ABSTRACT: This article addresses the validity of viewing demonic possession as a phenomenon distinct from any other form of pathology. It does so by briefly examining the historical relationship of demon possession and other forms of illness; reviewing some of the psychological research into the phenomena of possession; and then presenting a description of possession derived from a study of fourteen possessed individuals.The article concludes that possessions do exist as a phenomena independent of the current commonly accepted forms of psychopathology. A diagnostic description of possession is then presented to enable a greater ability to differentiate cases of possession from the present categories of the DSM-III.
Isaacs TC (1987). The possessive states disorder: The diagnosis of demonic possession. Pastoral Psychology 35:263-273.
Magnetism Revealed (1784). From a popular pamphlet. Reproduced in Lancet (2009).
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