Extreme Religious Faith & Induced/Shared Delusional Disorder

“Induced/Shared Delusional Disorder is rarely seen (except for fanatical religious or political cults where it is extremely common) and these delusions are shared by two or more people with close emotional links. The delusions in the nondominant person(s) usually disappear when the people are separated. Whereas the delusions in the dominant, genuinely psychotic person persist (unless treated). Effective Therapies for Shared Delusional Disorder the delusional individuals must be separated. Usually the follower with “induced” delusions regains sanity once separated from the psychotic leader (e.g., cult leader or psychotic parent).” Ref

Extreme faith has issues common with Induced Delusional Disorder or “faith brainwashed” thinking.  A true scientific thinker will be delighted at having found a new aspect of science, especially if it changes a scientific view, whereas a true religionist/fideist motivated by faith or Induced Delusional Disorder will deny it and try to explain it away. Why are religious delusions so prominent in patients with serious mental health diagnoses? Are there sociological or cultural-religious factors beyond the psychological explanations for the high prevalence of religious delusions? Likewise, to what extent are such delusional religionists/fideists expressing Induced delusional disorder. The term “induced delusional disorder” comes from the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems diagnostic tool maintained by the World Health Organization. I will from now on use the term induced delusional disorder as I this it more clearly describes how I am using it. The Induced Delusional Disorder involves a disorder where non-psychotic person or group develops delusions “brainwashed” after interacting with one or more psychotic delusional people and by people or groups with delusional and/or dogmatic thinking, beliefs, or agendas. To stop or counter the effects of Induced Delusional Disorder’s emotional and reasoning hijacking, a disconnecting ones effected from delusional person(s), group or beliefs but the belief alteration from “brainwashed” delusions by means of rational and evidentiary challenge may be our only recourse. A point must be made on Induced Delusional Disorder which involve “brainwashed” religious convictions likely will be the hardest to overcome or reason people out of partly because religious delusions and psychosis are often intertwined such as how around one-third of psychoses have religious delusions. Speaking about the masses of delusional religionists/fideists expressing could it not seen a bit reasonable to attach some inducements from Induced Delusional Disorder with mass sociogenic illness, which involves collective delusions have no corresponding reason attributed to a class of mass, collective, or group hysteria. (1) & (2)

I wonder how connected the Induced Delusional Disorder could be in promoting a Depersonalization-Derealization Syndrome, which even the general population experiences in short episodes. Depersonalization-Derealization Syndrome is actually two different types of grouped affects one phenomenological (relating to consciousness and self-awareness) involving a sense of detachment from one’s self is involved in depersonalization and one  experiential (relating to experience and observation) involving a sense of detachment from one’s surroundings is involved in derealization. I think some religious experiences sound similar to Depersonalization-Derealization Syndrome such as feeling a disconnection from one’s body, thoughts, or emotions or outside of or loss of control over one’s own thoughts and/or body possibly even a to the level of out-of-body or an otherworldly outside reality set of experiences. So how much more common would this be when in a hyperactive delusional prone state as Induced Delusional Disorder? Psychology may define a delusion as false belief opposing reality however they not wanting to offend religions or cultures allow room for delusion belief if its accepted by other members of the person’s society, group or subgroup thus showing they not only know a Shared Psychotic Disorder/Induced Delusional Disorder is accruing them feel they have to tolerate it. (3) & (4)

So, even if we cannot directly link all seemingly delusional religious experiences or religious delusions (false belief contrary to reality) to a psychotic disorder, when it is obvious that “faith brainwashed” delusionality is accruing, what else could explain this? There are some possible logical fallacies or cognitive bias that make “faith brainwashed” thinking or Induced Delusional Disorder so pervasive and enduring. I believe Induced Delusional Disorder likely motivates confirmatory bias where new facts or information even reasonable ones, do not change thinking and only things that are acknowledged conform to ones beliefs. Likewise, Induced Delusional Disorder likely motivates correspondence bias where we unfairly or unjustly apply a double standard to the validity of a belief or peace of information, positively if we think supports our belief and negatively if not. Lastly, Induced Delusional Disorder likely motivates Closed-Minded Reasoning (basis assessment and delusional/unreflective incorrectability) logical fallacy reasoning which increase self-confidence in polarized beliefs, create distortion in reasoning allowing the “faith brainwashed” thinking to endure.

Science, unlike faith, uses more Critically Open-Minded Reasoning (open assessment and reflective correctability) the effort to overcome all of those issues common with Induced Delusional Disorder or “faith brainwashed” thinking. With science, unlike faith, all facts are welcomed, even if they contradict a treasured theory or model, which must then be rejected immediately. A true scientist will be delighted at having found a new aspect of science, especially if it changes a scientific view, whereas a true religionist/fideist motivated by faith or Induced Delusional Disorder will deny it and try to explain it away. Admittedly science is not a single category, approach or thinking, however nobody who is reasonable and informed can or should reject or deny the truths it produces. Religion too is not a single category, approach or thinking, however nobody who is reasonable and informed can accept its deluded or reality devoid beliefs as any kind of truths. The scientific method assumes a priori of methodological naturalism about the nature of reality that is devoid of considering supernatural causes, it is not agnostic about this. The scientific method is using a form of philosophical rationalism to establish this view about the nature of reality along with the commonly held philosophy of empiricism, because looking for proof or truth devoid of considering supernatural causes by using a priori assumptions is employing rationalism. Faith is offered as the justification for belief. As seen in the statement I believe in god because I have faith. Translation I am using faith (strong believe without or contrary to evidence) in place of facts. This faith instead of facts is a corner point of in all magical, mystical, supernatural, and superstitious thinking or beliefs. Ones who are science-minded holding to objective methodologies such as the scientific method would be compiled by the ethics of belief to never put faith over facts, in fact never use faith as a justification for belief at all.


(1) Wikipedia (2015). Folie a deux. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folie_%C3%A0_deux

(2) Wikipedia (2015). Mass psychogenic illness. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_psychogenic_illness

(3) Wikipedia (2015). Depersonalization disorder. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depersonalization_disorder

(4) Koenig, H.G. (2007). Religion, spirituality and psychotic disorders. Retrieved from http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S0101-60832007000700013&script=sci_arttext&tlng=en