The stigma behind mental health is a real and thriving thing, it’s leading to mass addiction, depression, anxiety and unfortunately rising suicide rates in ethnic communities. If anyone has anything wrong with their mental health – counselling is the last thing that you’d get told to do. It’s not just the mental health condition that carries the stigma, it’s the means to get help as well. But the muslim community in particular has a special way of handling mental health – we get told the person is possessed by djinns/jinns.
Now, I know a lot of people are moving on from this school of thought, but there are many out there that still believe this and it’s honestly ridiculous. For those of you who don’t know, jinns are spiritual beings that exist below the level of angels and devils. It sounds weird if you’re not aware of them, but a jinn story will scare you more than any ghost story ever could.
Naturally possession stories are the ones we hear the most, and that’s where the link between mental health/illness and possession comes from. People honestly believe that schizophrenia is a result of this and other conditions and it’s not only toxic, but it prevents people from getting the proper level of care that they need. The stigma’s bad enough, let’s not conflate it with fake news.
As much as you want to believe that Imam reading the Qur’an will cure you from your mental health issues, it won’t. Prayer and religion can help soothe your soul, but it won’t cure your illness. It’s funny how this school of thought came about, because historically one of the main reasons the Islamic world never went through a period of ‘dark ages’ is because of the religions focus on research and scientific breakthroughs.
So how we’ve stumbled into believing in possession and shunning away medical treatment is beyond me.