Mental health is a large and complex subject. It’s a subject that raises many controversies whenever discussed amongst people. In the United States and many other Western countries, people have different beliefs related to mental disorders. The beliefs cycle around what counts as a mental disorder, whether it exists, and how it should be treated. The different opinions can make some people offended or angered, especially those affected by the illness directly.
What is the definition of mental health?
The truth is, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. Hence, there may be different definitions of the term mental health. However, it’s good to go with the professional description. According to the American Psychiatric Association, being mentally healthy is when you’re able to carry out your daily activities productively. That is, you’re ready to cope with the changes revolving around your workplace or school and caregiving without getting depressed. The changes in question are emotional, related to thinking and behavior, or a combination.
As stated earlier, many opinions are revolving around mental disorders. However, whenever it comes to the treatment, most people in the United States believe that the hospital is the way to go. Treating a mental breakdown requires a visit to a doctor. The treatment is a process and may take time based on the level of the condition. Most mental patients have to undergo therapy. It’s from the therapy sessions that the patients are taught how to cope or tackle the challenges they face.
What if there was another option to treat mental illness? The question itself sounds like a joke, or should we say insane? However, it might not be as crazy as you think. According to Dr. Malidona Patrice Some and the Dagara people, mental complications are spiritual illnesses. The West African shaman and his community believe that mental breakdown is a spiritual awakening in progress. The doctor states that the failure occurs when the patient’s spirit is in crisis.
Whenever it occurs, the Dagara people say that the person involved has started the process known as, “the birth of a healer.” Dr. Malidona and his community believe that the condition is good. According to Malidona, a mental breakdown starts when two incompatible energies merge inside a person, also termed as a medium. If the victim doesn’t know how to deal with the powers, he or she ends up with all sorts of mental complications, such as bipolar, depression, and more.
Dr. Some came into the states in the 80s. It’s during this visit that the trained shaman experienced how the western people treated mental disorders. According to the doctor, he was shocked at how the westerners were wasting power from the other world. Dr. Some stated that while in the mental facilities, he could see many elements flying above the people with a mental health condition. Although these elements are invisible, Dr. Some could see them because of the mental training he had as a shaman.
Dr. Malidona had to leave the mental facility because the energy there was overwhelming. According to Dr. Some and his people, mental illness shouldn’t be treated in such a manner. The Dagara people establish a community to help and surround people with mental health conditions. The community established forms a bridge that allows the different spirits to pass and hence allowing the healing process. The healing process involves interpreting what the spirits have to say. According to Dr. Malidona, the mental wards ignore the message that the ghosts try to pass and hence causing a mental breakdown on the person involved.