A Case of Lycanthropy

wolfmirrorNow we have already covered clinical lycanthropy on this site in the excellent post here. But today I am going back to it, recounting an actual real case of clinical lycanthropy. This will give you a deeper look into this illness. The case I am talking about is one that was published in The American Journal of Psychiatry in 1977.

There was this 49-year old woman who was incredibly insecure, she felt inferior and had extremely low self-esteem and was in need of a lot of love and attention. She was totally obsessed with wolves; they even came up in her dreams. Loving wolves isn’t a problem in itself of course, but her level of obsession was dreadfully unhealthy.

She lived for years and years with this obsession, keeping herself under control until one day during a family get-together, where she lost it. Feeling overcome with the spirit of her “inner wolf,” she took off all her clothes and started acting just like one; an adult woman did this in front of her family and she hadn’t even drank any alcohol or done any drugs. The next night she lost it again, this time in her own bedroom. For two hours she growled, clawed and chewed at the bed.

Obviously out of control this woman was then brought to the hospital. She said that she was hearing voices and that the devil had entered her body. The doctors diagnosed her with lycanthropy. The woman said she was a wolf-woman by day and a wolf at night and that she was an animal with fur, claws and fangs. She also said that she would continue to roam the earth after her death, searching for perfection and her own salvation.

When the woman looked into a mirror, instead of seeing her own face she would see the head of a wolf. Staring at the wolf she would be caught snarling and growling into the mirror. Other times she would see her own reflection but one eye would look scared while the other looked like the eye of a sinister wolf.

She was diagnosed with chronic schizophrenic psychosis and not only received therapy but was also put on meds. The medicine took care of the chemical imbalance in her brain that caused the schizophrenia. Her horrifying episodes stopped happening within the month and when she looked in the mirror the wolf was gone. After nine calm weeks the woman was released from the hospital.

That is one case out of a few clinical lycanthropy cases. Not your fun magical werewolf, but still a very real and serious illness worth mentioning.

– Moonlight

By moonlight

One of the writers for werewolves.com, as well as vampires.com.

1 comment

  1. I have schizophrenia and i’ve also had experiences professionals have likened to lycanthropy. Basically, I felt so dehumanized by social isolation and persecutory delusions that I started feeling less than human, capable of only attending to and possessing life-essential needs (food,water,sleep). I began to proclaim that I was a monkey and imitated one. I did not truly believe that I was a monkey deep-down, only that I was somehow living on a more primal, basic level than other people around me. I took on the role of a monkey out of desperation to communicate my deprivation of more advanced human needs. Of course, it makes alot more sense to me now than it did at the time.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.