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Religion or psychosis?
someone close to me recently stopped 'using'. almost immediately after detoxing he saw god and went way overly religious, he could not think or speak of anything else. he compared earth to the matrix and heaven with reality---is this likely to be for real or might he be suffering from religious psychosis?
I think this is a common thing. Unfortunately, many users have an "addictive personality", which got them to using in the first place. I have seen several people do this. They drop one habit and pick up another. However, while I do feel religion is a much less poisonous substance than most drugs, it can be damaging to be so overly obsessed with it. Just like any belief, if you go overboard with it, it can become a consuming obsession. Anyone can see anything they want (and it can be as real to them as reality to everyone else) if they become obsessed with it. And since you know he was an addict to something, perhaps he replaced that addiction with this obsession. But nobody can say for sure what is real or false, so I may be wrong or right.
Normally religion comforts people who went through rough times, so they use the religion as a crutch until they are stable enough to accept their past, present and any goals they may have for the future. Whether that means they become a preacher, a teacher or revert back to crime, does not matter. The ability to believe in something, anything, can often bring people out of their darkest hour with hope.
phoebe and jake~ thank you for your responses; both helpful. the obsessive behaviour is quite scary. but yeah you're right phoebe, any form of hope is better than none at all.
Religious psychosis is actually happening and in most cases people who suffer from this kind of disease are those who interpret the Bible differently and took it seriously on their own understanding.
Smzclark; Addiction is created when one repetitively and compulsively uses something like a drug, alcohol (also a drug) or some other form of stimulant. Each time they repeat it they build a deeper imprint of the neurological circuit. It is much like drawing a line and then tracing over it again and again making it darker and deeper with each pass. Remember that underlying all of our complexities we are basically an electronic device. By that I mean that our thoughts and senses are electrical impulses that travel along neurons.
When one quits an addiction it is like ripping out a wire in a circuit board. The board may function without that wire but in the case of something as complex and finely tuned as out brain it is bound to have repercussions.
Often our subconscious begins seeking a replacement for that stimulus. Neurologists have done brain mapping and found that religion give a return quite similar to drugs.
It is most likely that your friend has, more or less, simply switched "drugs" to get that sensation.
Your friend should adjust to the change away from addiction and level out but he might also simply plunge deeper into his new addiction.
Of course this is an oversimplification if you want a fuller understanding research neuropathology and addiction.
In a nutshell it is a form of psycosis... sort of. A psychosis is a break from reality, so its not quite the same thing.
Often when people change their lives, they go to the opposite extreme. One key example I've experienced is when smokers quit smoking cigarettes and then condemn everyone who smokes. It's a natural step and hopefully they'll find the happy-medium once they have this out of their system.
Religion is intoxicating, once you are committed to it, it takes over your entire life. That's is what your friend is going through, just give him your support and he'll be doing very great.
In the 60s there was this standing joke about what you are describing that goes like this:
"I used to be all f@#ked up on drugs but now I'm all f@#ked up on Jesus!"
You know, getting off drugs or alcohol or both is a bitch. Being "all f*%ked up on Jesus" is annoying to your friends but it won't kill you. Most people move past it as they heal and they develop a more nuanced spirituality.
There's nothing wrong with using a crutch when something is broken. When you don't need it anymore you'll put it down.
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