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Clinical Lycanthropy and Therianthropy
DustWolf
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Post: #1
Clinical Lycanthropy and Therianthropy
Hey,

This is a subject that pops up now and again and I thought it's about time we made a thread about it.

Clinical Lycanthropy is as close as you can get to the medical world acknowledging anything like werewolves, however, in the words of dr. G from IARP: "Therianthropy is very much not Clinical Lycanthropy".

In short Clinical Lycanthropy is a type of psychosis, where the person briefly believes that they have been transformed into something that their society sees as evil, such as a werewolf, a snake or a demon. Sometimes this is accompanied with the sensation of "fur" or "scales" on their skin (a tactile hallucination). Psychosis typically last about half an hour (or up to 4 hours), during which time the person cannot be reasoned with and in a typical setting is taken to a hospital and sedated to prevent harm to themselves and others.

In contrast, Therianthropy is usually thought of as a lifelong condition, where one experiences having the mental state of a real animal, rather than how it is socially perceived. As therians, we are also aware that our therianthropy does not affect our physical condition. We are also not delusional and can be reasoned with.

In other words, it's not even close. Clinical lycanthropy is a completely different condition than therianthropy and therianthropy has nothing to do with clinical lycanthropy.

LP,
Dusty

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2019-06-23 14:51
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Post: #2
RE: Clinical Lycanthropy and Therianthropy
Not really related, I agree with you here, but rather than it being compared to lycanthropy, I kind of consider therianthropy to be like a mild form of feral children, at least in my case. But I don't know too much about feral children other than they do experience trouble fully integrating with society for a very long time.

I'm really tired so I won't get too into it but basically I just like using it as a comparison thing mostly Tongue
2019-06-23 16:40
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Post: #3
RE: Clinical Lycanthropy and Therianthropy
(2019-06-23 16:40)Kieran Wrote:  I kind of consider therianthropy to be like a mild form of feral children, at least in my case. But I don't know too much about feral children other than they do experience trouble fully integrating with society for a very long time.

Feral children are basically just abused kids who didn't get enough (any) parental attention growing up. I don't think we can compare to them either. Especially given the point that the majority of cases of feral children were in fact very bad at understanding animals, whereas most therians can understand wild animals to some degree.

This is probably deserving of another thread somewhere.

LP,
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Most problems are man-made.

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2019-06-23 17:13
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Citrakayah
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Post: #4
RE: Clinical Lycanthropy and Therianthropy
Do they, in fact, have nothing to do with each other? People with clinical lycanthropy will in fact display animalistic behavior, report feeling like an animal when lucid, and display unusual activity in parts of the brain representing body image. Therians definitely display the first two traits, and could easily display the last trait (phantom limbs, anyone?). If a therian believed they were transforming into their theriotype--and given the number of people who have claimed to be able to p-shift, at least some of them probably thought they were telling the truth--how would you distinguish them from a clinical lycanthrope? And if a clinical lycanthrope stopped having delusions, but continued displaying animalistic behavior and felt like an animal, what would they be?

Obviously, one is not the other, but you can't just say they're not related.
(This post was last modified: 2019-06-24 12:52 by Citrakayah.)
2019-06-24 4:16
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Post: #5
RE: Clinical Lycanthropy and Therianthropy
(2019-06-23 17:13)DustWolf Wrote:  
(2019-06-23 16:40)Kieran Wrote:  I kind of consider therianthropy to be like a mild form of feral children, at least in my case. But I don't know too much about feral children other than they do experience trouble fully integrating with society for a very long time.

Feral children are basically just abused kids who didn't get enough (any) parental attention growing up. I don't think we can compare to them either. Especially given the point that the majority of cases of feral children were in fact very bad at understanding animals, whereas most therians can understand wild animals to some degree.

This is probably deserving of another thread somewhere.

LP,
Dusty

I mean I can relate to that, personally. But I meant more the imprinting part of it, at least it's more comparable than lycanthropy Tongue however idk much about feral children so it's more a theory that like, the way imprinting therianthropy works is similar. Probably not for every therian tho ofc. But I don't have anything else to really say lmao don't mind me
2019-06-24 7:56
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Post: #6
RE: Clinical Lycanthropy and Therianthropy
I didn't think they had much in common until I read the theories as to why they happen. But remember, these are only theories after all, so take them with a grain of salt.

