The fear of demons, or demonophobia, is a phobia often rooted in religious beliefs. Some religious denominations believe that demons are real and powerful entities that can possess human beings, causing them to behave unthinkably.
Other sects believe that possession is unlikely or even impossible but believe that demons are capable of wreaking havoc in different ways. Still, others believe that spirits capable of possessing us are helpful and beneficial and that ritualized possession of souls is part of regular religious practice.
Not all daemonophobia is rooted in religious issues, but it may be worth examining both your current and underlying belief systems if you have this fear.
Some people fear demons while going through a crisis of faith or a significant change in their religious traditions. The events that cause you to reexamine your childhood may also lead you to question your changes as an adult, including changes in religious beliefs.
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Like ghosts, demons feature prominently in many blockbuster movies and best-selling novels. Released in 1973, The Exorcist is perhaps the best-known demon possession film, but demons are still a popular subject in film today.
Computer-generated imaging techniques allow each movie to put a gruesome twist on creatures, while Blu-ray and HDTV players will enable us to recreate the home theater experience.
A movie is unlikely to create a new phobia, but those with demonphobia can be triggered by such films.
The legendary journey is a rite of passage for many teens and young adults. Urban legends about haunted places are prevalent worldwide, and many of the stories include a demonic element. On a legendary journey, friends set out to confront the urban legend. The trips are usually nocturnal.
Indeed, the children braced themselves for a fright. Expectations can influence perceptions, and teenagers who trip over their legs often expect a terrifying experience.
Planning the trip, retelling the story repeatedly, and finally arriving at a deserted bridge, road, or graveyard in the middle of the night increases the anticipation. Under these conditions, it is straightforward to convince yourself that strange noises or optical illusions prove the legend is true.
Although legendary travelers show their courage by facing their fears, stumbling upon the legend can worsen legitimate phobia. Many people return from a journey of tales convinced that they were only moments away from a dire fate, increasing belief in the legend and ultimately cementing the phobia.
Demonophobia and children
Fears are widespread in young children, but most children no longer have them. Like the bogeyman, demons can represent nothing more than a child’s attempt to make sense of the unpredictable world around him.
However, some children develop legitimate phobias. Check with your child’s doctor if the fear seems unusually severe, if he begins to refuse to do things he used to enjoy, or if the fear lasts for more than a few months.
Children can also be more susceptible to movies, books, television shows, and video games. Supervise young children’s activities and enjoy things you are unsure of together. Discuss your beliefs and answer their questions honestly.
Although the mainstream scientific community does not generally recognize parapsychology, experiments in parapsychology have produced results that cannot always be fully explained.
Some people develop daemonophobia after having an unusual experience with an Ouija board, a séance, or a ghost hunt.
How to get help for fear of demons
Before seeing a mental health professional for demonophobia, it helps organize your thoughts and beliefs.
Although the phobia is sometimes seen as a potential sign of a thought disorder, most mental health professionals recognize the importance of the client’s personal beliefs.
Also, think about your therapy goals. Do you want to stop believing in demons completely? Do you want to be able to watch horror movies with your friends?
Knowing the answers to these questions in advance can help you and your therapist plan a course of treatment that is appropriate for your needs.
- Although it is always best to seek professional help for any phobia, many people can control their symptoms.
- If you belong to a religious organization, you may find comfort in speaking with your spiritual leader or trusted peers.
- Investigating demon possession can help ease your fears, but only if you carefully examine its sources.
- If you decide to do your research, stay on trustworthy websites run by reputable organizations.
- Be careful if you decide to watch horror movies or visit haunted houses.
- Take a trusted friend who knows your fear. Use breathing and visualization techniques to control your symptoms, and be prepared to go out if you experience panic attacks.
Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.