Demonic obsession, vs possession


#1

Hi :slight_smile:

I found this online at a Catholic website… I think it’s from an interview with Fr Gabriel Amorth:

  1. Diabolic obsession. Symptoms include sudden attacks, at times ongoing, of obsessive thoughts, sometimes even rationally absurd, but of such nature that the victim is unable to free himself Therefore the obsessed person lives in a perpetual state of prostration, desperation, and attempts at suicide. Almost always obsession influences dreams. Some people will say that this is evidence of mental illness, requiring the services of a psychiatrist or a psychologist. The same could be said of all other forms of demonic phenomena. Some symptoms, however, are so inconsistent with known illnesses that they point with certainty to their evil origins. Only an expert and well-trained eye can identify the crucial differences.

I was wondering, - for anyone who knows about these things…

this is different than possession, yes?

how would one tell the difference between temptation and ‘obsession’?

and if one has this, how would they free themselves of it?

also, if a person has this, are they responsible, … is it because of sin? Or is this just an attack or a temptation?

Just wondering :slight_smile:

thanks


#2

Demonic obsession is far more serious than regular temptation. The purpose of temptation is to lead you to sin. Demonic Obsession's ultimate end is to induce a nervous breakdown which opens you up for Possession.

From what lttle I remember, demonic phenomena in most cases, has 3 stages.

The 1st stage is Infestation where initial contact is made and minor paranormal phenomena can be observed.

The 2nd stage is Obsession where the phenomena becomes highly intensified and usually directed at one individual in particular. The purpose of which is to induce a nervous breakdown and lower that person's defenses.

3rd stage is Possession which is self-explanatory. Watch The Exorcist.

Someone told me to watch Paranormal Activity as a full-fledged example of this but I've yet to see the movie.

The bottom line, Obsession in most cases is not temptation. I'm not sure what your situation is but if you haven't been experiencing intense psychic paranormal phenomena that's driving you mad, chances are, it's temptation.

However, I'm not actually an expert in this matter either...just recalling some stock knowledge when I was still fascinated with Catholic demonology.

An exorcist should be contacted ASAP if you really are under the grips of true Demonic Obsession.


#3

Some people will say that this is evidence of mental illness, requiring the services of a psychiatrist or a psychologist. The same could be said of all other forms of demonic phenomena. Some symptoms, however, are so inconsistent with known illnesses that they point with certainty to their evil origins. Only an expert and well-trained eye can identify the crucial differences.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder has symptoms that often manifest as scrupulosity or the type of intrusive thoughts this author refers to. Because the least dramatic option is usually the cause of a difficulty, it would make sense to treat the OCD first to see if the other issues resolve as a result. If the symptoms remain after a serious attempt at medical treatment, that might be an indication of a more supernatural cause to be investigated next.

Keep in mind that most people are neither possessed nor obsessed by demons. This possibility should only be considered after more common causes are ruled out by professionals.

Betsy


#4

I'm not sure what your situation is but if you haven't been experiencing intense psychic paranormal phenomena that's driving you mad

No I don't think I have..

but what do you mean by that?

I don't feel anything driving me to despair or madness. Sometimes I just get intrusive thoughts and I don't know why. I had some OCD in the past so maybe it's just that...

if demonic obsession happens to a person, are they able to control it, or not?
when I get intrusive thoughts, I'm able to block them out, and it doesn't last very long.. .but there's a lot of anxiety involved. However, it hasn't brought me to despair or suicidal thoughts or anything extreme like that. It's just annoying.

thanks


#5

Almost always obsession influences dreams

also this never happens to me…

so I tend to think this is more OCD… I’ve had thoughts like this since before I was a Catholic, when I was going to the Orthodox church and then to a Protestant church…


#6

Besides temptation and obsession Satan can also attack one physically or mentally and then let up. In any case, the best way to get rid of him is to: 1) offer it up in reparation for your sins and the sins of the whole world; 2) offer it for the conversion of poor sinners, and, most importantly; 3) prayer and fasting (Mk 9:26-28).

Above all, pray to the Holy Spirit for strength.


#7

It can be difficult to tell mental illness from demonic obsession as the two go together, naturally one goal of obsession is after all, mental illness, and the exacerbation thereof.

Prayer, holy water, etc. the use of this might help you discern the source of your problems. Use holy water, sign yourself with it, see if it has any mitigating effect.

Use -properly blessed- holy water I might add, if at all possible.


#8

I’ve been praying about all this :slight_smile:

I think that part of this is OCD, maybe, and part of it is a spiritual attack, but it doesn’t seem like ‘obsession’ to me. In any case, I feel like God has really been helping me today and I’m planning to receive the Eucharist as often as I can because this will give me more strength :slight_smile:

thanks everyone

God bless


#9

I respectfully and strongly disagree with this statement. Mental illness, nervous breakdowns, obsessive-compulsive disorders, etc have nothing at all to do with demonic possession. This is a remnant of the ancient Jewish concept of evil causing ailments. There is a medical explanation for much of what is described above. I’m not saying the devil doesn’t exist or evil doesn’t exist. I am saying that mental illness is not a direct and particular consequence of evil, nor does it go hand in hand with demonic anything…anymore than any other illness.


