Stop immediately assuming everything is demonic


There’s been a rash of people lately experiencing some physical symptom and being worried (or in some cases insisting) that it’s demonic/some kind of spiritual warfare.

In a lot of (not all) cases, people immediately assume they’re correct and start advising them to see a priest.

Please, please, please remember that we should rule out medical explanations before we start thinking something is metaphysical. The first question in all these threads should be “have you seen a doctor?”


I think there may be some cultural issues in play here. Certain cultures are much more likely to think first of demons before they think of medical or emotional explanations.

Also, to the extent we have posters who were raised in some sort of evangelical tradition, they may also tend to think in terms of demons.

Then of course we have the subset of folks who sit around reading Malachi Martin and Fr. Amorth.


Probably correct. And to be clear, I’m not arguing it’s never appropriate to start thinking along those lines. Just that it shouldn’t be the first (or second, or third) road we go down.


Well wouldn’t confession cure things?


If you have something to confess, by all means go to confession, but if the cause is physical or psychological, then confession isn’t likely to help.


I like Fr. Amorth and Adam Blai. However, I cannot endorse Malachi Martin.


In biblical times people made such assumptions because of their lack of medical knowledge. Epilepsy for example was thought of as a demon etc, when we read the Bible the idea of demons stays in memory quite naturally.

I find it interesting that Plato in his ‘Republic’ thought that telling stories which fed our fears most unhelpful in that it would undermine the mental fortitude of his guards. I think there’s merit in that view, which is why I do not watch films about such things or horror stories or about murder etc. Our mental diet is as important as our physical one I believe.

As often is the case it’s a question of moderation and compromise. I think we should be alert but trust in Our Lords protection and not catastrophize too quickly.


People come here for advise and expression of experiences that are preternatural. There is no harm in this and should be able to be discussed to a point as Catholics. As a poster like many others responding to such queries it is just and right to ask them to see their priest when it comes to spiritual matters.

Try explaining that you are seeing things flying across the room to a non-christian/Catholic Doctor and you most likely will end up going through, yet another trauma called psychiatry and with a label to boot.

One needs to trust in the priest, that he will be the one who recommends the right course for that person.

Pope Paul VI in 1972 is reported to have said, “The smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God through some crack: doubt, uncertainty, dissension, worry, discontent, and conflict are plain to see.…”


If someone is seeing things flying across the room then odds are a medical/psychiatric diagnosis is the appropriate path to go down.


I agree with Bishop Robert Barron’s assessment of the frequency of actual demonic influence and the subsequent need for things like exorcism, as recorded in his book, To Light a Fire on the Earth:

“I haven’t seen it, but I know people I trust who have been involved in it and talked about it in a way that’s persuasive. I’ll say 98.9 percent of the time, we’re dealing with a physiological or psychological malady, but I do think there is this tiny, rare percentage of cases where you’re dealing with a supernatural force. I’ve known people in that world of exorcism, and they’ll use the language of ‘very rare.’

Some people do see themselves as extra special spiritual warriors, above and beyond the regular struggles and temptations of everyday life, and I personally think some people do get carried away with this notion for whatever reason, but I am not one of those.


Check out the exorcists on the internet. Fr Amorth, Fr Vincent Lampert, Fr Gary Thomas and Fr Chad Ripperger are good exorcists to start with. Also see the writings of the saints on the matter.


If that was the case I would have been free years ago :grin:


I happen to agree with you.

Sometimes someone may open a door to the occult, and then they might start experiencing something negative afterwards, as a result of it.

Also, there are people out there who may be able to see and experience things that are of a supernatural nature, that others aren’t able to see. Some people for example, are able to see Angels. I think about the Saints when I think about this.


Honestly, if I see things flying across the room, I’m going straight to a priest. The psychiatrist can come see me, I’ll be camped out in front of the Holy Eucharist. 0_0


I concur. From what I’ve read, that’s what diocese do. The Holy Spirit’s guidance through deductive reasoning either leaves you with the cause of the problems (and hopefully treatment thereof) or with an un camouflaged enemy who has already lost the fight. That’s why I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it.

I did once read two of Fr. Amorth’s books and wish I hadn’t. I noticed my own thinking skewing in that direction while reading and shortly after.


This may not always be so.

Some of the saints experienced souls from Purgatory, trying to reach out to them, trying to get their attention. These souls were requesting prayers so that they could leave Purgatory and move on to Heaven.

If something like this were to happen to me where I was experiencing some type of paranormal activity in my home, I would be going and talking to my Pastor/parish priest, first of all. I would want to start there in terms of requesting his help.

That is the advice that I also try and give to others here on the forum, when they need help–to talk to their Pastor/priest or Minister.

I personally don’t think that anyone else would be qualified on a forum to give anyone else any kind of medical advice in terms of telling someone to go and see a doctor.

We don’t know if they’re already under medical care for example, and we are not supposed to be giving out any type of medical advice on the forum.


I’m not saying that seeking the counsel of a priest isn’t ever appropriate, and I’m not saying that genuinely supernatural things don’t happen. What I’m saying is that it’s more common for things to have a “normal” explanation, which is why the Church insists on ruling out scientific or medical explanations first before something is declared a miracle.

And I don’t think that advising someone to see a doctor is medical advice in and of itself. It’s just advising people to start with the likeliest explanation.


I understood what you’ve been trying to say in your posts. :slight_smile:

I also understand what the Church wants us to do in these particular situations as well. That is why I was saying that I would go to a priest first, and that I would also tell someone else to do the same–start there first. He can advise us on where to start–what the first course of action should be.

As far as forum advice is concerned, I have seen threads like this get shut down in the past, when it comes to anything that seems to involve what could be considered/construed medical advice from other members.

I personally don’t think that it’s a good idea to mention it.

Like I mentioned, I personally think that the best place for someone to start is with seeing a priest, as he can guide the person on what steps to take/where to go from there, himself/what kind of care do they need, and so on.

God bless you. :slightly_smiling_face:


I hear you. In the past week I’ve had one lady blame her car problems on the devil. She drives a minivan that has survived children and grandchildren.

And a lady of about 45 told me she was having hot flashes and was convinced it was demon caused. Have you ruled out menopause I asked?

And then there are the CAF posts where apparently even itching is a sign of the demonic.


(says the devil, laughing…)

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