Demonic Oppression and How to Deal with It

​Struggling with Demonic Oppression?

Are you struggling in your spiritual life? Do you find yourself feeling indifferent toward your religious convictions? If so, you might be experiencing demonic oppression.

Demonic oppression may sound like the stuff that horror movies are made of but it is a very real concern for us Catholics.

What is Demonic Oppression?

For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. — Ephesians 6:12

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To better understand demonic oppression, we need to first acknowledge that there is a spiritual war taking place between the forces of God and the forces of Satan. The forces of the Devil were formerly angels who resisted God and they will do all that they can to tempt people into turning away from the path of righteousness.

Demonic oppression happens when we fall into the temptation of evil spiritual forces. Demons cloud our judgement and cause us to stay in bondage to our sinful nature. It is different from possession because when someone is possessed, demons assume control of their body. This usually results in the person displaying unusual physical attributes like extraordinary strength.

In Mark 5, we can read an example of a man possessed by an unclean spirit and he could not be chained because of how strong he was:


They came to the other side of the sea, to the territory of the Gerasenes.

When he got out of the boat, at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him.

The man had been dwelling among the tombs, and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain.

In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains, but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed, and no one was strong enough to subdue him.

Mark 5:1-5

On the other hand, when someone experiences demonic oppression he becomes beset with difficulties. He experiences many troubles and temptations and may feel weighed down emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. If he is unable to resist, he will eventually fall under the influence of the evil spirit that is wreaking havoc upon his life.

The story of Job in the Bible is one example of a man who experienced demonic oppression. Job went through tremendous hardship in his life. His family was killed, he lost his wealth and he got physically sick. Although Job was not possessed, he was oppressed spiritually.

My spirit is broken, my days finished, my burial at hand. Surely mockers surround me, at their provocation, my eyes grow dim. — Job 17:1-2

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Signs that You Might Be Under Demonic Oppression

We become vulnerable to demonic oppression when we do things that open us to the influence of the Devil. Some examples of these activities include abusing substances and drugs that alter our state of mind, dabbling in occult activities like divination, astrology, Ouija boards and tarot cards and exposing ourselves to media like books and movies that are depressing, dark and demonic.

The bottom line is when we allow ourselves to be influenced by things that are contrary to the ways of God, we become oppressed spiritually.

Demonic oppression may seem subtle at first but if we do not pay attention to the red flags and do something, it becomes insidious and devastating. The following are some of the signs that we should look out for:

  • ​Physical symptoms like sleeplessness, addictions, inexplicable ailments, sexual perversions, over-eating, abusing substances and self-mutilation
  • ​Spiritual deadness which will manifest in an inability to pray, apathy or anger toward God, becoming interested in false religions and lack of guilt when doing something wrong
  • ​Emotional turmoil like uncontrollable anger, fluctuating moods and emotions, low self confidence, a feeling of hopelessness and lack of purpose
  • Financial troubles like constant and unusual financial problems

How to Overcome Demonic Oppression

Demonic oppression | Catholic Faith Store

Demonic oppression is not like a physical illness that can be cured with medication or treatment and this makes it a complex problem to address. However, we must remember that our God is powerful and faithful and through Him we can overcome any hardship even demonic oppression.

Here are the things you can do if you are experiencing demonic oppression and want to break free from it:

1. Admit that you have sinned and evaluate your situation.

Spend time to evaluate your life and how you got to the present situation. What decisions and behavioral patterns caused you to be ensnared in the sinful act? Awareness of your thoughts and actions will help keep you from falling into the same problem in the future.

2. Confess your sins and ask God for forgiveness.

Go to your parish priest and confess your sins. Sincerely ask God for forgiveness and renounce your sin. You must resolve not to fall into the same sinful patterns again by identifying your triggers and vulnerabilities.

3. Claim God’s promises.

Renouncing your sin requires daily commitment and there will be days in which you will feel vulnerable and weak. This is where God’s Word will come in. The Bible has many words of wisdom and promises that we can claim during difficult times.

Whenever you feel like you are experiencing demonic oppression once again, cling to these passages from Scripture and use these to rebuke the evil spirit that is tempting you:

  • You belong to God, children, and you have conquered them, for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. - 1 John 4:4
  • ​​He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. - Colossians 1:13-14
  • Whoever sins belongs to the devil, because the devil has sinned from the beginning. Indeed, the Son of God was revealed to destroy the works of the devil. - 1 John 3:8
  • They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; love for life did not deter them from death. - Revelation 12:11

4. Pray constantly.

Make prayer a daily habit. Spend time first thing in the morning to pray to God. Pour out your heart to Him and let Him know your deepest struggles. Ask Him for guidance and wisdom that you can use for your day.

