Answer Key: Mental Illness and Demonic Possession.

Lesson Plan: Is Mental Illness Related to Demonic Possession?

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

  1. hysteria |həˈstirēəhəˈsterēə| noun-Psychiatry a psychological disorder (not now regarded as a single definite condition) whose symptoms include selective amnesia, shallow volatile emotions, and overdramatic or attention-seeking behavior.
  2. skepticism |ˈskeptəˌsizəm| noun-a skeptical attitude; doubt as to the truth of something: these claims were treated with skepticism.
  3. pride |prīd| noun-the quality of having an excessively high opinion of oneself or one’s importance: the sin of pride.
  4. vouch |vouCH| verb – confirm that someone is who they say they are or that they are of good character: he was refused entrance until someone could vouch for him.
  5. exorcism |ˈeksôrˌsizəm| noun-the expulsion or attempted expulsion of an evil spirit from a person or place.
  6. possessed |pəˈzest| adjective-(of a person) completely controlled by an evil spirit: he can turn into a possessed animal at will.
  7. psychosis |sīˈkōsəs| noun (pl. psychoses |-ˌsēz| ) a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.
  8. bizarre |bəˈzär| adjective-very strange or unusual, especially so as to cause interest or amusement: her bizarre dresses and outrageous hairdos.
  9. hocus-pocus |ˌhōkəsˈpōkəs| noun-meaningless talk or activity, often designed to draw attention away from and disguise what is actually happening: some people still view psychology as a lot of hocus-pocus.
  10. opinion |əˈpinyən| noun-a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge: I’m writing to voice my opinion on an issue of great importance | that, in my opinion, is dead right.

Reading Comprehension: Fill-ins

So began an unlikely partnership. For the past two-and-a-half decades and over several hundred consultations, I’ve helped clergy from multiple denominations and faiths to filter episodes of mental illness — which represent the overwhelming majority of cases — from, literally, the devil’s work. It’s an unlikely role for an academic physician, but I don’t see these two aspects of my career in conflict.

Grammar Focus: Word -Recognition

Unfortunately, not all clergy involved in this complex field are as cautious as the priest who first approached me. In some circles, there is a tendency to become overly preoccupied with putative demonic explanations and to see the devil everywhere. Fundamentalist misdiagnoses and absurd or even dangerous treatments, such as beating victims, have sometimes occurred, especially in developing countries.