I argue that Christian Science is a Dissociative Disorder.
The discussion from Wikipedia given below, is about as good a definition and description of “dissociation” as it manifests in various ways in human experience, as the average person can easily find. So scan it first if you need some background.
Although Christian Science beliefs fall mainly under the category of depersonalization and derealization in the diagnosis of dissociation, these conditions are considered pathological because they include a sense that self or the world is unreal.
In Christian Science, the state of mind where the self and the world are actually perceived as unreal, is the state of mind where healing is supposed to happen.
There may be some contradiction somewhere, but “knowing that matter is unreal” is supposed to change the picture that mortal mind holds, from one of dis-ease, to one of health. Note that both dis-ease and health are conditions of mortal mind, so prayer or knowing the truth wipes out the error of a dis-eased mortal mind and replaces it with the error of believing one has health.
All dissociative states are trance states. Hypnosis is also a trance state, so it might be rephrased to say that CSers hypnotize themselves into dissociative trances in order to heal the perception that matter is real. Or that their bodies are real.
Christian Science manifests the strongest and clearest examples of derealization and depersonalization known to mankind at this time. The system actually cultivates this state of mind and tries to teach it to their children, who are often confused by these teachings, because children are concrete thinkers until the early teens when abstract thinking that was previously only somewhat developed, begins a surge of development. Unthinking your body as a concrete object is highly abstract and requires a trance state called dissociation. It is not likely that primary school children have that degree of abstract thinking.
When children do not have the ability to conceive of not really having a body, not really being carsick or not really having a stomachache, or a cut on a finger or scrape on a knee, parents need to allow the child to grow into the concept and not make them heal themselves. Children don’t even need prayer for simple colds, everyone (mortal mind) already knows that. Let the kid go to bed with some Kleenex and soup and let the misery pass on its own. Some things are not worth praying over. There is no such thing as a cure for the common cold, so parents and/or practitioners shouldn’t pretend they can manifest a cure for the common cold. The common cold is in the same category as death. Mortal mind does not yet understand it and that mortal mind includes parents and practitioners. Sometimes a cold is gone in a day, sometimes 2-3 days, but letting it pass, while in a comfortable bed, with loving parents, is the best way to deal with it.
What the child learns if the cold is prayed away is that it took 3 days, exactly as long as it would have,even if no one prayed, but this way, by praying it away, the parents or the pracster can claim it as a healing. This is intellectually dishonest and one needs to be dissociated not to realize it.
1. Dissociation is a term in psychology describing a wide array of experiences from mild detachment from immediate surroundings to more severe detachment from physical and emotional experience. It is commonly displayed on a continuum.
2. The major characteristic of all dissociative phenomena involves a detachment from reality – rather than a loss of reality as in psychosis.
3. In mild cases, dissociation can be regarded as a coping mechanism or defense mechanisms in seeking to master, minimize or tolerate stress – including boredom or conflict.
4. At the nonpathological end of the continuum, dissociation describes common events such as daydreaming while driving a vehicle. Further along the continuum are non-pathological altered states of consciousness.
5. More pathological dissociation involves dissociative disorders, including dissociative fugue and depersonalization disorder with or without alterations in personal identity or sense of self. These alterations can include: a sense that self or the world is unreal (depersonalization and derealization); a loss of memory (amnesia); forgetting identity or assuming a new self (fugue); and fragmentation of identity or self into separate streams of consciousness (dissociative identity disorder, formerly termed multiple personality disorder) and complex post-traumatic stress disorder.
6. The ICD-10 classifies conversion disorder as a dissociative disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders groups all dissociative disorders into a single category.
7. A conversion disorder causes patients to suffer from neurological symptoms, such as numbness, blindness, paralysis, or fits without a definable organic cause. It is thought that symptoms arise in response to stressful situations affecting a patient’s mental health and Conversion disorder is considered a psychiatric disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fifth edition (DSM-V).
8. Formerly known as “hysteria“, the disorder has arguably been known for millennia, though it came to greatest prominence at the end of the 19th century, when the neurologists Jean-Martin Charcot and Sigmund Freud and psychiatrist Pierre Janet focused their studies on the subject.
9. Before Freud’s studies on hysteria, people who suffered from physical disabilities that were not caused by any physical impairments, known as hysterical patients, were believed to be malingering, suffering from weak nerves, or just suffering from meaningless disturbances.
10. The term “conversion” has its origins in Freud’s doctrine that anxiety is “converted” into physical symptoms. Though previously thought to have vanished from the west in the 20th century, some research has suggested it is as common as ever.
11. The DSM-IV classifies conversion disorder as a somatoform disorder while the ICD-10 classifies it as a dissociative disorder.
3 thoughts on “Christian Science and Dissociation”
Now this is a unique claim! I though everything had been said about mental conditions and Christian Science, but this is an unexpected twist on the theme. Sorry for being anonymous, but keep writing