Mental Health of Mediums and Differential Diagnosis between Mediumship and Mental Disorders

Adair Menezes, Jr., Alexander Moreira-Almeida


Abstract—The issue of the mental state of mediums, and whether experiences considered mediumistic are symptoms of mental disorders, has long been subject to debate. Recent empirical studies may help to shed light on these controversies. As there are only a few studies on the mental health of mediums, findings regarding hallucination and dissociation in non-clinical populations are presented and discussed. Recent studies have not found an association between mediumship and mental disorders. Mediumistic experiences often occur in healthy and well-adjusted subjects. The occurrence of psychotic and/or dissociative experiences alone are not enough for a diagnosis of a mental disorder. It is essential to take into consideration the sociocultural context and the impact of these experiences on a patient’s life. In some cases, the emergence of mediumship may appear in the context of physical and mental symptoms, which poses a challenge for differential diagnosis. Further research is still necessary in order to discover enough elements to make a definitive differential diagnosis between mediumship and mental disorders.  

Keywords: mediumship—mental health—mental disorders—differential diagnosis

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