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Trance and Possession Disorder

Possession trance is characterized by a transient alteration in identity whereby one's normal identity is temporarily replaced (possessed) by a spirit, ghost, deity, or other person. The experience of being "possessed" by another entity, such as a person, god, demon, animal, or inanimate object, holds different meanings in different cultures and therefore the diagnosis for this disorder may be culturally bound. While possession is a common experience in many cultures, in Western industrialized cultures, such experiences are not the norm.

Associated Features:

Subjects often complained of a variety of associated symptoms:

  • Loss of control over one's actions.
  • Behavior change or acting differently.
  • Loss of awareness of surroundings.
  • Loss of personal identity.
  • Difficulty distinguishing reality from fantasy at the time of the possession.
  • Change in tone of voice.
  • Wandering attention.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Loss of sense of time.
  • Loss of memory.
  • Belief that one's body changed in appearance.

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