The Devilish Side Of Psychiatry

The devil ever experienced malicious pleasance inwards imposing himself inwards neuropsychiatric nosology

Olry together with Haines (2017) published a mischievous article inwards the Journal of the History of the Neurosciences:
Having an inquiring heed yesteryear nature, the Devil ever managed to interfere inwards all spheres of human activity, including the sciences. ... Biologists work an enzyme called “luciferase” — Lucifer has been described equally the “light-bearing” fallen angel, thus the bioluminescence — to topographic point sure proteins yesteryear chromogenous reactions (Lodish et al., 2005, p. 92). ...

But how did the Devil larn a pes — of course of didactics cloven (!) — into the door of the neurosciences?

Demonic possession plays an of import role, of course, fifty-fifty inwards modern twenty-four hours psychiatric nosology (see the fighting over Possession Trance Disorder inwards DSM-5). Does it brand whatever feel to work DSM-5 (or DSM-IV) criteria to diagnose spirit possession across cultures? Transcultural psychiatry takes a much to a greater extent than inclusive together with sensitive approach to such phenomena, which are oftentimes precipitated yesteryear trauma.

Olry together with Haines (2017) avoid this literature exclusively together with advise that:
The concept of demonic possession has been mainly of theological (Omand, 1970; Balducci, 1975; Rodewyk, 1988; Amorth, 1999, 2002; Bamonte, 2006; Fortea, 2006, 2008) and/or historical delineate of piece of work (Villeneuve, 1975; Pigin, 1998; Kelly, 2010; Kiely & McKenna, 2007).  ...

Although conservative theologians mightiness non enquiry the reality of diabolical possession (see Haag, 1969; Cortès & Gatti, 1975, for the few exceptions), many psychiatrists together with psychologists acknowledge beingness interested inwards the concept though, of course, non declaring themselves inwards favor of a supernatural etiology...

But beingness diabolical sorts themselves, the authors namedrop together with demo off their autographed re-create of The Exorcist.

Figure 1. Title page of William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist, amongst signed dedication yesteryear the actress Linda Blair. Author’s (R.O.) copy.

They continue:
However, literature together with the moving painting manufacture — let’s holler upward William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist (Blatty, 1971) (see Fig. 1) together with the sociological affect of William Friedkin’s concealment adaptation ii years after (Bozzuto, 1975) — non merely generated impassioned moving painting critics ... but besides brought dorsum scientific discussions involving neurosciences and, to a greater extent than specifically, psychology, neurology, together with psychiatry (Montgomery, 1976).

Häxan (1922)entire celluloid available at

Deadly exorcisms possess got been reported lately inwards the medical literature, including several cases of Fatal Hypernatraemia from Excessive Salt Ingestion During Exorcism. One 20-year-old adult woman received a prescription for Prozac to process her postpartum depression, but her identify unit of measurement besides advised her to undergo an exorcism. She reportedly drank vi spectacles of a mixture of 1 kg tabular array tabular array salt inwards a liter of water.

The Church itself involved physicians many centuries agone inwards the differential diagnosis betwixt possession together with mental disease, equally exemplified yesteryear the 1583 Rheims National Synod:

[Before he undertakes to exorcize, the priest has to enquire diligently nearly the life of the possessed [. . .], of his wellness [. . .], because melancholics, lunatics oftentimes require much to a greater extent than cures of the MD than the ministry building of exorcists.] (Tonquédec, 1948, p. 330)

Physicians, together with inwards actual fact, clinical neuroscientists, so had to elevate a phenomenon — nosology oblige — nearly which most did non believe.

The Devil's Influence Over Neuropsychiatry – “some lexicological compromises”
...neuropsychiatrists sometimes allow themselves the work of theological concepts (e.g., possession, diabolical, demonological), provided that an additional term — medical or non — grants them a picayune to a greater extent than scientific credibility. This add-on may hold upward “neurosis” (demonological neurosis: Hélot, 1898; Freud, 1923), “psychosis” (diabolical possession psychosis: Lhermitte, 1944), “delirium” (diabolical possession delirium: Gayral, 1944; Delay, 1945), “syndrome” (possession syndrome: Yap, 1960), “phenomenon” (phenomenon of possession: Bron, 1975), “state” (possession state: Wittkower, 1970), or “experience” (possession experience: Pattison, 1969, p. 323).

Or sometimes the patient may experience similar they are literally inwards hell.

Self-Portrait inwards Hell, yesteryear Edvard Munch (1903)


Olry R, Haines DE. (2017). The devil ever experienced malicious pleasance inwards imposing himself inwards neuropsychiatric nosology. J Hist Neurosci. 26(3):329-335.

Further Reading

Possession Trance Disorder inwards DSM-5

Spirit Possession equally a Trauma-Related Disorder inwards Uganda

"The spirit came for me when I went to fetch firewood" - Personal Narrative of Spirit Possession inwards Uganda

Possession Trance Disorder Caused yesteryear Door-to-Door Sales

Fatal Hypernatraemia from Excessive Salt Ingestion During Exorcism

Diagnostic Criteria for Demonic Possession

The Wailing (aka 곡성, , Gokseong)

...and to brand your Halloween nightmares complete...

Although it's sure enough non for everybody, The Wailing is an amazing film.

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