Lycanthropy alive in Babylon: the existence of archetype
Article first published online: 8 DEC 2008
Copyright © 2008 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2008 Blackwell Munksgaard
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume 119, Issue 2, pages 161–164, February 2009
How to Cite
Younis, A. A. and Moselhy, H. F. (2009), Lycanthropy alive in Babylon: the existence of archetype. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 119: 161–164. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2008.01321.x
- Issue published online: 11 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 8 DEC 2008
- Accepted for publication October 28, 2008
- severe depressive disorder
Objective: Lycanthropy is the belief in the capacity of human metamorphosis into animal form. It has been recorded in many cultures. Apart from historic description of lycanthropy, there has been several case reports described in the medical literature over the past 30 years.
Method: We identified eight cases of lycanthropy in 20 years, mainly in the area of Babylon, Iraq.
Results: The most commonly reported diagnosis was severe depressive disorder with psychotic symptoms. The type of animal that the patients changed into were mainly dogs (seven cases) and only one case changed into a cow for the first time to report.
Conclusion: Lycanthropy delusion is a rare delusion but appears to have survived into modern times with possible archetypal existence.