The Paranormal and Mental Illness

Psychic Attack

Following on from my post on the link between Paranormal Phenomena and Schizophrenia I have had numerous email asking for more information on mental illness and psychic attacks.

As a consequence, Ive been scouring the academic journals looking for some scholarly studies to cite. This has proved very difficult.

Yes, the paranormal is researched, a bit. Yes, mental illness is well covered, very well covered in fact.  But put the two together and I kept drawing blanks. That is until I contacted the parapsychologist, Michael Thalbourne. He reminded me of a well respected author who bravely did some research in this area.

The book is now out of print, but it is still available online through Amazon. You might like to check out the Hardcover version on Amazon.

The ESP Experience: A Psychiatric Validation by Jan Ehrenwald (1978).

Jan was a psychiatrist, born in Czechoslovakia, studied psychiatry in Prague, practiced in London and New York and died in 1988.

It is such a shame that we have to go back so far – over 30 years – to find a readable reference on this topic.

Anyway, there are 19 copies available through Amazon, starting at 99 cents. That seems cheap, given how rare the research is!

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86 comments… add one
  • Kerry Ann Jacobs Jan 31, 2014, 10:33 am

    You might be interested in my book: “From Psychic to Psychotic and Beyond: A True Story About My Bipolar Disorder” which explores a crossover between the paranormal and mental illness. You can find it by visiting my website

  • Bill Sweet Jun 27, 2013, 12:45 am

    Such an important topic. I was wondering how much interest there is in psychic attacks and related issues? It seems to me that it’s such an uncomfortable topic that many people avoid it, if they can. Those who find themselves a target find the topic less avoidable.

    What would a couple of researchers propose is going on with psychic attacks? One answer is clear-cut. A serious involvement in the paranormal sets one up for attacks and or strange events happening that curtail a normal lifestyle (whatever that is) for the person involved in serious paranormal pursuits. See George Hansen’s work with the “Trickster Effect” at

    At Spindrift Research, to give one twist involving psychic attacks, consider this true reference. On several occasions, some religious folks prayed against the tests of prayer working on plants. The prayers were that it wasn’t possible for the tests to be permitted to produce results. So the Christians involved were using one form of prayer as a psychic attack to cancel another form of prayer from working. What is the definition of ironic?

  • Kerry Ann Jacobs Jun 26, 2013, 7:29 pm

    You might be interested in my book: “From Psychic to Psychotic and Beyond” which addresses what may be viewed as psychic attacks directly. You can find the book on my website where you can order either an ebook or a paperback

    • Rosemary Breen Jun 26, 2013, 9:49 pm

      Hi Kerry Ann

      Welcome to the Psychic Revolution community.

      Ive taken the liberty of lifting the description of your book from Amazon for readers who are interested in reading your book.

      It was January 2009 in Wellington, New Zealand. I was 43 and overloaded with emotionally charged court cases as a sole family law barrister. I was missing my late grandmother. In my mind I called to her many times for her to visit me. She didn’t but she did visit my mother in her dreams. My mother said that she was calm and serene. I began a path of psychic experimentation. I searched the internet for ways for me to increase my psychic awareness. I progressed to buying a crystal ball and images would unfold in front of me and then words started appearing. Soon I no longer needed the crystal ball, because full sentences were appearing before me on the ground. It was Wes my spirit guide communicating with me. He had been talking to me all along. When Wes started speaking to me in my head, he told me that he was my husband and he said: ‘I love you to bits’. I was soon surrounded by spirits such as Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana, Heath Ledger and Albert Einstein. We were doing everything together. I no longer needed anyone from the real world But unbeknownst to me, there were dark forces that were awaiting me, where all my worst fears would be realised. I would experience demons, the afterlife and the darkness of hell.

      Please let me know if you would like to write a guest post.

      Here is the link to Kerry Ann’s book:

  • Delia O' Riordan Sep 11, 2012, 3:39 am


    Thank you for your very kind remarks and your insights.


  • Delia Sep 5, 2012, 7:51 am

    Given the interest that Delia’s experience has generated in the community already, I asked Delia if I could print the note she sent me by way of background to her psychic attack. The following is reproduced with her permission.

    Hi, Rosemary,

    Thank you for your response. Thus far, there has been no recurrence of the attack.

    I guess everyone has had the experience of nightmares and that is the closest I can come to a rough equivalent of the emotional side of the experience. The physical aspect of it was unique in my life; how does one describe the feeling of waking up unable to move yet alert and having this horrific experience of something trying to open one up like a tin of peas? “It” seemed determined to complete its task and it seemed to be acting on someone or something else’s behalf.

