In my opinion yes. Maybe not in all cases, but I would guess in something like 90% of them. This I would say from first-hand experience as someone who once suffered from demonic possession. I am a former NPR news reporter and now a writer and author.
As you join me in reading my article, you are sitting in a realm inhabited by the demonic and angelic. It’s called the supernatural. You are probably shielded from seeing into this realm surrounding our earth realm. Shielded in God’s mercy because if we could see what some of the demons look like that hover over us trying to afflict us or direct our paths, we would flee in terror and not be able to get through our days.
I was first educated at Ohio State University and graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism. I became a news reporter at a commercial radio station, then at an NPR affiliate where I worked in radio and television. Later I went to Los Angeles as an entertainment reporter. Journalists are taught by professors and news editors to be cynical until they get the facts. In my hard-news reporting I had to interview preferably several sources to get the facts, before I broadcast a story or wrote an article.
In my own personal battle with alcohol, drugs (cocaine) and manic depression, I had a number of showdowns with the supernatural, most of which horrified me. I believe it was hard evidence that something demonic was happening. After much research, I came to the conclusion that something certifiably demonic was at the source of my battles with mental illness and addictions.
My spiritual warfare with the demonic took on what I call inner and outer battles. There were may inner battles with demons manifesting in manic depression, drug addiction and alcoholism. But it was not until I had an OUTER battle with the demonic, like something out of a horror movie, was I convinced that the supernatural and evil spirits are real. Demons can dwell within the body and mind and without or outside the body in the environment, atmosphere, etc. Only through God can we have them effectively and permanently cast out.
I have since been delivered through the power of prayer and fasting unto Jesus Christ and I have not had to take medication in 11 years. I once took Haldol, Mellaril, Lithium, Thorazine and Elavil—heavy psychotropic drugs. I was placed in quiet rooms and padded rooms, in straight jackets and restraints. One doctor said I was manic depression probably with a “touch” of schizophrenia. Oh great. I peeked at his clipboard that he had left in my room and it said: “Suffers from grave mental illness. Grave indeed, at times I felt like the walking dead.
As those who suffer or are still tormented by bi-polar illness know, it if often cyclical with normal periods where you are in your right mind.
It was in several normal periods years ago, in between manic and depression (bi-polar illness) where I was simply going about my daily business that the demons began to manifest. Anyone who has been in a truly haunted house knows what I’m talking about.
Anyone who has seen The Exorcist knows what I’m talking about. Why were people so stunned and so frightened of even that Hollywood version of possession and deliverance? Because deep in our beings, we sensed that we could be vulnerable. That there was a lot of truth there. (After all it was based on a true story about a young boy. I am not Catholic, but go to a bible-based Christian church and my deliverance was through prayer, fasting and praying the scriptures. I did not have an exorcist, I had the Great Physician, Jesus Christ.)
On February 17, 1994, while I was living in Los Angeles, I had one of my last terrible and tormenting battles with the demonic realm. My husband and I were separated and I was resting on the couch that evening. I looked up to see three entities in the shadows that looked like three men in the corner where my husband often had prayed to a (false) god and burned incense.
I called out who was there, the evil entities laughed and said “We’re demons”. If it had been a Saturday Night Live tv skit, I might have laughed too. But these evil spirits manifested in my living room and it was NOT funny.
Two days later I sensed a heavy presence of pure atmospheric evil in my apartment. Water ran without my turning it on, the toilet backed up, a heavy smell of sulfur and cat feces permeated the air. (I did not own a cat.)
I had an appointment and exited the apartment. At the time I smoked cigarettes and re-entered it because I had forgotten them. The evil presence was still there, and I nervously hurried to find my cigarettes. Before I could exit the door, I was suddenly attacked by a horrific invisible demonic presence that clawed at my back and shot up the base of my spine to my brain. I ran screaming from the apartment in terror. I felt my personality and essence had been snatched out and it was days before I was able to pray.
It was not until I was able to call on the name of Jesus that I felt the presence ebb. One year later I moved to New York City–trying to move away from demons no doubt! Which is silly because they are either in you or have no problem following you wherever you go or both. The good thing was that I found a great bible-believing church in New York. I learned to pray and fast, memorize and meditate on scripture, fellowship and call on believers to pray for me.
When I was willing to surrender my old way of life I called on Jesus for salvation. Then I called a prayer partner for deliverance. His confidence in Christ as a healer and prayer gave me assurance I would be set free. The next three days I went into prayer and fasting. This was spiritual warfare, truly a supernatural battle for my mind, body and soul.
