Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Psychiatrist’s Guide to Islamophobia ...

DISCLAIMER: While the following passage is meant to be a source of information, no claim can be made as to its being up-to-date and entirely correct. Reader discretion is advised. The author of this blog is not responsible for any exacerbation of symptoms that may arise as a result of reading this posting.

Overview and Epidemiology: Islamophobia is a syndrome caused by infection with a virus called the Human Islamophobia Virus (HIV, not to be confused with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the causative agent of AIDS). Though the syndrome has been officially recognized for the past fourteen centuries, it is thought to have existed since pre-historic times. The first documented case of Islamophobia was a patient named Abu Lahab who lived in the Arabian city of Makkah circa 1400 years ago. The syndrome soon spread into an endemic in the aforementioned city, but it became pandemic and has now assumed the proportions of a worldwide epidemic.

Symptoms and Signs: The patient may present to the clinic on his own with a neurotic phobia of Islam, but more often than not he is brought to the clinic in a state of psychosis with manifest paranoid persecutory delusions often associated with delusions of grandeur. The patient may give a history of hypnopompic hallucinations involving visions of horses and swords. The symptoms start in early adolescence and last for a lifetime (see Treatment below). Physical examination reveals a high level of distress, irritable mood, and pathetic affect. Cognition is severely impaired; and speech is circumlocutory and filled with hate. Personality tests are noncontributory.

Treatment: The neurotic form of the syndrome can be cured with exposure therapy. Gradual increasing doses of Islam can lead to tolerance with excellent results. In such cases, therapy with antiviral treatment is not indicated and may even be counterproductive due to the occurrence of side-effects. In contrast with the neurotic form of the syndrome, the psychotic form has evaded cure so far. In the patient who suffers from the psychotic form of the syndrome, the virus is known to treacherously mutate itself when challenged with standard antiviral medication. The microbe has developed several specific types and strains, and it is thought that prevention is the best cure for this evasive virus. In this connection, trials are underway for a promising new vaccine at the Wahabbi Research Laboratories (WRL, also known as What-the-hell Research Laboratories). The new vaccine, called HBV (Hate Bush Vaccine, not to be confused with hepatitis B virus), has successfully passed the rodent stage and is now all set for trial on human subjects.

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