    I say ‘it’ but there was more than one energy present. I had the feeling of a ‘commanding’ presence in front of me (I was lying on my left side during the experience) standing over the bed and one or possibly two “smaller” presences behind me.

    There was something “feral” about them.

    I sensed intelligence in the one leaning over the bed in front of me. I also felt it was “impersonal” – as though it were there only to observe.

    God, I’m only just now realising that I had these impressions! It all happened so fast that I couldn’t process it at the time and the experience was still raw when I wrote about it on my blog. I think, understandably, I have avoided “going there” since the event but now there seems to be sufficient emotional distance to make it possible to relay the experience without re-living it. At least I hope so!

    What struck me at the time – and now – is the sheer physicality of the attack. The presence in front of me seemed to be watching my reactions closely whilst the one (or two) behind me seemed merely annoyed in an animal sort of way that I was attempting to stop them, like a dog that growls if you get too close to its chew toy.

    The noises I heard defy description and in some ways it was the noise that most terrified me because it threatened to make it impossible ever to think again.

    I had the distinct feeling that if I could not free myself from that noise, I could – literally – LOSE my mind, a prospect I find far more terrifying than losing something physical. What is weird about that is that I don’t believe that the “mind” lives in the brain. Rather, the other way about. We dwell within consciousness so logically it is not possible to LOSE one’s mind. However, in my state of extreme fear, my emotional self acted as though the brain and the mind were one. I wonder now if that was the “point” of the whole experience – assuming it was being orchestrated by some sentient source…

    On the other hand, if there is a mainly psychological cause for this the episode, it might have to do with my history of “freezing” when I had nightmares in the past. When confronted by a direct threat, I felt that I couldn’t even scream; I seemed to be unable to emit even a whimper and I always felt terrified by that prospect! It was usually at this point that I would become aware of the fact that I was having a nightmare and I would wake up.

    In the Psychic Attack however, I felt that I had to fight off whatever was trying to “invade me” whilst remaining unable to control my body (if that is indeed what was happening) and I resisted with every bit of my being and fought to get free. It seemed to be a battle for my Will – something that has never been very strong in me. Although I will fight on behalf of others’ rights, I found it nearly impossible to stand up for myself.

    Now that I think about it, I have been ‘tested’ with regard to my Will from time to time but never to the extent that my survival seemed to be on the line!

    Perhaps, it would take a threat of the loss of my intellect to get me to fully assert my Will. Threatening what I value most in myself – the ability to think, to grow in understanding, to learn as much as possible – was perhaps the only fool-proof way to get me to assert my Will. But that begs the question of who – or what – would orchestrate such a thing.

    If the whole episode was a sort of “psycho-drama” thrown up by my unconscious mind, it has some “serious ‘splainin’ to do” as Ricky used to say to Lucy!

    I wonder now if this incident was a macabre lesson in the necessity to exercise Will as well as “radical acceptance” and if so, did I “pass”? Since I’m still here, I guess I did…

    Thank you, Rosemary, for providing a venue within which these anomalous experiences can be explored. Any feedback other members of PR may have would be gratefully received.

    Kind regards,

    • Rosemary Breen Sep 5, 2012, 1:36 pm


      Who or what were these forces do you think? Were they of another world or the alien world perhaps?

      What do you think made them release you from the power they were exerting?

      Im pleased you are finding comments from others helpful. I think it works the other way also; you are helping us too.

      Continue to take care.


      • Delia O' Riordan Sep 5, 2012, 7:17 pm

        You pose the $64,000.00 question, Rosemary: Who or what were “they”? I still have no idea. Here are some possibilities that have been suggested to me:

        The noises of “people” moving around on the roof and in the passage outside my bedroom and the impression of a “group consciousness” or “hive” as the source of the voices/sounds raised to an intolerable pitch are apparently consistent with some reports of “alien abduction”. Was my experience an attempt at that? I don’t know. If so, I hope they never return.

        Then again, Whitley Strieber the author of Communion, thinks there might be a connection between “alien contact” and human death and I certainly felt that my existence was at stake when I was being dragged out of my body. Whitley has also proposed that at least some species of “aliens” may be trying to “harvest human souls”. Again, I don’t know whether that was the intention of the energies I felt around me. I had a vague awareness that the entity in front of me – the more sentient of the three – was observing me as one would an experimental subject.

        As for why they stopped, I felt it had something to do with my determination to resist, my “Will”. It is difficult to resist something that is physical when one’s physical body can’t move so I had to “fight” with my mind, my consciousness. They say the prospect of imminent death focuses the mind wonderfully and I have to agree with that! I don’t ever recall being so determined to resist another “Will” – that of the energies/entities that were trying to separate me from body.

