The World's Strangest Mental Delusions
When a complex organ like the brain experiences a malfunction, a complex problem can result. Here are some of the most bizarre delusions ever recorded by psychiatrists.
What's the Latest Development?
When an organ as complex as our brain malfunctions, some very puzzling mental delusions can result. One of the most extreme delusions ever observed was recorded by a French psychiatrist during l'entre-deux-guerres. The case involved a 53-year-old Parisian seamstress who "had become convinced those around her were being kidnapped by strange creatures known as 'sosies', which imprisoned her loved ones underground as they plotted to steal all her property." The woman claimed that every day her daughter went off to school, she was replaced by an identical impostor.
What's the Big Idea?
While such extreme cases were once undoubtedly treated in somewhat mystical fashion, today we know that massive delusions are often caused by brain trauma, stroke or neurological illness. In many cases, delusions turn on problems of identification. "Once these mistaken identifications start occurring, the brain then needs to take the next big step by actually deciding these errors are actually indicative of a larger reality." Research suggests that people prone to ignoring evidence that contrasts their viewpoint are more likely to make such delusional leaps.
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- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.
- When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
- When this phenomenon happens in the pharmaceutical world, companies quickly apply for broad protection of their patents, which can last up to 20 years, and fence off research areas for others. The result of this? They stay at the top of the ladder, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
- Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation the same as product invention. Companies should still receive an incentive for coming up with new products, he says, but not 20 years if the product is the result of "tweaking" an existing one.
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