Although spirit possession is uncommon, there is an increasing number of cases in recent years and is stepping up the training of exorcists to meet parishioner needs, according to the Baltimore Sun. Spirit possession occurs when someone falls under the influence of a demon or ghost and the possessing entity takes control over the individual's behaviors and actions. Being possessed by a spirit may sound like a fictional horror to many, but religious leaders in the Catholic Church adhere to the belief that such incidents do occur.
Determine if there is any cause for you to have been possessed by a spirit. Many alleged cases of spirit possession have arisen with victims who dabbled in the occult or Satanism
Evaluate whether you display any of the common symptoms. You may need the help of an impartial friend or a video camera, as many purported victims claim to not remember what happens when they are under the power of a malevolent spirit. A friend is preferable, because you may not be able to trust your own senses. According to the Diocese of San Jose, some symptoms include speaking a language that you do not know, mutilating your own skin, superhuman strength, fatigue, lack of appetite and aversion to religion and holy emblems. A possession documented in the New Oxford Journal listed a number of other supernatural symptoms, such as being able to move objects with your mind, displaying knowledge of details of other persons that you do not know, making animal growls and levitation.
Seek out the help of a mental health professional. Babbling, hearing voices, multiple personalities and catatonic, trance-like states have all been reported symptoms of spirit possession. But they are also the symptoms of some mental health and neurological disorders, which are far more common. According to Catholic exorcists, many of those seeking an exorcism are in need of medical, not spiritual, remedies. Spirit possession involves supernatural influences, but it can't hurt to check with a medical professional first.
If a health care professional cannot find a medical explanation for your symptoms, then you may want to seek out an exorcist. Catholic priests are given special training in seminary to assist you. Exorcists are also trained to identify those with mental health issues and those possessed by spirits. However, if you are from another denomination, seek help from your trusted spiritual leader.
Purposes of Exorcism
Accord, exorcism is "the act of driving out, or warding off, demons, or evil spirits, from persons, places or things, which are believed to be possessed or infested by them, or are liable to become victims or instruments of their malice." Exorcism is carried out by a specially trained priest after he has ruled out all other natural causes of the disturbance.
Infestation involves the influence of the devil or other evil spirits over objects. A person might request an exorcism for the purpose of removing infestation if he notes objects moving spontaneously, or if he finds items in places other than where he left them. This type of exorcism entails blessing the house or room.
When a person is tormented by the devil or other evil spirits, and shows physical marks of these torments, this is
understood as diabolic oppression. According to the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, the saint Pio of Pietrelcina, also known as Padre Pio, frequently encountered diabolic oppression. Exorcism in cases of oppression relieves the afflicted person of the physical markings and the accompanying feelings of isolation and despair.
A person experiencing diabolic obsession is constantly tempted toward evil behavior, particularly toward suicide. A person in this condition is not completely controlled by the devil, but is always tempted to act on her evil inclinations. An exorcism in this situation allows the person to more easily choose to do what is right.
According to the Concise Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Science, the signs of possession may include bad smells, unusual abilities, changes in personality and convulsions. Possession is the most serious form of diabolic influence, and an exorcism of people exhibiting these behaviors will remove them from the control of the devil, and also relieve their symptoms.