I was looking into clinical lycanthropy because I wanted to know more about where the werewolf "myth" came from. I remember reading an article which stated that clinical lycanthropy may be caused by the "reawakening" so to speak, of ancient neanderthal instincts to mimic wolves. Once our ancestors started adding meat to their diets, they supposedly began to look to the wolves. Once I find the article I will post the link.

When I read this, it reminded me of a thread on TG about a therian theory which sounded strikingly similar to the clinical lycanthropy theory. I don't quite remember what the thread was called though...

I understand that these two conditions are extremely different, and are not to be associated with each other as it could be very harmful. However I just found it interesting that the two theories sounded so similar.

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(This post was last modified: 2019-06-24 20:29 by Wandering-Pinelog.)
2019-06-24 18:51
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Post: #7
RE: Clinical Lycanthropy and Therianthropy
(2019-06-24 4:16)Citrakayah Wrote:  If a therian believed they were transforming into their theriotype--and given the number of people who have claimed to be able to p-shift, at least some of them probably thought they were telling the truth--how would you distinguish them from a clinical lycanthrope?

I would primarily seek to distinguish these delusions from therianthropy, as most of us experience it. I do think that people who claim to be able to p-shift are either dishonest or delusional and I don't think that believing you are able to p-shift has anything to do with therianthropy.

(2019-06-24 4:16)Citrakayah Wrote:  And if a clinical lycanthrope stopped having delusions, but continued displaying animalistic behavior and felt like an animal, what would they be?

The obvious answer is that if one ceases to have the symptoms of a medical condition, this would mean that they no longer have it.

Someone who used to have clinical lycanthropy might be a therian, yes, theoretically. Though the odds of that being the case are probably fairly remote.

For context, allow me to quote a Clinical Lycanthropy case study:
Quote:A 20-year-old man was admitted after he became increasingly agitated and showed erratic behaviors at home, starting about 5 weeks before his admission.

On initial evaluation, he seemed guarded and internally preoccupied; he gave brief responses and had prolonged latency of speech. His thought process was disrupted apparently due to lack of attention. He had no significant previous psychiatric history. He had been using alcohol and marijuana occasionally. A family history of bipolar disorder was present.

He was started on risperidone for new onset of psychosis. Subsequent laboratory testing showed moderate neutropenia, and risperidone had to be discontinued. Over the next few days, the patient displayed increasingly psychotic, animal-like behaviors—he howled loudly in his room; he broke into a run abruptly in the hallway; at times, he crawled on the floor on all four limbs. He also appeared to be internally stimulated; his affect changed without any apparent external triggers; sometimes, he smiled to himself, and, at other times, he scowled with an intense look on his face. When asked about these abnormal behaviors, he gave evasive responses. Eventually, he revealed that he believed he was a werewolf and that he periodically transformed into a wolf. He said that he started believing that he was a special person after he had visions of “the Devil” several years ago. He also reported hearing “random” voices. His family later reported that he had recently been preoccupied with books and movies involving werewolves.

He was started on ziprasidone, and the dose was gradually increased up to 80 mg twice daily. CBC and ANC were closely monitored. His symptoms gradually responded to ziprasidone; he reported that the voices had diminished; his thought process became more organized, and he appeared less internally stimulated. His belief about being a werewolf gradually dissipated. His animal-like behaviors (howling, crawling) also diminished in frequency and eventually ceased altogether.

(emphasis added)

It's hard to give a concise example to demonstrate just how different this is from our experience of therianthropy, but let me use this quote from Kaitsev that I think is a good example:
(2015-10-10 16:37)Kaitsev Wrote:  I'll admit I was a bit sceptical at first. Like... is this real? Do people really believe this stuff? For some reason though, I was drawn to make an account, just to see what else the site had to offer. I was naturally curious.

The more I read the more I was actually rather impressed with what was said and I began to think about my own life in the context of all that it was saying and it just started this giant check list of: ‘I DO THAT TOO!’ and ‘So that's why I did that...’ and, ‘No way! I've done that since I could even comprehend what animals were…’. Then finally I just sat there and all these memories from my childhood, I'd thought had long been forgotten, were being reeled in now that they’d been hooked. I was pulling them up, analysing each one, trying to understand what had happened and what was going on in my mind and finally I just... *blinks* I'm home... I'm not alone! My life suddenly makes SO MUCH MORE SENSE!

