Boanthropy Is A Fascinating Yet Absurd Condition

Boanthropy is a condition where a person believes they are or have transformed into an animal – usually a cow. It most commonly occurs in delusionary psychiatric patients and is often associated with schizophrenia. The term ‘boanthropy’ comes from the Greek words ‘bos,’ meaning ‘cow,’ and ‘Anthropos,’ meaning ‘human.’ Despite its long history, there is still much we don’t understand about this condition. 

What is Boanthropy?

Boanthropy is the delusion that one is an ox or a cow.

History Of Boanthropy:

The first recorded case of boanthropy dates back to Ancient Egypt, where Nebuchadnezzar II in the Book of Daniel “was driven from men and did eat grass as oxen.” In medieval Europe, in several cases, people claimed to be turned into cows as punishment for their sins. In the 16th century, a Swiss woman claimed that she had been turned into a cow by a witch. This phenomenon continued to be reported throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, although it is generally considered to be a psychiatric disorder rather than a real phenomenon. The belief that one can be transformed into an animal continues to fascinate people today.

What Causes It?

While the exact cause of boanthropy is unknown, it is most likely the result of a mental illness, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Individuals with it may hear voices that tell them they are a cow or may have visual hallucinations that convince them of their transformation. In some cases, individuals with boanthropy may also suffer from delusions of grandeur, believing that they have the strength and power of a cow. While there is no known cure for boanthropy, treatment typically focuses on managing the underlying mental illness.

What Are The Symptoms?

The causes of boanthropy are not fully understood, but it is thought to be associated with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. Patients with boanthropy often exhibit symptoms of psychosis, such as delusions and hallucinations. They may believe that they are a cow or another type of bovine and may behave accordingly. Patients may moo or eat grass and may become highly agitated if prevented from doing so. In severe cases, patients may attempt to harm themselves or others to fulfill their bovine fantasies. 

How Does It Affect Your Life?

Boanthropy can significantly impact a person’s life, causing them to give up their jobs, homes, and families to live as their chosen animal. In some cases, people with this condition may become isolated from society and unable to care for themselves. As a result, it is crucial to seek help if you or someone you know is showing signs of the disorder.

What Are The Treatments?

While there is no specific treatment for boanthropy, patients typically require long-term psychiatric care to manage their delusions and prevent them from harming themselves or others. In some cases, antipsychotic medication may be necessary to control delusional thinking. Patients with this condition can improve their quality of life and live relatively normal lives with treatment.

How To Live With It?

There are ways to manage the condition and help those affected live relatively normal lives. Treatment typically involves a combination of medication and therapy, intending to help the individual manage their delusions and hallucinations. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary. With treatment, many people with boanthropy can lead relatively normal lives. Some are even able to work and maintain relationships. Proper treatment can help those affected live relatively normal lives.


If you are experiencing any of the symptoms we’ve outlined, it’s important to consult a doctor. Getting professional help is essential if you think you may be suffering from this condition. Many resources are available to help those struggling with boanthropy, and we hope this article has provided some helpful information on this rare but fascinating mental disorder.

Last Updated on December 9, 2022 by Lucas Berg


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