chapter  6
19 Pages

Belief and rationality, some thought disorders, and self-identity

Belief and rationality, thought disorders, and sense of self or identity are important to analyse (and find somewhere observable to look) for mental health and therapies. The social basis might be seen in the account of using reality testing for people with delusions, that they strongly resist giving up their delusional beliefs and this resembles more of a social game of playing off the strength of contradictory audiences than anything else. It is important to refocus a person's reporting of their 'beliefs' into their social contexts, but beliefs are difficult uses of language to analyse and occur in many different functional contexts. The real analysis for self and identity, therefore, lies in observing and documenting the life strategies that engender the statements and actions about self that occur. Like 'intrusive thoughts', the hearing of voices is not a problem in itself—it is happening all the time. Hearing voices can be seen as just an extrapolation of thinking more generally.