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eqgumby

Demonic or Schizophrenic

89 posts in this topic

Quite often here at UM, we hear from people that believe they may be having a problem with Demons, demonic entities, or demonic forces. What USUALLY happens is that the topic is immediately divided by the religious side and the medical side, and ultimately the thread is closed because of all the medical advice thrown around and/or religious banter.

Here are two lists, from separate websites. One is symptoms of demonic attack/possession, the other a list of symptoms of schizophrenia. Neither one should be used solely to diagnose a medical condition, or a spiritual condition obviously.

The point here is, to point out the startling similarities. Aside from the religious items in demonic attacks (which can be explained by the delusions common in schizophrenia) they are nearly identical. Those few items in demonic possession that are not the same as schizophrenia, can usually be explained by the very symptoms of schizophrenia as is the case with aversion to "holy" items or paraphernalia.

Add to this, the normal average schizophrenic is a late teen to early 20's male or mid to late 20's female, and the most common demonic attack victims are the same age, and you have a set of similarities that are impossible to ignore.

The question that I would pose then, is there any set of specific symptoms that would draw a clear line between the two conditions (assuming there is a clear line and demonic possession is real of course).

Demonic?

http://www.demon-slayer.org/symptoms-of-demonic-attack/

Thinking thoughts which are “not like you” or which “seem to come from somewhere else” or which “come out of the blue”.

Sudden depression. Sometimes the depression is severe, sometimes it is very subtle.

Feeling like suicide, like life is not worth living or wondering why you are here.

Having severe arguments with your spouse or friends.

Feeling like someone or something else is controlling you. You may feel controlled all the time or only some of the time.

Feeling like someone or something is pressuring you to do certain acts.

Hearing one or multiple voices in your head that are negative, persuasive, or commanding you to do something. For example, hearing a voice persuade you that a certain friend should be avoided, or asking you to let them “in” to your life in some way.

Deep personality changes. For example, someone stays at home all the time when they used to be very gregarious.

Creepy feelings.

An area of your house or your neighbourhood which feels negative or oppressive.

Any kind of phenomena. For example, scratching sounds, things falling off walls or shelves, religious or spiritual items being moved or changed.

Feeling attacked when others do not see or experience anything. Sometimes this feeling of being attacked may come with physical pain that is medically inexplicable. Usually it will come with psychological pain of some sort – terror or anguish for example.

An aversion to prayer or an inability to pray.

Feelings of hopelessness.

Being unable to stand any contact with religious or spiritual items. For example, sudden strong aversion to going into a church or temple, aversion to being touched by a crucifix, and so on.

Schizophrenic?http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/schizophrenia/DS00196/DSECTION=symptoms

Problems with making sense of information

Difficulty paying attention

Memory problems

Loss of interest in everyday activities

Appearing to lack emotion

Reduced ability to plan or carry out activities

Neglect of personal hygiene

Social withdrawal

Loss of motivation

Delusions. These beliefs are not based in reality and usually involve misinterpretation of perception or experience. They are the most common of schizophrenic symptoms.

Hallucinations. These usually involve seeing or hearing things that don't exist, although hallucinations can be in any of the senses. Hearing voices is the most common hallucination among people with schizophrenia.

Thought disorder. Difficulty speaking and organizing thoughts may result in stopping speech midsentence or putting together meaningless words, sometimes known as "word salad."

Disorganized behavior. This may show in a number of ways, ranging from childlike silliness to unpredictable agitation.

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the only clear difference in symtoms i can see is the religious side

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the only clear difference in symtoms i can see is the religious side

...and that can be explained as part of the delusions in schizophrenia.

I have heard of cases of people possessed being told they are being sprinkled with holy water, and they react violently...because they believe the Sprite or tap-water is holy, NOT because it really is...these same people will drink a bottle of holy water if they believe it is tap water, with no ill effect.

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well the only logical explanation to that is they are not possesed,

i see your angle now on how closely related they could be or are.

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This is a subject on which I know little in fact but more in experience. What I have seen, has stuck with me over the years and never leaves my mind...suffice to say it scared me a hell of a lot more at the time than it does now, but still! :unsure2:

I have been on a psych ward three times in my life (so far)...and naturally I hope never to return unless my depression decides to rear it's ugly head. But I met a lot of people, some of who I still speak to now who showed clear signs of a cross between what could be labelled posession OR schizophrenia. Telling them apart, well who knows? I'm glad it's not my job.

