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Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1996 Dec; 50(6): 313-6.

A case of possessive state with onset influenced by 'door-to-door' sales.

Satoh S, Obata S, Seno E, Okada T, Morita N, Saito T, Yoshikawa M, Yamagami A.

Institute of Community Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Japan.

Recently in Japan, 'door-to-door sales' has become of concern because it has created numerous legal and social problems. In this paper, a 47 year old dissociative trance disorder case who presented with possession by God is discussed. Specific types of door-to-door sales is known to use superstition and folk beliefs as tools to lure customers. In this particular case, these religious factors seemed to have played an important role in the precipitation of the disorder and its presentation. In addition, the brain-washing environment observed in video lectures used in door-to-door sales seemed to play an important role in the development of the possessive state. We also performed social psychiatric analysis of the occurrence of the possessive state in a city area, which has been considered to develop within traditional culture. Phenomenological classification by one of the authors was useful for diagnosing underlying disorders in the possessive state.


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