In the western world and belief system mental illness has always been viewed as a kind of sickness, often one that is incurable. However, in the shamanic culture, mental illness is seen as something completely different.
For centuries the shamans within the indigenous and tribal cultures of the world have had a very different view of mental illness, they do not view mental illness as a sickness, but rather ‘signals the birth of a healer’, says Dr. Malidoma Some.
Dr Malidoma Patrice Some, is a West African spiritual writer, speaker and workshop leader who has three Masters degrees and two doctorates from the university of Brandeis and Sorbonne. He was born into the Dagara people of West Africa and firmly believes that a person suffering from mental illness or a mental disorder is someone who was chosen as a messenger of sorts to deliver messages from the spirit realm to the physical realm. His views of mental illness is not an illness at all, but rather the presence of 2 or more energies out of balance within the patients mental and energetic field. Without spiritual help the person experiencing this state will come across as being crazy and thus given the medical term ‘mentally ill”.
When Dr. Some came back to the USA he was left at a loss for words because of the way the western medical world treated the ‘healers attempting to be born’, his culture does not see mental illness as something that needs to be stopped at all costs but rather something that needs to nurtured. He believes that the way the western world treats these people is appalling and a major loss for our society and culture.
Dr. Some claims to have seen many entities and spirit beings (Entities and spirit beings are most often seen by shamans and psychics alike, those who work closely with the spirit realm) surrounding the patients in the ward which he had visited. He mentions that within his community, the shamans help the person dealing with the presence of these energies to balance and work with them rather than try to suppress or expel these energies.
Dr. Some decided to test whether his age old cultural belief would work with a western world mentally ill patient. This is when he met Alex, an 18 year old American boy who experienced a psychotic break at the age of 14. Alex had been put into a mental hospital and drugged, to what would be seen as an extreme extent in the hopes that it would help cure him, it did not. With the permission of Alex’s parents, Alex made his way with Dr. Some back to his village in West Africa. After 8 months of learning and living with Dr. Some and the traditional healers of his village, Alex achieved what we would call, a state of normality. Having balanced the energies within, Alex decided to stay in the village for another 4 years, helping and participating in spiritual work and healing with the shamans of the village.
If you are interested in this topic and would like to hear more, then watch this video of Dr. Some elaborating on the topic and his own experiences with his sister and her ‘mental illness’.