The trouble with the medical and scientifical world, is that they will only deal in FACTS and symptoms they can label easily. I fear that even just a few people could infact have spiritual/demonic problems that are simply labelled with a psychological issue.

I know many a person who has been labelled neurotic and paranoid, simply because they feel somone or SOMETHING is following them. Some say it's a person, others claimed it was a "monster"...how can we ever know the truth? :blink:

I've lost count of how many poor souls I've seen jumped on by medical staff and stabbed with a high dose of tranquilliser just to ease their discomfort. Some of them became so disturbed, almost "wild" in appearance-checking behind doors, the fear in them so intense that it could move the coldest of people to tears. Sadly, I've seen people on the edge of insanity through pure terror and even though I don't believe in demonic posession per se, I believe that something, possibly other-worldly could be teasing and taunting them. How can you be so afraid will no apparent cause? The mind boggles...

It would be so much easier if there was a way to prove these things wouldn't it? Without such means, we truly never will know. :ph34r:

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Posted (edited)

Demonic?

http://www.demon-slayer.org/symptoms-of-demonic-attack/

Thinking thoughts which are not like you or which seem to come from somewhere else or which come out of the blue.

Sudden depression. Sometimes the depression is severe, sometimes it is very subtle.

Feeling like suicide, like life is not worth living or wondering why you are here.

Having severe arguments with your spouse or friends.

Feeling like someone or something else is controlling you. You may feel controlled all the time or only some of the time.

Feeling like someone or something is pressuring you to do certain acts.

Hearing one or multiple voices in your head that are negative, persuasive, or commanding you to do something. For example, hearing a voice persuade you that a certain friend should be avoided, or asking you to let them in to your life in some way.

Deep personality changes. For example, someone stays at home all the time when they used to be very gregarious.

Creepy feelings.

An area of your house or your neighbourhood which feels negative or oppressive.

Any kind of phenomena. For example, scratching sounds, things falling off walls or shelves, religious or spiritual items being moved or changed.

Feeling attacked when others do not see or experience anything. Sometimes this feeling of being attacked may come with physical pain that is medically inexplicable. Usually it will come with psychological pain of some sort terror or anguish for example.

Feelings of hopelessness.

I think that, in general, it's a bad idea to look at any of the above symptoms as signs of demonic oppression. Like you said, many are common symptoms of various mental illnesses. These types of things are usually influenced by a variety of environmental and biological factors that need to be assessed thoroughly, not banished by religious men. What if a very sick person decides to go to a priest instead of a doctor and their condition deteriorates because of false beliefs?

Even if demonic possession exists, it's bound to be a heck of a lot rarer than conditions like depression and bipolar disorder. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. No one, in my opinion, should be jumping to the conclusion that what they are experiencing is supernatural unless they have multiple people witnessing highly unusual and inexplicable occurences. Depression and vague feelings can never really be proven to result from an incorporeal entity because the entities themselves remain unprovable. It is very important for a person who who suspects the paranormal to analyze their own beliefs and really question whether what they have experienced could be coincidence or misidentification.

Edited by Cybele

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I think that, in general, it's a bad idea to look at any of the above symptoms as signs of demonic oppression. Like you said, many are common symptoms of various mental illnesses. These types of things are usually influenced by a variety of environmental and biological factors that need to be assessed thoroughly, not banished by religious men. What if a very sick person decides to go to a priest instead of a doctor and their condition deteriorates because of false beliefs?

Even if demonic possession exists, it's bound to be a heck of a lot rarer than conditions like depression and bipolar disorder. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. No one, in my opinion, should be jumping to the conclusion that what they are experiencing is supernatural unless they have multiple people witnessing highly unusual and inexplicable occurences. Depression and vague feelings can never really be proven to result from an incorporeal entity because the entities themselves remain unprovable. It is very important for a person who who suspects the paranormal to analyze their own beliefs and really question whether what they have experienced could be coincidence or misidentification.

well said, cybele! :tu::yes:

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I think the only way to tell the difference is to study the process after the fact. If the person is helped by therapy or medication, it was a mental illness. If the therapy and medication does not work and, instead, a priest praying or exorcising them does, you can then say it was a demonic possession.

