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Commentary


A Divine delusion

Vol. 3, No. 11 / November 2004
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“Delusions: How cognitive therapy helps patients let go” (Pearls, July 2004) reminded me of a patient who once told me and my colleagues that he was God.

“That is very good news,” I responded. “We’re all so glad that you have finally come to us. We’ve waited for you for a long time.”

The patient was pleased with my greeting. Then I added, “We have a lot of sick patients in this hospital. We hope you can help them.” He was puzzled, as he had not expected that responsibilities come with exalted status.

A few days later, after he had begun taking an antipsychotic, I asked about his identity. He now told me he was the “Son of God.” We talked a few days later, and he said, “I am the son of God. Aren’t we all God’s children?”

I was pleased to see his mental health improve but disappointed to learn we would receive no supernatural help with treating our patients.

Yehuda Sherman, MD
Lafayette, CA

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