With so much attention being paid to the paranormal today, the topic of possession has become a popular one for debate and discussion. TV shows and movies have long focused on this as a great vehicle for a horror movie or scary paranormal shows. Since the most scary kind of possession is demonic possession, a whole new niche has come about for so called self proclaimed "demonologists". A demonologist is a person who claims to be an expert in demons and some of them even claim to be able to do an exorcism on a possessed human being. Now while this makes for great books, and movies as well as promoting a healthy fear of the devil in religious folks, possession is just not that common. In fact some of the most famous cases took place long, long ago before medical science really knew much about the mental illnesses that we are aware of today. Possession cases seem to be most prevalent among people whose religious faiths encourages belief in demons, the devil and even possession itself. The idea is non-existent in many religious faiths believe it or not, it is not a universal idea. Having 36 years in the field, dealing with hostile hauntings, I can say that I have never met anyone possessed by a demon or the devil. I have seen people who have integrated with spirits to the point where the spirit may be telepathically influencing them to the point ,where they may seem possessed, but in reality I truly believe that only one spirit can inhabit out body at any given time and that the creator, did not leave us open to such a thing as possession. A person has to give permission to a spirit on some level either consciously or subconsciously in order for the spirit to even achieve integration with the living person. This being stated, i can say that i do not believe in possession. I do not believe that spirits possess people and make them do bad things or make them kill or murder people. To my knowledge ...no case of demonic possession has ever been validated at any time by a medical professional. I think that if exorcisms work with supposed possessed people it is because the person thinks it will work, and therefore it seems to resolve the problem. Often though such people tend to have other disorders and issues as well. Let's take a look at the real probably culprit for these supposed cases of possession.
1. Mental illness:
cacodemonia: a medical term for a type of insanity where the patient has the delusion of being possessed by an evil spirit, demon or devil. Also cacodemonomania, which means pretty much the same thing, a person who believes themselves to be possessed and controlled by an evil spirit of some kind. These are real documented mental illnesses that are not only common, but are among some of the oldest and most widespread delusional states that people have been prone to down through history. I believe that the majority of alleged possession cases are the result of delusion and mental illness. I believe that some cases are also brought on by religious suggestion or extreme religious mania.
2. Suggestive delusion of possession:
I believe this is what happens when a person or persons suffer from a kind of paranormal hypochondria, that is fostered and promoted by things presented in books, movies, TV shows and/or suggested by religious fanaticism. With today's paranormal craze, demonic possession, is becoming more and more a popular notion, being considered by people who are obsessed with this paranormal craze and all it offers. These people are not mentally ill, they are just scared and misinformed.
3: Scapegoat syndrome:
This is seen often also. This is when a normal, mentally sane individual claims possession to evade blame for their own actions. This is the classic "The devil made me do it" alibi. I have seen this not only with serious cases where a murderer claims possession, to avoid prosecution but also in petty family dramas, where someone wants to avoid responsibility for their actions by blaming a ghost or spirit. This works two ways. The first is when he person themselves claims to have been possessed or controlled by the evil spirit when they did something bad or aggressive. The second is when another person claims that their loved one is possessed because they are acting badly or have become aggressive, abusive etc. Sometimes it is easier to come up with an excuse for a loved one's bad behavior than to accept that they are not who or what we thought they were or that they are just angry or wanting out of a relationship. Nowadays, the even more common culprit, for negative changes observed in people, are more often attributed to substance abuse than to evil spirits.
Learn all the symptoms of cacodemonia and cacodemonomania, before you accept that your loved one is afflicted by possession please. With this as with all things that trouble us emotionally and mentally, rationality is always the most beneficial mindset. Many of the every things associated with possession are also associated as symptoms with the mental illnesses mentioned here. Do your research and be informed, before you accept the most extreme conclusion, when someone is acting out or claiming to be possessed.
There is a good article on cacodemonia at this link:http://www.slideshare.net/specialclass/cacodemonomaniaseca