I realise that the perspective of both articles is different, but it is clear from this example that the Clinical Lycanthrope above was delusional due to a temporary psychotic break, unable to process what they were experiencing, whereas Kaitsev is a clearminded, analytical rational person trying to put lifelong experiences into a sensible context.

So... not related at all, in my view.



(2019-06-24 7:56)Kieran Wrote:  I mean I can relate to that, personally. But I meant more the imprinting part of it, at least it's more comparable than lycanthropy Tongue however idk much about feral children so it's more a theory that like, the way imprinting therianthropy works is similar. Probably not for every therian tho ofc. But I don't have anything else to really say lmao don't mind me

I've read a few non-fiction books on the subject. I think the notion that feral children imprint upon the animals they grow up with is a romantic notion that has no relationship with reality.

Yes feral children appear to mimic the animals they grew up with, but unfortunately that is the entire scope of their comprehension of animal language. Children cannot substitute the care of a human caretaker with the parental care of a non-human animal, human children have specific needs that need to be met in order for them to develop, a non-human animal cannot provide for all of these needs so feral children are simply developmentally stunted humans. See "children ages 0-8" in my manual on being human. Feral children act like animals because it brings them attention from other humans.

Incidentally (Click to View)

LP,
Dusty

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(This post was last modified: 2019-06-24 20:34 by DustWolf.)
2019-06-24 20:01
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Post: #8
RE: Clinical Lycanthropy and Therianthropy
(2019-06-24 20:01)DustWolf Wrote:  
(2019-06-24 4:16)Citrakayah Wrote:  If a therian believed they were transforming into their theriotype--and given the number of people who have claimed to be able to p-shift, at least some of them probably thought they were telling the truth--how would you distinguish them from a clinical lycanthrope?

I would primarily seek to distinguish these delusions from therianthropy, as most of us experience it. I do think that people who claim to be able to p-shift are either dishonest or delusional and I don't think that believing you are able to p-shift has anything to do with therianthropy.

Clearly, they are all delusional or dishonest, barring someone, say, seeing their eye change color in different light and concluding that they are able to shapeshift. The fact that we do not experience delusions, as a group, however, does not mean that a therian cannot be delusional. Therians can be delusional just like any other person, and given the existence of phantom limbs and mental shifts, it should not be a total surprise if a delusional therian believed themselves to be shapeshifting.

Even if therianthropy exists as a condition separate from all others, stemming from a single root cause (which I doubt), and there exists a clinical lycanthropy completely separate from it, without even a similarity in the somatosensory shifts clinical lycanthropes and therians both perceive, psychologists are not going to be able to distinguish a delusional therian that thinks they can shapeshift from a clinical lycanthrope, since they know so little about clinical lycanthropes and even less about us.

As far as believing you can p-shift having anything to do with therianthropy, it clearly does. The very term "p-shift" was invented by therians. We can call people who say they can delusional, ostracize them, and ban them, and I think we're right to do so. But we can't pretend a belief that crops up often in the community, has been around pretty much since the beginning, and is related to traveling between the states of human and animal has no relation to therianthropy.

(2019-06-24 20:01)DustWolf Wrote:  The obvious answer is that if one ceases to have the symptoms of a medical condition, this would mean that they no longer have it.

Why yes, they'd no longer have clinical lycanthropy. But their experiences would, now, be no different from the majority of therians. They identify as an animal, like us. They experience animalistic urges and display animalistic behaviors, again like us.

So they'd be a former clinical lycanthrope that is now a therian. Or a former clinical lycanthrope who was always a therian. I think the latter makes more sense, conceptually--you don't stop being a therian because you become delusional, and you don't start being a therian because you've stopped.

(2019-06-24 20:01)DustWolf Wrote:  I realise that the perspective of both articles is different, but it is clear from this example that the Clinical Lycanthrope above was delusional due to a temporary psychotic break, unable to process what they were experiencing, whereas Kaitsev is a clearminded, analytical rational person trying to put lifelong experiences into a sensible context.

What you cited is a case study of one person. There are also case studies where there was no remission, or "partial remission"--Jan Dirk Blom reports that only a little over a third of cases of clinical lycanthropy (he only addresses people who think they turn into wolves) resulted in full remission of symptoms.

