‘Strong beliefs and delusions’ is an essay by the late Dr John Ellard reproduced from the book The Anatomy of Mirages: a Psychiatrist Reflects on Life and the Mind.*
Dr Ellard, revered former Editor of Modern Medicine of Australia and Medicine Today and a distinguished psychiatrist, wrote many essays in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s on society’s most controversial and vexing issues. These were published in various journals including Modern Medicine of Australia, and also collected together and published as books. The essay ‘Strong beliefs and delusions’ originally appeared in the March 1991 issue of Modern Medicine of Australia.
* Ellard J. The anatomy of mirages: a psychiatrist reflects on life and the mind. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press; 1994. p. 207-217.
As an examiner in postgraduate psychiatry, for more than a score of years I heard my fellow examiners asking candidates to define the term delusion. I listened with great care, for I did not know the answer and hoped to discover it. I have decided to confess my state of ignorance and, as a sort of penance, try to put it right.
Picture credit: © Barry Olive, 2017