Are They Possessed By Demons Or… By Psychiatric Illness?

Though we are in the 21st century and particularly in the technologically advanced period, the belief of being possessed is still prevalent over many parts of the world, especially in the remote villages. There are some serious believers who will immediately take people to exorcist with the slightest touch of cold or fever. There are times in history where witches were burnt believing they were practising dark magic. But, those behaviors have now been classified as mass hysteria, which is caused due to spread of rumors, fears and serious beliefs.

Most symptoms which were once believed to be due to demon’s possession have been identified as psychiatric problems as a result of our growth in the understanding of human mind.

The symptoms which were most associated with being possessed by evil spirits are,

  • Strange behaviors
  • Sudden screaming
  • Sudden twitching of body accompanied by a scream
  • Panic attack
  • Isolation or giving no response while communicating to them
  • When they talk about seeing things which no other people can
  • When they claim they are a different person than who they are (Most important symptom to immediately look out for an exorcist!)

The exorcist will find these symptoms as very welcoming. But, sadly, all these symptoms are now found to be associated with a lot of psychiatric problems. After intense research, I got a list of diseases associated with these symptoms from various sources. This post will give a brief explanation of those illness.

Bipolar disorder:

It is a mental condition marked by alternating periods of elation and depression. It is a disorder caused due to brain-chemical imbalance.

Associated demon possession symptom – Strange behaviors


A psychiatric disorder that usually involves problems with perceptions or expressions of reality, significant social or occupational problems, disorganized thinking, and delusions or hallucinations.

Associated demon possession symptom – When they talk about seeing things which no one else can, When they speak things which are irrelevant or with no attachment to the reality and when they isolate themselves from their surroundings.

Tourette syndrome:

Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics. It is believed to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. In some cases, researchers think, it might be due to an abnormality in a certain chromosome that broke off and reattached itself backward.

Associated demon possession symptom – Sudden screaming, Sudden twitching of body accompanied by a scream

Huntington’s Disease:

It is a rare inherited disorder that breaks down nerve cells in the brain over time, affecting the patient’s behavior and movement. In its early stages, HD symptoms can vary among patients. Mood swings are a common early symptom and HD patients may become depressed, irritable, apathetic or angry.

Associated demon possession symptom – Strange behaviors


Psychosis is a serious mental disorder characterized by thinking and emotions that are so impaired, that they indicate that the person experiencing them has lost contact with reality.

People who are psychotic have false thoughts (delusions) and/or see or hear things that are not there (hallucinations). These are referred to as “positive” symptoms; “negative” symptoms like loss of motivation and social withdrawal can also occur.

Associated demon possession symptom – When they talk about seeing things which no one else can, When they speak things which are irrelevant or with no attachment to the reality and when they isolate themselves from their surroundings.


Epilepsy is a chronic disorder, the hallmark of which is recurrent, unprovoked seizures. The seizures in epilepsy may be related to a brain injury or a family tendency, but often the cause is completely unknown.

Associated demon possession symptom – Sudden uncontrollable twitching of body

Conversion disorder:

Conversion disorder symptoms may appear suddenly after a stressful event or trauma, whether physical or psychological. It is sometimes applied to patients who present with neurological symptoms, such as numbness, blindness, paralysis, or fits, which are not consistent with a well-established organic cause, and which cause significant distress. It is classified as a psychiatric disorder.

Associated demon possession symptom – Sudden seizures


Researchers found that sounds between 7 and 19 Hz, which are not audible to human ears, could induce fear, dread or panic. Anything from earthquakes to meteors to ocean waves to fans to old, vibrating pipes in the attic can produce an infrasound. If infrasound hits at just the right strength and frequency, it can resonate with human eyes, causing them to vibrate. This can lead to distorted vision and the possibility of “ghost” sightings. Or, at least, what some would call ghost sightings. Infrasound may also cause a person to “feel” that there’s an entity in the room with him or her, accompanied by that aforementioned sense of dread.

Associated demon possession symptom – Panic attack, Ghost sightings

Multiple Personality Disorder:

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is a severe condition in which two or more distinct identities, or personality states, are present in—and alternately take control of—an individual. The person also experiences memory loss that is too extensive to be explained by ordinary forgetfulness.

Associated demon possession symptom – When they claim they are a different person than who they are, Strange Behaviors

Scientific Experiments:

When Swiss scientists electrically stimulated an epileptic patient’s brain, things got really spooky. The patient reported a shadow person sitting behind her, copying her every move. When she sat up, it also sat up. When she bent forward and grabbed her knees, it reached around her body and held her. The doctors then told her to read a card, but the shadow person tried to take it out of her hand.What happened was the scientists had stimulated the left temporo-parietal junction, the part of the brain that defines the idea of self. By interfering with the area that helps us tell the difference between ourselves and others, the doctors screwed up the brain’s ability to understand its own body, thus leading to the creation of a copycat shadow person. Researchers are hoping this is the key to understanding why so many people, both schizophrenic and healthy, encounter shadow beings and other creatures like aliens.

In one more experiment, some scientists identified disturbances in three specific brain regions, the insular cortex, parietal-frontal cortex, and temporo-parietal cortex when they simulated the brain to imagine the presence of ghosts. All these brain regions were involved in self-awareness, movement, and sense of position in space.

We saw a huge list of illness connected with the strange behaviors of people who were assumed to be possessed. Most of these diseases have unknown causes, as we haven’t yet understood the complete power of human brain. Yet, the treatment for these diseases is to take medication suggested by the psychiatrist and not to get subjected to crude religious practices through the exorcists.

Apart from these diseases, some people enact these paranormal stuffs to create rumors or to do things which they are normally not encouraged to do or which the society does not permits. Sadly, those people are incurable.

Last, but not the least, here is a daily motion video which explains epilepsy and demonic behavior.

Hope these information gives an insight on the scientific perspective of the demonic possession.

Please post your valuable comments 🙂

Info Credits:

Video Credits:

Daily motion & To whomsoever the video might belong.


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