This article may change your stance on how you seen mental patients and how we treat them. In my eyes it is evident that we are missing something.
What we see as a curse other cultures see as a gift. An interesting and positive read on mental illness.
In the shamanic view, mental illness signals “the birth of a healer,” explains Malidoma Patrice Somé. Thus, mental disorders are spiritual
emergencies, spiritual crises, and need to be regarded as such to aid the healer in being born.
When Dr. Somé first went to the United States in 1980 for graduate study he went to visit a fellow student in a mental institution who was suffering
from nervous depression and was shocked at what he saw.
he observed to himself, “So this is how the healers who are attempting to be born are treated in this culture. What a loss! What a loss that a
person who is finally being aligned with a power from the other world is just being wasted.”
He stated that we in the west are not trained to deal psychic phenomen and that we we treat such conditions does not harbour growth in an
In the Dagara tradition, the community helps the person reconcile the energies of both worlds–”the world of the spirit that he or she is
merged with, and the village and community.” That person is able then to serve as a bridge between the worlds and help the living with information
and healing they need. Thus, the spiritual crisis ends with the birth of another healer. “The other world’s relationship with our world is one
of sponsorship,” Dr. Somé explains. “More often than not, the knowledge and skills that arise from this kind of merger are a knowledge or a
skill that is provided directly from the other world.”
Well worth a read of the full article..