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James Brody
December 13th, 2006, 02:21 PM
Historical figures occupy contexts and sometimes I fill a slow night by shifting contexts for one hero or another. Christmas, thus, elicited both my wish for peace and individualism for all critters, regardless of sex, sect, pedalism, fins, scales, or body hair. It also provoked a question: How would a psychiatrist deal with Jesus?

MacLeish gave us some ideas when he wrote JB, his reinterpretation of Job. Fulton J. Sheen criticized a modernism that explains sin rather than forgives it! And religious belief is one domain where a person can hallucinate and be considered normal. (Post-op recovery is another!)

Nonetheless, imagine reactions to this story at the admissions desk in any contemporary ER:
Parented by unwed mother, low socioeconomic status, ran away with older man. Claims she was impregnated by God rather than by her older male companion.

Long intervals of cooperative behavior but often with a condescending manner. Aggressive incidents in the temple market. Frequently annoys religious elders. Defies traditions. Self-isolates in desert, reports of hallucinations of supernatural content, seen to walk on water. Copy-cats both Mithras and Egyptian fertility legends.

Given a one-third heritability for spirituality, his tales will almost certainly recruit a mixed group of followers who will cause more trouble.

He also might provoke his elders into killing him.
Diagnoses: Paranoid schizophrenia with hallucinations, rule out bipolar disorder. Prognosis poor.

Treatment:
Emergency commitment for self protection, suicide precautions.
Start Depakote and risperidone.
Stabilize sleep patterns.


One "miracle" is that a street kid promoted himself into Crusader flags and gossip two millennia later!

Merry Christmas!

JimB