:tu:

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Posted (edited)

If the therapy and medication does not work and, instead, a priest praying or exorcising them does, you can then say it was a demonic possession.

Not necessarily. Some evangelical christians believe that they are possessed by evil spirits only because their preacher and religious community insist upon it. Technically they are not normally mentally ill. When these types of exorcisms are performed, they seem effective to the congregation and the person experiencing it, but to me, they seem like purely psychological phenomena. Exorcism can be an outlet for people to release pent up emotions and desires. Some people like to believe that their problems and faults can be blamed on something 'other'; exorcism can be a ritualistic way to get rid of 'inner demons'.

Edited by Cybele

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I remember reading in some psychology book that people whom had claimed to be possessed and/or had alien encounters often had similiar accounts. Pretty much that there were socially based ideas that gave each situation certain characteristics. I.e. many people who had "seen aliens" described them the same etc. same thing for possessions. not to say they dont exist or not possible but it seems as if people are still restrained to "thinking within the box" so to speak with these type of things.

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the only clear difference in symtoms i can see is the religious side

What about the mentally ill that claim God or Satan is behind their delusions?

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What about the mentally ill that claim God or Satan is behind their delusions?

As in religious fanatics like Pat Robertson or jihadists?

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Yup, like them. Or like the mom in SF that dropped her 3 kids off the bridge because she said god told her to.

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I remember reading in some psychology book that people whom had claimed to be possessed and/or had alien encounters often had similiar accounts. Pretty much that there were socially based ideas that gave each situation certain characteristics. I.e. many people who had "seen aliens" described them the same etc. same thing for possessions. not to say they dont exist or not possible but it seems as if people are still restrained to "thinking within the box" so to speak with these type of things.

This point sticks out the most to me. Cybele also had some good points to make.

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Good rule of thumb I have used, while treating various types of "mental ilnesses" on psych. units and in private practice, that some of my fellow practioners go by,and not all believe in possession in any type, rule out all things medical that might be causing viewed symptoms before one starts down the path of manifestations that have a "religious" bearing to it. If one started looking at various types of mental illness, the devil would be in the details. Last time I looked, the APA didn't recognize demonic possession but I know some mental health professionals that are open minded to never rule anything out.

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Posted (edited)

That's just it. Are demons really evil entities or are they just things that go wrong with complex central nervous systems? There is no evidence of the former but plenty of evidence for the latter. So, depending on belief, exorcism can be just as effective as psychotherapy. Belief can make things seem very real and so can be leveraged in a therapeutic way. I think this was the angle used early on by PRS in Paranormal State but they have since lost their way and become media whores.

Edited by sinewave

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Good thread. I think offering a responsible, alternative perspective is healthy when it comes to such discussions.

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I just want to say if you believe you are possessed or think someone is possessed get them to a doctor first, do not call for a priest as that just adds fuel to the fire as they play on it. Just seek medical help first.

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Lets not forget that realms of the universe are mostly unknown, and so it would be very easy for a force we cannot hardly comprehend to manipulate brain chemistry in any way for any effect for whatever reason. "Nothing is out there! It is all in your mind!" Sure...

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I just want to say if you believe you are possessed or think someone is possessed get them to a doctor first, do not call for a priest as that just adds fuel to the fire as they play on it. Just seek medical help first.

:tu:

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http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=58835

Well, apart from this, There are some differences in real demonic possession, which actually rarely occurs.

Actually, for a long time the amount of possessions that occurred through history decreased. Once the the second great revival happened and there were many more christian religions, the number again began to increase. Not only that, but if possession is actually rare, just because you identify the schizophrenics doesn't mean they don't occur. If for every 1000 cases there were schizophrenics, and only 1 was demonic, it would be harder to figure out the real case, and people would probably dismiss all the rest of the cases as schizo after investigating 501 anyways.

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THE problem is if someone is possessed and you treat them as mental, they could kill them selves.And if some one as mental health problems, and you treat them as possessed that to could be dangers.

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THE problem is if someone is possessed and you treat them as mental, they could kill them selves.

Wanting to kill oneself is a sign of depression, which is well treated with medication. Please let me know of any well documented cases of a person having been proved to be possessed by demons and furthermore, having been driven to suicide.

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Please let me know of any well documented cases of a person having been proved to be possessed by demons...

As you know, there are no "proven" cases of possession.

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As you know, there are no "proven" cases of possession.

I was being facetious...

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