I would like to propose that religious beliefs be placed in the DSM as a category of mental illness for the following reasons:

(1) Hallucinations - the person has invisible friends who (s)he insists are real, and to whom (s)he speaks daily, even though nobody can actually see or hear
these friends.

(2) Delusions - the patient believes that the invisible friends have magical powers to make them rich, cure cancer, bring about world peace, and will do so eventually if asked.

(3) Denial/Inability to learn - though the requests for world peace remain unanswered, even after hundreds of years, the patients persist with the praying behaviour, each time expecting different results.

(4) Inability to distinguish fantasy from reality - the beliefs are contingent upon ancient mythology being accepted as historical fact.

(5) Paranoia - the belief that anyone who does not share their supernatural concept of reality is "evil," "the devil," "an agent of Satan".

(6) Emotional abuse - religious concepts such as sin, hell, cause feelings of guilt, shame, fear, and other types of emotional "baggage" which can scar the
psyche for life.

(7) Violence - many patients insist that others should share in their delusions, even to the extent of using violence.

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Nice. Being in the Mental Health field I absolutely concur. (applause)
People are just too used to this. If believers were a minority they would all be in mental care facilities. Seven symptoms is enough.

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