Psychiatric nurse says half of patients have a spiritual affliction

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In his letter to the Ephesians 6:12, St. Paul wrote that “our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.”

For me, the scariest movie I’ve ever seen isn’t the sci-fi movie Alien or the supernatural movie Rosemary’s Baby. It’s The Exorcist III, originally titled Legion, about demonic possession of patients in a psychiatric hospital.

Indeed, theologians and exorcists such as the late Fr. Malachi Martin maintained that, among the reasons (such as habitual sinning) which can make a person vulnerable to demonic possession is the emptying of self.  In his 1992 book Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Living Americans, Martin warned about the spiritual danger when a person becomes an “aspiring vacuum” to “whatever happens along” by, for example, dabbling in the Ouija board.

But it is not just the occult that poses a danger.

It is partly through our faculty of reason that God protects us, so any activity that impairs our mind and will is a threat to the integrity of our selfhood. Any activity that involves an abandonment of self-control can provide an opening to the demonic. Since nature abhors a vacuum, the invitation is extended for something or someone to enter in to fill the void. In that light, it is interesting that an Alcoholics Anonymous counselor once told FOTM’s Joan that a recovering alcoholic’s mental age is much less than his chronological age; it is the individual’s biological age when he first began drinking. In other words, the person was not really present during the alcohol-soaked years, which raises the troubling question of who — or what — was there instead.

A vacuum or absence of the self can come from engaging the occult, abusing alcohol and drugs, or severe mental illness and senile dementia. It is the latter that makes the remarks of Kimberly Littrell of interest.

Littrell is a Catholic psychiatric nurse practitioner at Promedica Psychiatry Group and Research Center in Loganville, Georgia. She is also the founder and executive director (1985-1995) of Schizophrenia Treatment and Rehabilitation. At a retreat in Atlanta organized by writer Michael Brown, Littrell was asked to speak about her experience with psychiatric patients. This is what she said:

“Everyday I see people who are experiencing some type of possession, some manifestation of the spiritual battle. There are things that are clearly out of the diagnostic categories. Most people in the field want to give it a nice psychiatric code and move on. But the enemy is not just imbalances in [the neurotransmitters] dopamine and serotonin. It is Satan.”

Littrell recounted one case when a strange voice challenging the nurse erupted out of a woman who had an abortion. In another case, a patient coughed up a nail. Littrell said that the devil seems to especially target those who can have the greatest impact on other people, such as teachers and clergy. “And I’m not speaking about priests,” she said. “I’m talking about all kinds of clergy, married or not. Celibacy is not the issue.” Even deliverance ministers can be affected.

Littrell has witnessed bizarre “epidemics” of her own, such as a recent spate of fifteen patients who all said they had their sleep disrupted at 3:31 a.m.

The ultimate effect of possession, claims Kimberly, is suicide. “When a patient is taking 600 milligrams of a psychiatric drug and still wants to kill herself, it tells you something,” she says.

Attacks most often stop through simple prayer. In Mark 2:9, Christ tells us that some spirits come out only with prayer and fasting.

A man suddenly turns feral on a Miami causeway and begins devouring a homeless indigent’s face. A midnight screening of a Batman movie becomes the scene of a massacre. Another mass shooter kills 6, then turns the gun on himself in a  Sikh temple. We seem to be living in a time when the veil is thinning, when spirits seem to have been activated around us. Kimberly recommends, in addition to prayer and fasting, the buffer of Bible-reading, Confession, the Rosary, and taking Communion.


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0 responses to “Psychiatric nurse says half of patients have a spiritual affliction

  1. Amen on 3:31 am …. a good time for intercessory prayer,
    and that goes double when there’s a full moon

  2. Dr. Eowyn, probably one of the best articles you’ve ever posted. I’ve long thought that mental health issues, at the very least, was some form of demon oppression. And as Michael Savage says, “Liberalism is a mental disorder”. But as always, I prefer Jesus’s words. “Let not your heart be troubled”.

