Differences between mental disorders and spiritual awakening / psychospiritual crisis

PMental disorders

Characteristic features of a process that requires medical help to solve a problem.

Psychospiritual crisis / spiritual awakening / psychospiritual experience

Characteristics of a process in which a strategy for spiritual awakening can help.

Medical criteria

Clinical examination and laboratory tests show a physical disease that causes psychological changes. Negative results of clinical examination and laboratory tests for physical disease.
Clinical examination and laboratory tests show a brain process that causes psychological changes (neurological reflexes, cerebrospinal fluid, X-ray, etc.). Negative results of clinical examination and laboratory tests for pathological processes affecting the brain.
Specific psychological tests show organic brain damage. Negative results of psychological tests for organic damage.
Deficiencies in intellect and memory, blurred consciousness, problems with basic orientation (name, time, place), poor coordination. Intellect and memory have changed qualitatively but remain intact, consciousness usually clear, good basic orientation, no serious deficiencies in coordination.
Confusion, disorganization and defective intellect functions make communication and cooperation difficult. Ability to communicate and cooperate (occasionally there may be problems in a deep experience of the internal process).

Psychological criteria

A personal history shows serious difficulties in interpersonal relationships since childhood, inability to make friends and intimate sexual relationships, poor social adaptability, usually a long history of psychiatric problems. Adequate functioning before the crisis, demonstrated by interpersonal skills, some success in school and profession, a network of friends and the ability to establish a sexual relationship, no serious psychiatric history.
Unordered and poorly defined process content, unqualified changes in emotions and behavior, non-specific disorganization of psychological functions, lack of meaningfulness, no indication of the direction of development, loss of associations, incoherence. Sequences of biographical memories, themes of birth and death, transpersonal experiences, possible insights into the healing or spiritual nature of the process, change and evolution of themes, often definable progress, cases of true synchronicity (evident to others).
Autistic detachment, aggression, or controlling and manipulative behavior hinders the good functioning of the relationship and makes cooperation impossible. The ability to establish relationships and collaborate, often during episodes of dramatic experiences that come spontaneously or during psychotherapeutic work.
Inability to see the process as an intrapsychic matter, confusion between inner experiences and the outside world, over-projection and accusation, "misleading." Awareness of the intrapsychic nature of the process, satisfactory ability to distinguish between the inner and outer world, the "coping" of the process, the ability to keep it in the inner world.
Essential distrust, seeing the world and all people as enemies, delusions of persecution, acoustic hallucinations about enemies ("voices") with very unpleasant content. Sufficient confidence to receive assistance and cooperation; no delusions about persecution and "voices".
Violations of the basic rules of therapy ("not to hurt themselves or others, to destroy property and equipment"), destructive and self-destructive (suicidal or self-damaging) impulses and the tendency to act without warning. Ability to respect the basic rules of therapy, no destructive or self-destructive ideas or tendencies, or the ability to talk about them and take protective measures.
Behavior threatening the health and causing serious concern (refusing to eat or drink for a long time, neglecting basic hygiene rules). Good cooperation on physical health issues, compliance with basic hygiene rules.