Possession? Hallucination?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I’ve never been formally diagnosed with anything which makes me more confused. I am possessed by demons, that much I know is certain. I self-harm, see and hear things, and have other symptoms of possession. They keep me from sleeping, eating a lot of the time, and even are messing with my thoughts. They have been threatening to jump and torment my family too. The only way I can prevent it is to kill myself. (I’m not suicidal but just stating facts) They’re beginning to scare me though. Can this possibly just be a hallucination even though I’m self-aware?… I’m just really confused.

A. I am curious about why you are so certain that you are possessed by demons. The more likely, realistic possibility is that you are experiencing hallucinations and delusions, which are symptoms of a psychotic disorder. Believing that one is possessed is a relatively common belief among those experiencing untreated psychotic symptoms.

It is imperative that you are evaluated by a mental health professional. When someone is psychotic, they are experiencing a break with reality. They cannot think clearly or logically. I am especially concerned about this situation because you have concluded that the only way to stop the demons is to end your life. That is a completely inaccurate conclusion based on faulty thinking. The only appropriate solution to this problem is to seek treatment immediately.

Psychotic symptoms generally become worse over time. Very effective treatments exist, that can significantly decrease or entirely eliminate your psychotic symptoms. I would strongly encourage you to go to a hospital or to seek the assistance of a mental health professional as soon as possible. I hope that you will act accordingly. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 14 Aug 2012

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2012). Possession? Hallucination?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/08/14/possession-hallucination/