Thursday, July 7, 2016

As a psychiatrist, I diagnose mental illness. Also, I help spot demonic possession. - The Washington Post

Wow!!  This makes me embarrassed to admit I at one time I was studying to enter the field of psychiatry. What Gallagher seems to miss and I find egregious, he is victimizing the people he is supposed to be helping.  Belief is a dangerous thing and Gallagher proves this point. 

I am really at a loss with this one,,,
Is it possible to be a sophisticated psychiatrist and believe that evil spirits are, however seldom, assailing humans? Most of my scientific colleagues and friends say no, because of their frequent contact with patients who are deluded about demons, their general skepticism of the supernatural, and their commitment to employ only standard, peer-reviewed treatments that do not potentially mislead (a definite risk) or harm vulnerable patients. But careful observation of the evidence presented to me in my career has led me to believe that certain extremely uncommon cases can be explained no other way.,,,
But I believe I’ve seen the real thing. Assaults upon individuals are classified either as “demonic possessions” or as the slightly more common but less intense attacks usually called “oppressions.” A possessed individual may suddenly, in a type of trance, voice statements of astonishing venom and contempt for religion, while understanding and speaking various foreign languages previously unknown to them. The subject might also exhibit enormous strength or even the extraordinarily rare phenomenon of levitation. (I have not witnessed a levitation myself, but half a dozen people I work with vow that they’ve seen it in the course of their exorcisms.) He or she might demonstrate “hidden knowledge” of all sorts of things — like how a stranger’s loved ones died, what secret sins she has committed, even where people are at a given moment. These are skills that cannot be explained except by special psychic or preternatural ability.
As a psychiatrist, I diagnose mental illness. Also, I help spot demonic possession. - The Washington Post

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