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Process of determining the value of belief about jinn possession and whether or not they are a result of mental illness
  1. Elspeth Guthrie1,
  2. Seri Abraham2,
  3. Shahzada Nawaz2
  1. 1University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  2. 2Department of Liaison Psychiatry, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Elspeth Guthrie, elspeth.a.guthrie{at}


We present the case of a 28-year-old Afghan woman who presented perinatally with concerns of being possessed by jinns. She was noted to have third person auditory hallucinations, delusions of control and somatic passivity. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was treated with antipsychotic medications with a positive outcome. Her husband also believed that his wife was possessed and believed that her jinns talked through his wife on occasions. He did not experience any psychotic symptoms himself. In the Muslim faith, beliefs about jinns are widely held by people with and without any signs of mental illness. We feel that the patient's interpretation of her symptoms was influenced by her and her husband's religious and cultural beliefs, leading to a delay in receiving appropriate treatment. Awareness among mental health professionals about widely held religious and cultural beliefs will enhance the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of similar presentations.

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