#10

[quote="Bailey2, post:9, topic:182179"]
I respectfully and strongly disagree with this statement. Mental illness, nervous breakdowns, obsessive-compulsive disorders, etc have nothing at all to do with demonic possession. This is a remnant of the ancient Jewish concept of evil causing ailments. There is a medical explanation for much of what is described above. I'm not saying the devil doesn't exist or evil doesn't exist. I am saying that mental illness is not a direct and particular consequence of evil, nor does it go hand in hand with demonic anything...anymore than any other illness.

[/quote]

Then you are in error. I did not say that all mental illness is a result of diabolical activity, but I did say that one of the goals of diabolical activity is causing mental illness, and this is a fact, and that diabolical activity can and does cause mental illness, which is also a fact.

In scriptures you will read of Jesus healing people of diabolical activity, these people had physical illnesses and what today are known as 'mental' illnesses. Both caused by demons.

I know of one exorcist who, upon exorcising a mental institution, emptied it of most of its patients.

Demons are spirits. Their mode of activity is normally mental, that is the mode of activity of spirits -- all mental. Ideals, thoughts, the mind. That is how they communicate, that is how they tempt, that is what in fact the first war in Heaven was, a war of the mind.

They are the past masters of causing the human mind to do what they wish it to do, and break down, and be driven to suicide, which is their normal goal in regards to each of us. They can cause forgetfulness, obsessive thoughts, depression, disassociation, love, hate, anger..

They are the forefront of the Christian's spiritual war.


#11

Their mode of activity is normally mental, that is the mode of activity of spirits – all mental. Ideals, thoughts, the mind.

this has definitely been my experience…

also it tends to go away or get better when I put on my rosary, or pray the rosary, receive the Sacraments, etc… so I tend to think it’s demonic but parts of it are ocd related (I’ve had mild ocd since before I was a Christian, but its not intense)

however I don’t really think that it’s ‘obsession’ because there are parts to this that don’t fit:

  1. no despair, suicide attempts
  2. no dreams
  3. sometimes it’s intrusive thoughts, but generally it’s temptation to sin or doubt or pride… basically: it varies. It’s not just thoughts but really strong temptation in general. I think it might be because I’ve been away from the Eucharist for a while, though I’ve been going to Mass. I’m planning to receive Communion this Sunday and several times next week.
  4. when it’s thoughts, - I can block them and resist them. It takes some prayer and self control but with God’s grace, I resist. It just feels like a strong temptation…

recently I’ve been trying to get closer to God, get rid of the areas of sin in my life, and trying to lead others closer to Him as well… and I think maybe the devil is trying to stop me?

i don’t think i’m possessed or anything like that cause i don’t have the symptoms.

well I made a thread at the prayer forum cause I need all the help and prayer I can get :slight_smile:

this sort of thing used to happen to me before I was a Catholic… when I started receiving the Eucharist and after I made my Consecration to Mary, it went away. But a couple months ago I started struggling with sin again and ever since it’s been downhill :frowning: I’ll just keep fighting… I feel like God is stronger than this and He is with me, I’m trusting Him.

God bless


#12

Receive Communion regularly as long as you are properly disposed. :slight_smile: Your soul needs the grace. Offer some up for the holy souls, if you could too! :slight_smile:

‘He who communicates most frequently will be freest from sin, and will make farthest progress in Divine Love.’

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

‘All spiritual writers agree that the best sign you can have of solid devotion is the amendment of life and perseverance in good. You think there is illusion in such frequent Communion and that it would be better to go more rarely. Do not come to me with such arguments. I began to amend my life by frequenting Holy Communion after having tried every other way and failed. When I went rarely to Holy Communion I had no end of bad habits and imperfections which appeared to me insurmountable. I uprooted these by multiplying my Communions, and you want me to believe that it was the devil who urged me to do this! Every time I omitted to frequent Communion I felt my weakness more. I know some souls who have relapsed into sin the very day they omitted Communion. When I communicated again I felt fervor rekindle in my heart. I know by my own experience and by that of hundreds of people that by following your advice they would soon give up all reception of Sacraments.’

‘No fervent soul has ever relaxed who did not first leave off receiving the Holy Eucharist. If I found that when going frequently to Communion I became no better, was still just as weak, just as prone to evil, just as indifferent about sin, I should conclude not that I ought to leave off going, but that I ought to receive our Lord with better dispositions. I should see if my confessions were wanting in sincerity, contrition, or purpose of amendment.’

‘If you are sinful, repent so that you can communicate often. If you are imperfect, go often to Communion that you may amend your faults.’

‘My daily Mass and Communion is my only hope and resource.’

