Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Debi Chestnut, author of Stalking Shadows, How to Clear Your Home of Ghosts & Spirits, Is Your House Haunted?, and Something Wicked.

As we all know, an exorcism is the most common treatment for a person possessed by a demon. However, have you really stopped to think about whether that possession is by a demonic entity or by some psychological break, or another undefined mental illness?

There is a concept in psychology called “the possession syndrome,” in which it appears that full control of a person’s mind is in the hands of a demon. However, in the possession syndrome, the demons are not physical beings, but projections of the mind.

A person suffering from possession syndrome often exhibits the same symptoms as a person possessed by a demonic entity. Patients who have suffered from this syndrome often report having horrible impulses to do something bad, thoughts and emotions they can’t control and seem to not be their own, and uncharacteristic moods and exhibiting destructive behavior.

The interesting thing about possession syndrome is that the patient often can only find relief from their symptoms when an exorcism has been performed on them. Normal psychological medications have not effect, and many patients are wary of psychotherapy.

So the question then becomes: are these people possessed by an evil entity and psychologists are not prone to believe the “mythology” of the existence of demons, or, in the converse, is the possession syndrome a psychological disorder?

The answer isn’t clear and in reality we may never know, but the point is that psychology and the paranormal need to work together to help these people. This is already happening in Europe; perhaps it’s time the rest of the world caught up.


Our thanks to Debi for her guest post! For more from Debi Chestnut, read her article, “Protecting Yourself Against Demonic Entities.”

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Written by Anna
Anna is the editor of Llewellyn's New Worlds of Body, Mind & Spirit, the Llewellyn Journal, and Llewellyn's monthly newsletters. She also blogs, tweets, and helps maintain Llewellyn's Facebook page. In her free time, Anna enjoys crossword puzzles, Jeopardy!, being a grammar geek, and spending time ...