonderful source and vehicle for creativity. At this time of crisis I believe the people who run our government would be more insightful, creative and less delusional if they meditated together. It couldn't hurt!
*Copyright (Jean Pollack)