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Sometimes the best approach can be to go with where they are and use the patient's belief system to the treatment's advantage. Psychiatrist M. Scott Peck correctly pointed out that, unlike psychotherapy, exorcism makes more use of power in waging war against the patient's sickness, and is usually conducted by a team of exorcists who attempt to overpower the patient's efforts to resist treatment. He further notes that, unlike time-limited psychotherapy sessions, exorcisms can extend far beyond forty-five minutes, and often involve forcible physical restraint of the patient during these intense and typically angry confrontations.
Ignorance and superstition have often surrounded stories of demonic possession in various cultures, and surely many alleged episodes can be explained by fraud, chicanery or mental pathology. But anthropologists agree that nearly all cultures have believed in spirits, and the vast majority of societies (including our own) have recorded dramatic stories of spirit possession. Despite varying interpretations, multiple depictions of the same phenomena in astonishingly consistent ways offer cumulative evidence of their credibility.
In Western societies demonology survived as an explanation of mental health problems right up until the eighteenth century, when witchcraft and demonic possession were common explanations for psychopathology. Nevertheless, as I have described above, demonic or spirit possession is still a common explanation for mental health problems in some less developed areas of the world – especially where witchcraft and voodoo are still important features of the local culture such as Haiti and some areas of Western Africa (). The continued adoption of demonic possession as an explanation of mental health problems (especially in relation to psychotic symptoms) is often linked to local religious beliefs (Ng, 2007; Hanwella, de Silva, Yoosuf, Karunaratne & de Silva, 2012), and may often be accompanied by exorcism as an attempted treatment – even in individuals with a known history of diagnosed psychotic symptoms (e.g. Tajima-Pozo, Zambrano-Enriquez, de Anta, Moron et al., 2011).
originally posted by: GeauxHomeYoureDrunk
a reply to: KansasGirl
Thank you for the wonderful response and especially for the podcast info! I will definitely be checking it out some time tomorrow!
originally posted by: skunkape23
If possession is a mental illness wouldn't that also make the guy who thinks he can drive away demons with some religious mumbo-jumbo also a looney?
“There are many other psychiatrists and mental health care professionals who do what I do – perhaps not to the scope that I do – who seem hesitant to speak out,” Dr. Gallagher says. “That’s what gives my work some singularity. That I have had so much experience and that I am willing to speak out. I feel an obligation to speak out. I think that I should.” At the same time, Dr. Gallagher warns that it’s important to determine without any doubt that a person actually has a real demon before recommending that he or she visit an exorcist. “There is very strict criteria for determining the person’s problem,” he warns. “I am not just intuiting. I’m dealing with it from a very scientific point of view.”