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J Nerv Ment Dis. 1975 Jul;161(1):43-8.

Cinematic neurosis following "The Exorcist". Report of four cases.

Abstract

Following the distribution and release of the movie, "The "Exorcist," much publicity concerning the psychiatric hazards of the film was reported. Numerous cases of traumatic neurosis and even psychosis were supposedly noted. This report confirms the hypothesis that traumatic "cinema neurosis" can be precipitated by viewing the movie in previously unidentified psychiatric patients. The paper will examine an early reported case by Freud, investigate some underlying psychological principles in the book, and then report on the presentation and treatment of four cases. This movie seems to be directly related to traumatic neurosis in susceptible people. Classical symptoms and disability were observed following viewing the movie. There are elements in the movie, such as possession with resultant loss of impulse control, that are likely to threaten people with similar problems, and to exceed their "stimulus barrier." Suggested treatment recommends brief, early access treatment, using the movie to help each patient to explore where he identified and to understand some of his ambivalent conflicts with either parents or spouse.

PMID:
1151359
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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