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Our Most Troubling MadnessCase Studies in Schizophrenia Across Cultures$
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T.M. Luhrmann and Jocelyn Marrow

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520291089

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520291089.001.0001

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A Woman with Acute-Onset, Non-affective Remitting Psychosis in Thailand

(p.167) Case 11 Return to Baseline
Our Most Troubling Madness

Julia Cassaniti

University of California Press

Ta is a school teacher living in Bangkok. She suffered episodes of debilitating psychosis during which she is so completely caught in an evil spirit world that she cannot interact with other persons or even take care of herself in basic ways. However, what was remarkable is that between episodes, she is completely free of any symptoms of schizophrenia. Over the course of ten years, Ta’s lucid periods have become less lucid and her episodes of “spirit sickness”—as she calls them—less separate from reality. This development has allowed Ta more control over her hallucinatory experiences. Now, she can sometimes force demonic spirits to go away, or summon beneficent spirits to help herself or others. The chapter illustrates a form of psychosis that appears to be more common outside of western settings.

Keywords:   Thailand, Southeast Asia, Spirits, Hearing voices, Visions, Non-affective acute remitting psychosis (NARP)

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