You have a demon or just ill?


#1

I was flipping through a Catholic book catalog I got in the mail a few months ago and I came across a book listed in it that was about like what’s the difference of being possesed by a demon or if pyschological ill or something like that and that now gave me the question:

how do you know if you have a demon or if you’re just mentally ill?


#2

Peace be with you!

Most every time it is mental illness. Possession (real possession) is fairly rare. In order for a exorcism to be performed, there are a few things that must happen first. These are: speaking in languages you have no way of knowing, prolonged physical strength that is above your normal abilities (ruling out a quick adrenaline burst), aversion to holy and/or religious objects, and telekenisis.
There are many good books on the subject, but I cant remember the names just now. A search on google should get you some good info.

In Christ,
Rand


#3

Speaking of this, does anyone know if the new movie, “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” has any validity to it? It’s obviously “Hollywood-ized”, but does it have any factual basis that the church was involved in, like “the Exorcist”?


#4

I belive it is LOOSLY based on a true story.


#5

[quote=Paris Blues]I was flipping through a Catholic book catalog I got in the mail a few months ago and I came across a book listed in it that was about like what’s the difference of being possesed by a demon or if pyschological ill or something like that and that now gave me the question:

how do you know if you have a demon or if you’re just mentally ill?
[/quote]

Those conditions pointed out by Rand are certain indicators of possession that Catholic exorcists use to judge whether or not to perform an exorcism, but they are not the only tests. Possession can occur with much more subtle symptoms. Ideally, someone with one of the charisms listed in 1 Cor is present and can tell whether or not a demon is responsible, that’s the gift of discerning of spirits. In Father Amorth’s book, he describes how his mentor, Father Candido, had that gift and would just lay his hand on an individuals head and he could tell whether or not a demon was present.

Jesus frequently encountered demons in the course of praying for people’s healing. As He laid hands on them to pray, a demon would come out in shrieks. There’s nothing in scripture that says any of these were necessarily known to be possessed ahead of time. Disease can be from a demonic manifestation, a psychological manifestation or a physiologic cause.

Personally, since I don’t have the gift of discerning of spirits, I always look for solutions in the reverse order - try to cure it medically, then try looking for emotional/stress causes, and if all else fails, pray for deliverance. A disease caused by a demon does not necessarily mean full possession, and thus wouldn’t trip an exorcist’s tests. Sometimes a simple prayer of deliverance can accomplish much.

David


#6

In his book An Exorcist tells His Story , Father Gabriele Amorth, who is the chief exorcist of Rome, gives general guidelines. Basically, an illness associated even with the lowest levels of demonic activity are peculiarly resistant to every known prescription drug and to psychological treatment. While full demonic possession is fairly rare, demonic oppression is not uncommon, and exorcisms will effect a cure.


#7

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