        Thus far, I’ve interpreted the experience as a “test” of some sort. That is how it feels when I remember it. Who or what was “testing” me, I don’t know. I never believed in “the Devil” or “demons” and I still don’t. Whatever these were – unquiet spirits, aliens, or subconscious projections – I don’t believe their intent was evil; I felt they were doing the bidding of some sentient life form whose motives I could not fathom. Given the subtle dimensions that String Theory suggests are around us, “they” could have been a very different form of consciousness that somehow “crossed over” or stumbled into our 3D world and, for all I know, they may have been as frightened of me as I was of them! I think the only way to find the answer is to invite as many people as possible to share any similar experiences and perhaps we will find a pattern or at least some salient aspect of the experience that will help us to understand it.


        • Rosemary Breen Sep 6, 2012, 9:29 am


          I have put feelers out (nothing creepy, I assure you) to a member of the UFO community to see if he has an opinion on what you have experienced.

          What I always find fascinating is the form in which entities manifest. In my survey, eg, why is it that Christians see angels and Jesus not Buddha.

          Do we experience the same thing if we are in the same experience? If two people were open, and one an atheist and the other a UFOlogist, would they see the same entity or would the energy manifest differently for each?

          Which leads me to ask, what is your take on UFOs and aliens Delia?



          • Delia O' Riordan Sep 11, 2012, 3:38 am

            Hi, Rosemary,

            Sorry it took me a while to get back to you regarding the questions you posed above but I’ve had similar questions from readers of my website so I thought perhaps it would be useful to provide the link to my answers here: (Psychic Attack: Angels or Aliens).

            My ‘take’ on UFOs and Aliens is based on personal experience as well as some fairly extensive reading following – but not prior to – my own experiences.

            Three of the experiences were highly spiritual in nature and not frightening – nothing like the recent one that I have termed a psychic attack. There was one other experience which made me quite uncomfortable but a flippant remark on my part seemed to put paid to that one! I believe I wrote about these experiences when I filled in the survey on paranormal experience so I didn’t want to repeat myself here. However, if you feel it would be useful I can reproduce my accounts here.

            Again, thank you for your generosity in providing this forum for the exploration of these bizarre experiences and the opportunity to learn from other participants on Psychic Revolution.
            Kindest regards,

          • Rosemary Breen Sep 11, 2012, 11:57 am


            If you are open to sharing your UFO experience or ‘take’ on the subject you might like to add your thoughts here



      • Lars Soholt Sep 9, 2012, 3:25 pm

        You are most definitely helping as much if not more (very possibly more) as being helped.

  • Delia O'Riordan Sep 3, 2012, 7:38 pm

    Hello, Lars,

    Thank you for your very thoughtful observations. I have had a few unusual experiences that I cannot explain in conventional terms and I hold all of them “open” to future interpretation. We are still at the beginning stages of studying consciousness and I’m not sure we know enough yet to come to conclusions on most psychic and/or paranormal phenomena. Like Rosemary, I think what we call the paranormal is in fact quite normal; it’s just not necessarily common and it’s important to keep that distinction in mind when we approach the subject of apparently anomalous experiences.

    You’ve given me a lot to think about in terms of attempted “possession”. I’ve always been extremely skeptical of claims of “possession”, including the nature of what for now I am calling my own experience of a “psychic attack”. I don’t know what the event was about and I welcome as many possible interpretations as people care to offer. The more we extend our thinking, the deeper our understanding – subject always to the limits of proof and hence our own fallibility.

    I found your comments on the relative strength of similar attempts by whatever-it-is to gain control of people very helpful. It made me go to back to the moment of greatest intensity during the incident and I realised something that had been present only at the periphery of my consciousness: the “entity” that I experienced as being in front of me, observing, may have called a halt to the “attack”. I get the feeling of a decision coming from “him”, almost as though the whole thing had been an experiment! Thank you for opening that line of thought to me. That may prove central to my further understanding of what happened.

    And, most of all, thank you for taking the time to communicate your thoughts, Lars.

    Best regards,

    • Lars Soholt Sep 9, 2012, 3:11 pm

      Hmmm… Experiment. That could mean a couple of other things… First thing that comes to mind is a possible guide or guardian alerting you and testing your current strength. Second is a preempt by an opponent to learn what they might be facing later.

      Both can possibly be used to your benefit. Keep in mind that one of the most important things with stuff like this (if indeed it is this) is to look at and imagine positively, but THE most important is having faith in yourself.

      If you can cling to faith in yourself you cannot be beaten.

      Oh, and don’t mind that man behind the curtain! lol Once you step into this realm you might be in Kansas, but its a much different one!

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