Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Shrinks study exorcism

AAAS Science magazine reports:
As head of psychiatry at Marjolein van Duijl didn’t get many Technology in Uganda, The Spirit requests local Prozac. “There’s no Dutch psychiatrist says. But in the patients at her clinic or in rural villages she visited complained of disturbing trances in which they spoke in strange voices, clawed the air, and trembled. Patients blamed bewitchment or spirits of dead relatives, angered by unobserved rituals.

To dig deeper, van Duijl asked 80 local healers to identify 119 patients suffering from spirit possession. She used a dissociation questionnaire to check for symptoms, such as losing spans of time or feeling disconnected, often linked to trauma in Western patients. She also used trauma questionnaires to check for experiences such as going without food or witnessing a murder.
And I thought that shrinks attribute "losing spans of time" to space alien abductions!

Before long, Western witch doctors psychiatrists and psychologists will develop a multiple choice test for spirit possession, and then convince the Uganda authorities to use it for child custody decisions and Prozac prescriptions.

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