At a minimum we suggest you should pray the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Nicene Creed.

5. Find a spiritual accountability person.

Your spiritual accountability person is someone who will be praying for you and helping you in your journey out of demonic oppression. This person should be more spiritually mature than you and who is willing to help you in your struggles by giving you sound advice and guidance. You may ask your parish priest to be your accountability person. 

What hardships are you experiencing in your life right now?

Could this be demonic oppression?

How are you dealing with your struggles?

  • Hanna says:

    Thank you so much for writing this article in simple language and within the religious context.

  • Susan L. says:

    I have lost friends, can’t find work, just feel like life is against me.
    My Mom & sister are so bitter towards me when I am nothing but honest. I see other ppl move ahead but I’m stuck in a rut where I don’t know where I belong.

    • Aidan says:

      I have the exact same life summation. Like yourself I also have a total lack of aspiration or yearn if you like on what I want for life or where I fit in

    • PAUL GLENNIE says:

      Keep up faith in God. Don’t become apathetic! Choose a set of morning and evening prayers. Say them earnestly each day! You will see change come slowly but surely. If you current life is at a dead end, and you are still young, get some job skill training. Once you are qualified for something, its very easy to go to work every day! I was still taking university courses at 50. Life is tough, you got to fight back! I have 2 younger brother heathens and I’m fighting with their silly attitude about the Catholic faith. They treat God with contempt by refusing their gift of Catholic faith. I know from sad experience, protestant &
      Catholics have totally different views of God. Trying to do everything yourself gets you no help from God. Until I asked for help, my entire life was nothing but a litany of misfortune. God works along with you if you only ask him, and give thanks when you see results. He’ll even start doing things to protect you without you even asking.

    • Jill L says:


  • Named says:

    Some are like teenagers. They act like this to me : speaking about me while wandering around my house. Everything about privacy. They say not to pray or meditate because there is fire already. That I am weak and have no charisma. Sometimes they speak by the mouth of other humans. They often operate by pair (or more), so they have a conversation about me in my presence. I work with colleagues, talking about work and suddenly they change subject of conversation and say I am ugly, weak and will never find love and so on. They are obsessed with human male characteristics, suggesting that I should train my body and remove all my skin hair, or other fantasies. They are obsessed by sexuality, domination, fight for life, like what, heh, like monkeys and snakes mixed all together with ability to speak. They are all different, operate differently and have their own obsessions. Curiously, they are afraid of I suicide or become sick or crazy because at the very worse moments an other group/entity comes to refrain them. Eventualy they are often complaining about the consequences of their own actions, right. I came to the conclusion they are working to bring me back to service of God, by the worst way they can imagine. If this happens to you and you read that, know that it has happened to someone else before. Ignore them, work on yourself, wait patiently for death. I would compare it to a childish corrupted artificial intelligence. Good luck.

  • Selina says:

    This beautiful world that God made, suffers because of our vanity and greed. We feel pride because we believe we are on the right path, but forget to not just thank God in prayers, but be thankful in our lives. Instead of encouraging others we judge (which belongs only to God), berate and condemn, thereby condemning ourselves.

  • Cha says:

    I am going through so much ,you wouldn’t believe it! But funny thing is God warned me about 7 years ago
    That I would be sifted like weat
    I ask a PRIEST what it means & he said ” that’s not for you”
    But it was! I’m living like job!
    But I have found God in the middle through daily prayer!& stopped drinking & wanting to die!
    So I’m down for awhile but not out!
    Onward & upwards christian soilders!
    God Bless all
    We go through it because
    Our loving God allows it for our good!
    Thankyou ABBA ❤
    So pray! pray! pray!

  • sj says:

    thank you for posting this

  • Beth says:

    I believe that this is what is happening to me. I love God, I grew up learning the Bible from Daddy who knew every word of the Bible. Three years ago, immediately before the pandemic started, my family had a terrible time. My son was arrested at 15 for murder. When it was decided that he would be tried as an adult, he was put in solitary confinement (because his age doesn’t allow him to be in the general population) and he stayed there for over a year. He pled guilty to “get out of the concrete box” is the phrase he used. I listened to him slowly go crazy from being alone 24/7/365. He pled guilty and was sentenced to 30 years. A month later, my husband and I along with our 3 yo son, found out the baby we were expecting had died from getting tangled in the umbilical cord. Just before that, I remember lying in bed and my son was asleep beside me. I was turned facing him and facing away from the back corner of my room. I had this overwhelming feeling that there was something there and that if I turned over & looked at it, it would ‘have me’. I was so scared I laid there and cried and never looked backwards. I fell asleep and when I woke up, it was fine. But then I became a raging lunatic toward my husband.
    Today, it takes physical effort to read the Bible, pray, and stop questioning God.

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