Is he really punching himself in the face?

Yesterday, the weirdest thing happened in class. My classmate was slapping and punching himself in the face. At first, I thought I was probably imagining things but he kept doing it and others noticed and everyone who saw him burst out laughing. I mean, it was funny and unusual.( I laughed too). But he still kept doing it and I was sitting right beside him so I became worried, for myself and for him. I thought he was going to hit me at a point. That was when I stopped laughing and asked him what was wrong. He’s a really normal intelligent boy so I was surprised. He responded that it was something he does to keep his brain active. He even offered to punch me!! I politely declined and left him to keep punching himself. 

In my country,mental health is not taken seriously. What if he was hearing voices that made him believe that he should punch himself to keep his mind active. I mean, where does it say that punching your face in public or anywhere else is okay? The class laughed about it. People took videos. Nobody cares to know what exactly is making him do that to himself in class. It’s just something we all laughed about. I feel a bit guilty. Aside punching himself,he’s okay. He’s just your normal average teenager. People are very superstitious where I come from. Someone told me it’s probably the witches in his family that have cast a spell on him.

I’m sorry if this isn’t anyway related to schizophrenia but schizophrenia and depression are the main type of mental illness I hear about. And that’s even thanks to the internet. Many people in my country are really clueless about mental illness. Tell the ordinary Ghanaian that a teenage boy is in a mental institution and the response will be that it’s because he smokes weed. Tell the average Ghanaian that a young woman is in a mental institution then the response will that it’s because her boyfriend or husband left her. Tell the ordinary Ghanaian that anyone else is in a mental institution and they’ll tell you it’s because the ‘witches’ in their family have cast spells on them. This made me realise that mental health awareness is really needed here in Ghana. Depression is something Ghanaians do not consider seriously. Depression is some sort I phase in life that will pass. To Ghanaians the only drug you need for depression is hope. I’ll end here. This is getting rather long. 

I hope you have good dayโ˜บ

22 thoughts on “Schizophrenia?

  1. Angela Ng says:

    You captured very precisely in so many words, how mental is looked upon in what I would assume is a common among other African cultures. This easily could have been a scenario in Zambia where I’m from.. reactions, superstitions et al.


  2. Cobbywit says:

    I remember when my lecturer taught us about this but didn’t at least think of how a victim really suffers. Thanks for this

    If you don’t mind you could also visit my site ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™


  3. mayflowerbymimimay says:

    I’m a sensitive one and often others laughed about me and soon I had all these weird diagnosis on my head which they could found… as I was honest when I started to hear voices… I feel for those who follow the lead of these voices and I know it takes a lot of strength for humans like me to face others and get treaten differently. Then u trielt preciate humans who stand by u and tell the others to go away with their rumours .
    I hope he is ok … talking and instead of laughing taking it serious helps. As what do the others hear ? That’s already strange for us…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Alex Sarll says:

    Hi, this is so sad, because serious mental illness is really nothing to laugh at! It is an extremely aggressive disease, and without treatment or acknowledgement in some way, it can spiral out of all comprehensible limits. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia 12 years ago, and it has really only been in the last three years or so that I feel I have “come back to the real world.” Anyway, I so hope he’s ok, and that he doesn’t get worse. Take care, and have a good day.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. repsychl says:

    Thank you for writing this. It’s so important we realise how mental illness is seen across cultures. I have just published an article talking about different theories of schizophrenia, maybe you would like to read it. ๐Ÿ™‚


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