Its sad that people still deal with mental health issues in secret here in kenya. why do they prefer not coming out you ask?,because people with mental illnesses are referred to as “wendawazimu” meaning crazy. why are they referred to as like this?simple.. Lack of awareness on mental health.
Mental health is as much of an important factor in the health sector as is martanity care . Its quite disheartening to see how much awareness, initiatives and effort is geared towards that other sectors and none towards mental health. The cases of men burning alive their families,women poisoning their kids to death even slaughtering them,suicudal cases and domestic violence are so rampant these days and a huge factor to this is mental Illness.
Research shows that motive towards Suicide, arson, murder and the like is highly psychological.
Mental illnesses are diseases that cause disturbances to a persons thoughts and or actions resulting to inability to cope with lifes ordinary experiences.
Causes range from genetic, biological, illnesses….
Just recently mbeka ie sincerely didi.a Kenyan youtuber and blogger came out to talk about her struggle with schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a mental illness ,quite long-term that leads to a breakdown in the relation between thought,emotion and behavior leading to faulty perception,inappropriate actions and feelings,withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusions and a sense of mental fragmentation.
“At some point, i thought i was dead because i wasnt in control of my senses”
“She was like a zombie,because she wasnt talking eating or moving……
There was a time she went for five days without sleeping at all…..”
Words from her and her sister.
She underwent shock treatment, where they electrocuted her brain which she confesses was very painful.
Millions of kenyans suffer from mental illnesses,but local superstition and ignorance can leave them undiagnosed and forced to suffer mistreatment and abuse.
You find people being told…”you need to pray about it.”whats funny is… If the person was suffering from high blood pressure, they would have been told to go to the hospital.
A majority of kenyans who suffer from mental illnesses do not get treatment,research shows that out of six people who have mental illness only one gets treatment which also very very expensive.
Nairobi leads in the number of outpatient visits .
Watch out for part two of this post.