On February 25, 1998, I went into a cold and deserted New York City area park and prayed for deliverance from alcohol, drugs and mental illness. I cried and fell on my face with outstretched arms begging for my freedom. In the invisible realm I sensed a heaviness being lifted, I felt bondages being broken, chains snapping and a sense of release. I walked out of that park a free woman.
I don’t advise anyone to abruptly stop taking their medication. Psychiatrists serve their purpose for those who are catatonic or or a danger to themselves or others. Pray for wisdom. I spent a year prior to my deliverance weaning myself from the psychotropic drugs and bathed in the protection of prayer unto God. If you are not immediately set free, it is not because God doesn’t love you. Meditate on scripture and you will begin to sense a peace, purpose, power and protection.
Mary Magdalene had seven devils (demons) until the Lord cast them out. It is speculated that she once suffered from mental illness. Anyone who has seven demons is not in their right mind! One of the scriptures I hung on, meditated on was:
“Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.” Mark 16:9
A formerly “crazy” woman and yet Jesus gave her the honor of being the first person to see the resurrected Christ. Then He made a woman the first evangelist when he told Mary Magdalene to run and tell the disciples that she had seen Him. Finally over 500 witnesses saw Jesus themselves. He had conquered death as He said He would.
The Jesus of the Bible the one I and other believers know, is not just the Lover of your soul. He is a Healer and Deliverer. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is mighty and powerful beyond human comprehension. He will summon a heavenly host of warrior angels to do battle when you call.
Tory Connolly, co-author of IN TIMES LIKE THESE: WHEN WE PRAY. Essay entitled, “A Supernatural Battle: A woman prays (and fasts) “like a house afire” for release from the demons of mental illness, alcohol and drugs.
**Tags tory, demons, spiritual warfare, mental illness, Praise Jesus**
Comments from previous blog version
Posted by Derya on Jul 19th, 2015
Hmm. I’m walking a toirthgpe on this one. Personally, I’m not totally convinced that such things as demons truly exist in an objective sense if by demon, you mean a literal evil spiritual entity that posesses people, taking them over. Seems to me that a demon can be a mental ilness, or the doubts and fears and temptations that plague a person, or the opressive domination systems that hold a person down I guess I just don’t see a reason to believe that just because pre-scientific cultures thought epilepsy was demonic, it really is.On the other hand in a way it doesn’t matter. A person experiencing demonic oppression, no matter what is actually, factually behind it, still needs to be delivered from it. As a general rule, I think prayer and counseling and (if appropriate) medical help are the best approach. If there is an external component (abuse, a stressful situation, whatever) then of course that needs to be addressed as well. Basically, whatever is appropriate to the case at hand.Of course, I do think that we miss out if we assume that there is never a spiritual component to things there is. But I think that component is usually best addressed by prayer, by having a relationship with God. Praying that God will grant peace of mind, or give enlightenment as to the real nature of the problem, etc. What frightens me about deliverance ministry stuff is that the focus on the demonic often (usually?) blinds those involved to the real issues at hand. A woman who is mentally disturbed due to the abuse taking place in her home, for example, may be treated exclusively for her demons while the real problem is ignored entirely getting her into a healthy environment and getting counseling for her.It’s precisely that sort of myopic focus on the demonic that often causes more harm than good. Do you remember the case here in the US a few months ago, when the autistic kid was smothered to death in a deliverence meeting that was supposed to cast out his demons ? That nutso church put the kid and his mom through months of physical and psychological misery, spending hours a day with the kid tied up while they prayed and beat him to drive the demon out, and ultimately he died of it. He was autistic. NOT POSESSED.We have an autistic kid at our church. At our church he has found love and acceptance, and his parents have found care and support not a deliverance ministry. The result? His parents are happier, they are being supported, and the kid is happier and healthier. Yes, he is; he used to freak out and go nuts in the middle of church, now he runs around with a big twisted smile on his face shaking hands with everyone, bubbling with joy. He’s still autistic, but he and his parents have found a certain kind of deliverance as well. Let’s focus on that.Ok, this is getting ridiculously long (sorry Rachel!) but I want to make one more observation: Michelle, your description of this woman and her daughters does not sound like healthy, normal people. This sounds like people who are really and truly being oppressed by demons the imaginary demons that dwell in their heads, in their thoughts, binding them into nearly obsessive-compulsive habits and making them live in a spirit of fear. They are the ones who need deliverance, not you. They are the ones who need their demons cast out. They could probably use a lot of prayer Ok i’m done peace out!