I want to thank my friend Dana Lundin for posting a link to this information on her FaceBook page. The information here is from an article titled The Shamanic View of Mental Illness by Stephanie Marohn (featuring Doctor Malidoma Patrice Some). Published in The Natural Medicine Guide to Schizophrenia, pages 178-189, it can also be found on http://www.earthweareone.com.

According to the shamanic view, the onset of mental illness signals the “birth of a healer”. The person has been selected to convey a message or messages to this world from helpful spirits in the spirit world. When the person doesn’t get the proper assistance in learning how to receive and pass on the message(s), and receive energy from the world of spirit, disturbances arise and the person is diagnosed as having one or more mental problems.

Dr. Some knew an American couple who had an 18 year-old son who experienced hallucinations, was suicidal, and periodically depressed. This started when the son, Alex, was 14. With the parents’ permission, Dr. Some took Alex back to Africa with him, to test this theory. After experiencing help from healers and going through rituals over a period of eight months in Africa, Alex had become quite normal. He even learned to participate with African healers, helping them with rituals they were performing on their clients. Because Alex felt safer in Africa than America, he stayed four years until he felt his work was complete. When he returned to America, Alex graduated from college and attended the graduate school in psychology at Harvard, an accomplishment his parents and American friends thought he was incapable of.

Dr. Some believes that we Americans are experiencing problems because we have no rituals. He believes that rituals help align people to changes in their lives; help them keep the balance necessary for good health. As an example, we have no rituals for initiation. In indigenous cultures, young people are initiated into adulthood using ritual. We have nothing like these rituals which are designed to “trigger enlightenment” in the participants and help align them with their purpose and their ancestors.

If you have a chance, read this interesting article at http://www.earthweareone.com.