As occult practices are on the rise, contemporary theologians become increasingly interested in psychology, with many Christian authors wrestling with the question of how demons can influence mental disorders.
It is only fair to say, people with psychological problems should receive psychological treatment: and indeed the majority of therapists will point blank refuse to link depression with virtually any form of witchcraft, magic or occult involvement. But an increasing number of theologians appear less inclined to skepticism.
So, the question is: Can we screen episodes of mental illness from, literally, the devil’s work?
While many forms of depression result from a chemical imbalance, it is usually a combination of events and a variety of long-term or personal factors, rather than one immediate issue or event that breed anxiety and depression. And as any mental disorder goes, it will be medical practitioners and therapists who administer treatments and trace the root cause of the problem.
But whereas it may be difficult to tell whether certain patterns of depressive behaviour are innate or inherited, the article published in Open Theology suggests, a contact with the satanic and occult rituals may trigger off psychopathological reactions. Drawing upon an extensive research, Dr. Zlatko Šram, from Croatian Center for Applied Social Research argues, that people who practice black magic or have otherwise occult bondage in their history are particularly susceptible to comorbidity of depression and psychopathy.
The author conducted a survey on over one thousands participants and found a strong evidence that people suffering simultaneously from depression and psychopathy are attracted to the satanic practices as a means of obtaining magical power and control over their destiny – and this regardless of sex or ethnic origin. The research categorized different esoteric practices and spanned from psychic séances during which the dead are called to appear through individuals becoming knowledgeable about black magic to being a member of an occult society or reading books and magazines dealing with esoteric and occult issues. Psychopathy and depression were significantly predictive of “satanic syndrome” with individuals who had been subjected to the occult involvement suffering bouts of depression and mental disorders nearly twice as often, comparing to rest of society.
Given the nature of the satanic syndrome, namely the fact that it is measured by specific occult practices, the author suggests to verify the scale of the problem in psychiatric hospitals and clinics.
This key correlation yields new perspective on the early-onset depression. “This is an important study in that it takes ontological claims seriously and supports the real possibility that demonic forms of bondage may be linked to psychopathology as ..s evil forces can interfere in human behavior.” comments Prof. Ralph W. Hood Jr. from University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.