Possession (Psychosis and Spirituality)

How do we define psychosis? According the Merriam Webster, psychosis is, “a serious mental illness (such as schizophrenia ) characterized by defective or lost contact with reality often with hallucinations or delusions”

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How do we define spirituality? According to Merriam Webster spiritualism is, “the view that spirit is a prime element of reality.” Not very helpful.

How do you define spirituality? For me it is something greater than me, a connect to  and working with the elements, guides, ancestors, ascended masters, angels, gods and goddess, loved ones, animals and plants.

Where exactly to the lines intersect and cross? When are symptoms spiritual and when are they psychosis? Or are they same thing treated differently by varying people depending on their believes? And I struggle with how psychosis and spirituality play together. How I want them to get alone. Yet, what exactly is their relationship? Siblings, family members, friends, enemies?

I have set out to explore psychosis, spirituality and how they intersect or don’t.

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A beautiful soul came into the CSU (Crisis Stabilization Unit) suffering what clinically would be labeled severe psychosis. She suffered from visual, audio, tactile and olfactory hallucinations. She felt that she was constantly being attached by demons and evil spirits. My heart broke for her. What pain she lives in.

I cannot fathom being in the clutches of psychosis or a spiritual attack where my whole being is consumed.

To be so lost between reality and illusion that I do not know which is which.

Where I hear disembodied voices, feel the touch of phantom hands. Smell something I can’t see. To feel as if each moment I am being attacked.

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Is her brain broken or is her soul under attack? I don’t know. I wanted to delve more into her experiences. What happened to cause her brain to break? What trauma did she have to endure to survive? How many pieces of her were scattered across her time line waiting to come home? I wanted to help her clear her energy fields and channels. Call in her guides and angels. Maybe find a priest to perform an exorcism. Because she truly believes she under attack and possessed. Or is that just her brain fractured and broke.  Maybe she just needs medication and some behavioral modification therapy to help identify what is real and what is false. Maybe she needs both.

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I wondered how many therapists had sat with her. In her delusions. In her experiences. Just sat, didn’t judge. Didn’t evaluate. Just spent a moment in her shoes and listened to her story. To bear witness to the horrors and pain she suffered through her life that lead her to where she currently was. Lost and under attack. Or maybe she’d lost her story too. Was now consumed with surviving.

The thing that sucks about brief therapy. Is it’s brief. It’s just a glimpse into the person. It’s like opening a book and only reading a page. You have no clue what happened before or after. You can read that page and savor it. Take it in. Process it. And treat it as just a page. And that’s what we do in crisis management, we take the page we’ve been given and we do the best we can. But, I want to read the book. I want the story.  To sit in that place with people. And work with them to heal their traumas and pains. To bring the missing parts back home. To heal mentally, emotionally, physically, energetically, psychic-ly and spiritually.  For now, I hope that the book ends up with someone who will take the time to read it front to back. Dive into the depth. Decide how the book ends.

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. nathaswami says:

    Do the psychiatrists listen to the entire story told by the patients? They just read the introduction and probably the first page of the book and start prescribing tablets.

    1. I think that they believe their job is to stop the symptoms. The voices, the delusions. Therefore, I do not think they delve to deep into the back story, unless it pertains to how they (they psychiatrist) can minimize or stop the symptoms (voices, delusions). I think it’s part of the broken system. Different people address different aspects and often times not talking to each other.

      1. nathaswami says:

        Thank you for the detailed reply.

  2. updownflight says:

    I have experienced manic psychosis several times and even once a depressive psychosis. I don’t think there was anything spiritual about them. They were issues with my brain, specifically neurotransmitters. Though neurotransmitters are not as visible as a cancerous tumor, they are a part of our body. Just as exorcisms are not generally used for getting rid of tumors, they probably don’t do much for fixing neurotransmitter issues. Medications, however, can.

    Obviously there are various religious-based spells people can work themselves into. In history there have been claims that exorcisms have helped. I, personally, don’t know if there is anything behind that other than psychological manipulation. I do believe things like hypnosis can work. So other types of psychological manipulation can too.

    In the past, people with epilepsy were accused of being possessed by the devil, so exorcisms and even worse “treatments” were used against such people. But nowadays we know that it is an electronic misfiring in the brain. Luckily for many of these people anticonvulsants work well. Or if the epilepsy is very severe, brain operations or special diets can be used.

    Both epilepsy and mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder still have a lot of stigma against them. Stigma grows from lack of knowledge about the illnesses and fear.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience! And yes, we end to end the stigma!

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