Monday 24 April 2017

Jinn vs Mental Health

We do not want to confuse religion with culture at all. With religion it’s all about certain teachings and my views about culture is creating a whole community based on expectations.
For this video I really wanted to touch upon black magic and Jinn. It’s not only in Pakistani or Islamic culture this subject is apparent in different forms for other cultures such as JuJu in African culture, Onymodo in Japanese culture, Quimbanda in Brazilian culture and many more. It is really hard growing up away from a culture when it is taught as part of growing up.
This video is mainly to start an open conversation about not letting the culture side cloud any sort of mental health condition. It’s not denying any sort of ‘black magic taboo or supernatural side’ but it’s looking at all the serious mental health conditions
By simply looking at the symptoms of all the serious mental health conditions can help educate a whole community in mental health in general. Education of mental health conditions is closing the doors on stigma and allowing people to openly seek for medical help without jumping into conclusion and assuming someone is possessed.
Culture plays a big part in putting stigmas that are placed onto mental health. Growing up in a Pakistani household I was taught about the Jinn as part of Islamic theology, just like in school where you are taught ABC we were taught absolutely everything about Islam. Anyone who was thought of having a Jinn and being possessed were out casted in society and this was by culture, it was feared upon to such a point where ideologies ran off fear than teachings.  With such negative thoughts clearly of the Jinn anyone labelled was afraid of being out casted and shunned, which in returns creates stigmas to possible serious mental health conditions. The fact that it is taught at such an early age is as important as it’s then really hard to adapt your thinking when you aren’t taught about mental health and distinguishing the symptoms to tell them apart. This is where the culture side of it needs to be taught for services as lack of understanding about the culture can isolate an individual, which in result can stop someone from accessing a service, the whole treatment and any sort of support.
Being able to teach employees in a service is vital to someone’s mental health. If people are wondering why and how? Well, let me tell you about a situation I had not long ago where I had a conversation with a police officer who in return wondered why at the age of 29 I was still living at home and found it very strange, yet not realising in Islam it was knowledge  and normal for any single female to live at home until she is married but just by him saying that made me feel like I must be weird and uncomfortable like I wasn’t normal since I wasn’t what he thought was ‘normal’. Where as if he was more understanding and changed the way he spoke to me about anything I said would have helped me become much more comfortable in opening up about anything!.
The law defines the following conditions as a serious mental illness:
  • Schizophrenia
  • Paranoid and other psychotic disorders
  • Bipolar disorders (hypomanic, manic, depressive, and mixed)
  • Major depressive disorders (single episode or recurrent)
  • Schizoaffective disorders (bipolar or depressive)
  • Pervasive developmental disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorders
  • Depression in childhood and adolescence
  • Panic disorder
  • Post traumatic stress disorders (acute, chronic, or with delayed onset)
  • Bulimia Nervosa 307.51
  • Anorexia Nervosa 307.1
Regarding any techniques or tackling ways of thinking about tackling culture stigmas for mental health I do this in my workshops for Generation Reform. So if you would like to book onto the workshops for your schools or services and organisations please email me on
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