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Witnessing a seizure is a very frightening experience. Parents who witness seizures in children fear for their child’s life. It is extremely traumatic. Even now, as a trained professional, knowing all the steps I could ever need to take care of the problem, I will feel my heart rate climb with a knot in my stomach as adrenaline starts to flood my system to this day.
So it’s not surprising that in the past, seizures were thought to be caused by demonic possession. Many an epileptic in the middle ages were treated with exorcism.
“The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours.”
Jonathan Edwards, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
From the dawn of history, religion and anxiety have been intertwined. Read the rest of this entry »