Rwandan prescription for Depression: Sun, drum, dance, community.

Rwandan prescription for Depression: Sun, drum, dance, community.

As a consequence of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, prevalences of mental disorders are elevated in Rwanda. More knowledge about determinants of mental stress can help to improve mental health services and treatment in the east-central African country.

The present study aimed to investigate actual rates of mental stress (posttraumatic stress disorder, syndromal depression and syndromal anxiety) in Rwanda and to examine if gender, persecution during the genocide, readiness to reconcile as well as importance given to religiosity and quality of religiosity are predictors of mental stress.

“We had a lot of trouble with western mental health workers who came here immediately after the genocide and we had to ask some of them to leave.

They came and their practice did not involve being outside in the sun where you begin to feel better, there was no music or drumming to get your blood flowing again, there was no sense that everyone had taken the day off so that the entire community could come together to try to lift you up and bring you back to joy, there was no acknowledgment of the depression as something invasive and external that could actually be cast out again.

Instead, they would take people one at a time into these dingy little rooms and have them sit around for an hour or so and talk about bad things that had happened to them. We had to ask them to leave.” ~A Rwandan talking to a western writer, Andrew Solomon, about his experience with western mental health and depression.

By: underthebluedoor


Tags assigned to this article:
Depressionexperiencemental health