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Vol. 40, No. 6, 2007
Issue release date: September 2007
Psychopathology 2007;40:461–464

Meditation-Induced Psychosis

Kuijpers H.J.H. · van der Heijden F.M.M.A. · Tuinier S. · Verhoeven W.M.A.
aVincent van Gogh Institute for Psychiatry, Venray, and bErasmus University Medical Centre, Department of Psychiatry, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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Background:Meditation is a self-regulatory psychological strategy that is frequently applied in Western as well as non-Western countries for different purposes; little is known about adverse events. Sampling and Methods: A male patient is described who developed an acute and transient psychosis with polymorphic symptomatology after meditating. A literature search for psychotic states related to meditation was carried out on PubMed, Embase and PsycInfo. Results: In the case presented a diagnosis of acute polymorphic psychotic disorder was made. Other case reports dealt with either a relapse of a pre-existent psychotic disorder or with a brief psychotic reaction in patients without a psychiatric history. Conclusion:Meditation can act as a stressor in vulnerable patients who may develop a transient psychosis with polymorphic symptomatology. The syndrome is not culture bound but sometimes classified in culture-bound taxonomies like Qi-gong Psychotic Reaction.

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