by Marinus Jan Marijs
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“The concept of spiritual possession exists in many religions, including Christianity, Buddhism, Haitian Voodoo, Wicca, and Southeast Asian and African traditions. Depending on the cultural context in which it is found, possession may be considered voluntary or involuntary and may be considered to have beneficial or detrimental effects to host.”
One of the theories is based on the concept of multiple-personality disorder. This is a form of psychopathology, by which a person has the distinct sense of having two or more personalities.
“Anthropologists Alice B. Kehoe and Dody H. Giletti argued that spirit possession cults is caused by deficiencies in thiamine, tryptophan-niacin, calcium, and vitamin D. They argued that a combination of poverty and food taboos cause this problem, and that it is exacerbated by the strains of pregnancy and lactation. They postulated that the involuntary symptoms of these deficiencies affecting their nervous systems have been institutionalized as spirit possession.
Spirit possession is not recognized as a psychiatric or medical diagnosis by the DSM-IV or the ICD-10. Possessees sometimes exhibit symptoms similar to those associated with mental illnesses such as psychosis, hysteria, mania, Tourette’s syndrome, epilepsy, schizophrenia, or dissociative identity disorder, including involuntary, uncensored behavior, and an extra-human, extra-social aspect to the individual’s actions. In cases of dissociative identity disorder in which the alter personality is questioned as to its identity, 29% are reported to identify themselves as demons, but doctors see this as a mental disease called demonomania or demonopathy, a monomania in which the patient believes that he or she is possessed by one or more demons.
However, cultural context is critical for proper diagnosis of spirit, or demonic, possession as psychosis or spiritual. In western industrialized nations such as the United States, spirit possession is not normative, and therefore calls for caution in acceptance of this condition as actually caused by spirits. The DSM-IV-TR, in describing the differences between spirit possession and dissociative identity disorder, identifies only the claim that the extra personality is an external spirit or entity, lacking that, there would be no difference between the two conditions. Dissociative identity disorder in the United States is itself extremely rare. All forms of DID constitute only about 1% of the entire population. Of those, 98-99% are of the type of DID commonly recognized as the traditional form of multiple personality disorder, rather than related to spirits.
Those most susceptible to being possessed are people with weak boundaries and low self-esteem, pointing to dysfunctional ego involvement in manifestations of this phenomenon rather than actual outside entities.” (Wikipedia)
Spirit possession as in mediumistic communication is voluntarily, and has been studied extensively by parapsychologists, and a substantial number of them support the idea that there is a communication with deceased humans.