St. Claude de la Colombiere


#13

Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange's section in "the Three Ages of the Interior Life" is a good, contextualized discussion of 'diabolical phenomena.' Please say an "ave maria" before and after reading... Our Lady is the greatest scourge of the devil, and our best protection.

christianperfection.info/tta112.php

-Rob


#14

[quote="Bailey2, post:9, topic:182179"]
I respectfully and strongly disagree with this statement. Mental illness, nervous breakdowns, obsessive-compulsive disorders, etc have nothing at all to do with demonic possession. This is a remnant of the ancient Jewish concept of evil causing ailments. There is a medical explanation for much of what is described above. I'm not saying the devil doesn't exist or evil doesn't exist. I am saying that mental illness is not a direct and particular consequence of evil, nor does it go hand in hand with demonic anything...anymore than any other illness.

[/quote]

Sorry if I sounded a little harsh in the above.

I feel strongly that it is very necessary that there be no mistake about the extent of diabolical activity or its goals. This is important business, for us Christians to attend to, and we must make no mistakes about it.

There are some good sermons on the subject of spiritual warfare in the links below.


#15

Hi there Shin! Didn’t sound harsh to me at all… I had to sign off and feed the family here since DH came home early! :smiley:

We both feel strongly in opposite directions. Has happened before. Will happen again. I am ignorant on many things about doctrine, etc (and am happy now to learn–see how far I have come! :)) but one thing I am certain of and that is that mental illness is not the particular vehicle of evil spirits or demonic possession or obsession.

I am going to try to explain my thoughts but it will be a crude attempt to be sure. There is demonic influence all over the place and its goal is to drag people to hell. However, I think it is archaic to say that such negative spiritual influences constellate around one particular type of illness, mental illness just because our perceptions of ourselves is such that we cannot identify the biology behind our thoughts, feelings, etc. like we can when we have a stomach ache or tumor.

Examine PET, SPECT, and fMRI’s and there is sufficient evidence to suggest that brains going awry have a great influence on rationality, clear thinking, delusional thinking, emotional stability, and hallucinations. These have nothing to do with demons, sorry.
Depression, nervous breakdowns, psychosis and the like are not manifestations of demon anything.

Also, just because symptoms are inconsistent with what is known to be illness, doesn’t mean it is not illness. It simply means we don’t understand the biology yet.

Even the Church recognizes mental illness as illness. Vatican City has Conferences on it each year. And there is a movement to educate Catholics about mental illness all across the US anyway. ncpd.org/

Peace
Got to sign off again. DH and I are having our walking together time now… :slight_smile:


#16

PS. That is not to say that prayer, sacraments, etc are not needed....... I glanced through the above and all practices keeping us in the faith and moving towards holiness are needed to fight evil (which is all over the place ;))


#17

Often, this can be the case. Certainly it can be entirely due to genetics, etc.

However, I maintain, it can not be the case – demons as we have seen in scripture, can and do cause physical ailments.

I’m not sure what to say. I recommend the spiritual conferences on ‘Sensus Traditionis’ below as good listening.

You do not sound like someone who has read much about spiritual warfare? I’m not getting a clear picture of your overall framework of beliefs here on this matter.

Just what do you believe the activity of demons in this world does consist of?

Do you think that a demon, coming upon someone mentally ill, is going to ignore that vulnerability? Do you think if someone is badgered all day long by a demon mentally that person will not very likely become mentally ill?


#18

"It is not good for us to be disturbed by our thoughts or to worry about them in the slightest; for if we do not worry and if the devil is responsible for them they will cease, and if they proceed, as they do, from the weakness which we inherit from the sin of Adam, and from many other weaknesses, let us have patience and bear everything for the love of God."

  • St. Teresa of Jesus, Interior Castle

#19

[quote="Monica4316, post:1, topic:182179"]
and if one has this, how would they free themselves of it?

[/quote]

Here's one place they might begin:

Seven Steps to Self-Deliverance


#20

Just a thought, part of the discernment of spirits, as I understand it, involves prayer. Evil spirits can oftentimes "attach" themselves to all manner of aflictions, mental, physical and intwine themselves thoroughly so as to remain hidden. It takes a holy, experienced ,priest to uncover and deal with possesion. Deliverance from evil spirits requires often the services of an experienced deliverance team. One can self-deliver through certain prayers and recieving the sacraments but without experience, it can be a dificult process. Ultimately what drives away demons is the Life of Christ manifested in one's life. this is most normally accomplished by living a life of prayer, sacraments, and the pursuit of holiness.

I do not mean to sound like an expert or anything, I'm not. Just pointing out somethings. All freeing from demonic troubles requires a will to be free. The normal Christian life is full of means to repel demonic presence. According to Fr, Amorth and others, if I have read correctly, is that although demonic activity can be sometimes hard to discern, pert of the deliverance and discernment process is to pray deliverance prayers over the situation. Sacramentals are sometimes used as well as other activities depending on what the particular problem might be.

Mental illness is not always associated with demonic influence. Demonic influence is not always manifested thru or associated with mental illness. Sometimes these two things are overlapped. Many folks need the services of a doctor and a deliverance team. Demonic activity is also commonly associated with sinful acts. Occult activity especialy is an invitation to all kinds of demonic influence. This does not depend in any way on the intent of the person involved. Some types of demonic influence cannot be removed as well.
so just my two cents.


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