Hallucinations pp 235-247 | Cite as




“Djinn” and “hallucination” are very different notions. Deriving from widely divergent discourses, the two are hardly commensurable. And yet this chapter is devoted to djinns, in a book dealing with hallucinations. The reason for including this topic is that individuals with an Islamic background show a marked tendency to attribute any hallucinatory experiences they may have to a djinn, and therefore seek help from religious healers before ever consulting a biomedical practitioner. Biomedical practitioners, in turn, and particularly those in Western societies, tend to know preciously little about djinns and Arabic-Islamic healing methods. A second reason for addressing this topic is that hallucinations attributed to djinns would seem to possess quite extraordinary phenomenological characteristics, setting them apart from the types of hallucination we tend to encounter in Western patients diagnosed with a psychotic disorder. As these characteristics are as yet largely uncharted, and the biomedical literature on the subject is limited, this chapter also draws on anthropological and religious sources to arrive at a characterization of this niche phenomenon in the area of hallucinations research.


Perceptual Experience Psychotic Disorder Borderline Personality Disorder Muslim Society Hallucinatory Experience 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Parnassia Bavo Academy, Parnassia Bavo Group and University of Groningen, GroningenThe HagueThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Parnassia Bavo GroupRotterdamThe Netherlands

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