MY PROFESSION -
COMMUNITY PSYCHIATRIC NURSE

Sudha Chavda. Hillingdon
Part 4

Hello! Everybody - I hope you are all well. Are you making some effort to read what I am writing? If there is anything you can't grasp please do not hesitate to ask. I will continue from where I left last time.

Asian attitude to Mental illness

I did not have an opportunity to treat any Asian mentally ill patients during my 3 years training. However, I did have an encounter with an Asian lady then - an aunty of my colleague, who seemed to be suffering from psychotic symptoms. The belief of the family was so strong that this lady was the victim of the evil eye and witchcraft from a relative of theirs. The psychiatric help was offered but was not readily accepted as they had faith in the religion and had great faith in the God. They believed she would recover if she were taken on the pilgrimage in India and offered special prayers and charity to God. I was not confident enough at that stage to force my professional judgement on to them, as they had no faith in medical intervention. And if I did, I would have made myself very unpopular amongst them by labelling her as a mentally ill person. After many years of pilgrimages, prayers and alternative medicine and western treatment, the lady's symptoms were under control. However, there is an expectation that one should recover completely if one is on treatment for a long time. Pilgrimages and prayers also helped psychologically, giving the family the inner peace. Having faith in something is a wonderful feeling. At least in their minds there were no guilt feelings that they had not acted appropriately according to their faith and belief. Gradually, over the years, the family has accepted her illness, partly due to education and understanding of her recurrent symptoms but the thought of the evil eye and the bitterness still exists due to cultural belief. When somebody has so much faith in God everything is related to supernatural beings. The husband blamed his bad luck and misfortune by passively accepting that he must have done bad deeds in his past life, for which he is paying now in this life or simply believing that it's God's wish!


Asian attitude to Mental illness Asian patient and cultural belief Gujarati Referrals
Arranged marriage Incompatibility

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