Meanwhile, Keck et al., in their 1988 paper "Lycanthropy: alive and well in the twentieth century," has "The individual behaved in a manner reminiscent of a particular animal, i.e. howling, growling, crawling on all fours," be entirely sufficient for diagnosis of clinical lycanthropy. They also described someone who believed for at least thirteen years that they were a "cat trapped in a human body" as a clinical lycanthrope--but this person was clearly delusional, since they believe the cat their family lived with as a child informed them of this and taught them cat language.*

This person held a job, spent six years in psychotherapy, and was treated at least three different kinds of drugs. They still thought they were a cat, they still hunted with cats, spent all their time around cats, preferred to sleep in places cats would sleep, and was in love with a tigress at the local zoo. Take away the belief that the family cat told them they were a cat and taught them cat language, and pretty much none of us would say they weren't a therian. We'd just tell them to get over the tigress and that spending "virtually all his free time" doing "feline activities" didn't sound particularly healthy.

Are we, largely, clearheaded? Yes. Are they, almost entirely as far as we can tell, not? Also yes. Are there similarities? Again, yes. They could be entirely superficial similarities, but they also might not be, and that means that simply asserting that they're unrelated is too hasty. Some of them could be therians that happen to have delusions related to their therianthropy, and the feeling of transforming some of them experience could be due to the same or similar root causes as phantom shifts. There are lots of unknowns and many possibilities.

* I am assuming that he thought the cat told him verbally, because the paper doesn't say. If he thought the cat's body language was telling him this, and thinks he can understand cats because he was raised with cats... then I wouldn't call him delusional. Wrong, yes, as far as the cat telling him he's a cat goes.
(This post was last modified: 2019-06-25 3:34 by Citrakayah.)
2019-06-25 3:33
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Post: #9
RE: Clinical Lycanthropy and Therianthropy
I too think they're simular. Not the same, but atleast simular. Simuar in experiences, perhaps even causes and outcomes or well, quiet a lot of things actually if you compare the two and take away the delusional aspect (note tho: some believe our mental shifts are a form of delusion because we believe they really happen but who says they do? Who says we didn't convince ourselves, manipulate ourselves, ... until we truely believed them to be real? Note: this isn't My opinion. I'm stating one of several theories of the community)

I came here simply to share an experience. I know a therian, who also happens to be clinical lycanthrope.

She identifies as therian, and has done since a really young age (she's an adult), she's always had mental shifts, phantom shifts, urges, behaviours, animalistic experiences and the like.

However since a few years she's been diagnosed with clinical lycanthropy. This is as at night, and Only at night, she loses control and beliefs she physcally shapeshifts into a wolf. At mornings, she wakes up with occasionally a dead animal on her bed (rabbit, bird, mouse,.. no one knows if she finds them or kills them) She however does not remember anything of what happened. She also continues the rest of her day normally and without a problem. Note: when becoming delusional she doesn't belief she's a werewolf, she beliefs she shapeshifted into a wolf.

She has identified with the term 'therian' for atleast 10 years prior to when her delusions started and she got diagnosed with clinical lycanthropy. She's being treatened for this, but it hasn't helped a lot yet.

Weither her therianthropy (identifying as a wolf) and her clinical lycanthropy (shapeshifting into a wolf at night without memory of this) are related is only up for guessing and making theories now. And I'm curious if she'll still be a therian if she's succesfully treated for her clincal lycanthropy or if her therianthropic experiences will also dissapear.

Just sharing this, in case it's handy to anyone.
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(This post was last modified: 2019-06-25 9:26 by PinkDolphin.)
2019-06-25 9:22
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Citrakayah
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Post: #10
RE: Clinical Lycanthropy and Therianthropy
(2019-06-25 9:22)PinkDolphin Wrote:  I too think they're simular. Not the same, but atleast simular. Simuar in experiences, perhaps even causes and outcomes or well, quiet a lot of things actually if you compare the two and take away the delusional aspect (note tho: some believe our mental shifts are a form of delusion because we believe they really happen but who says they do? Who says we didn't convince ourselves, manipulate ourselves, ... until we truely believed them to be real? Note: this isn't My opinion. I'm stating one of several theories of the community)

Considering that mental shifts are subjective experiences, calling them delusions make no sense. Even if someone is lying to themselves about what they're feeling, delusions are about external reality. At most, a therian could be delusional about how their theriotype behaves, and misinterpret mental shifts accordingly.

But even if you're going to say that we're all manipulating ourselves into feeling this way, that's no more a delusion than someone rationalizing a pre-existing belief is.
2019-06-25 13:44
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