  3. John 14:1-6
    New International Version (NIV)
    Jesus Comforts His Disciples

    14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

    Jesus the Way to the Father

    5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

    6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    John 14:1 Or Believe in God

  4. I once tweeted Sean and told him Jesus first said LNYHBT. He tweeted back and said, For the record, I know that” He said he always found it kind of funny that people gave him credit for it.

  5. Interesting stuff.

  6. When I dashed off this post early this morning, I felt quite trepidatious about posting this. After I returned from Mass, I steeled myself before getting onto FOTM, not knowing what reaction I would find to this post. Thank you, all, for your kind and encouraging words. I’ve slightly revised the post and added a video clip from Exorcist III.

    God bless you!

  7. There is indeed a spiritual warfare among us…

  8. Not to mention…

  9. All right now ya’ll. That’s enough!

  10. Thank-you for this post–going to show it to my husband and get his take.

  11. It is encouraging that someone other than a Catholic priest actually recognizes the witness-able, but not empirically verifiable, phenomenon of demonic or diabolical possession. I have witnessed signs of demonic activity at various times in several situations. It is not that difficult if you had a true religious upbringing and have belief in God, and understand what Christ did in the New Testament.
    Both Fr. Guardini and Fr. Fanzaga, old-fashioned Catholic priests (pre-Vatican II trained) understood that the demonic not only infests individual mental patients, but can take possession of corporations and even entire governments.
    I think it’s about time for even the most left-wing and secular among us to admit that atheism or unbelief is not a rationally tenable position, and it’s time for all of us to admit that we are not alone in this game. God allows what this nurse has witnessed not only as condign punishment for what these patients did, but as a warning sign to us all that, “In Hell, there shall be no reason.”

    • God has given us free will, Satan can only own us if we allow him to..we choose it.I wondered for many years why God allowed all the evil in the world to occur,then one day I realized ,,,He doesn’t allow it..We Do,and that’s the essence of free will…Many people go crazy because of drug or alcohol abuse or life of guilt from bad choices. Some people choose evil because it easier than doing the right thing.God does not allow Satan to possess us, only to tempt us. God has given us free will and we are here to be tested and he will judge each accordingly…As for the people born mentally ill or go crazy from sickness or the abuse of others,I have no idea how God might judge them,as we are not all placed into equal circumstances.

  12. Just one possible explanation, Also check to see if the sound transfers through duct work of your Hvac system from a TV or radio in another room, If not Call Ghostbusters, You have a ghost…….(just kidding)

  13. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this wonderful post, full of truth and insight. The devil and his minions are all cowards and liars, and they take advantage of anyone who is vulnerable, and they fight those individuals who fight evil, who fight him and his demons, attempting to emasculate their confidence and trust in God. Dr. Eowyn and I have studied this subject, spiritual warfare, demonic possession, et al. There is much merit to what has been said in this post as well as to what the commenters have said. Always say (as Wendy indicated) the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel when you feel that something isn’t right. We say it before Mass. St. Michael is the patron saint of FOTM. I think it would be very beneficial to have more dialogue and posts on spiritual warfare. Bravo Dr. Eowyn!!!

  14. In my neighborhood, these possessed zombies troll the alleys for cans and bottles to recycle for cash, and they all have the same eerie look. My neighbor is ‘dating’ one and she sure did come running to my house half naked with her kids after getting boxed like a man. He’s back again, she must like it.

  15. What I find the most disturbing about Dr. Eowyn’s blog is not the blog itself. The problem is that the mental health-care facilities in my area are not spiritually supported at all! As a matter of fact, they discourage spiritual healing adamantly. I got nothing out of my therapy because my psychiatrist was anything but spiritually grounded.

  16. I personally know about demonic possession because it destroyed my 3rd marriage (most likely the 1st two marriages as well).

  17. glad i found this site…very very nice……thanks


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