I’ve come across when a scientist or people trained in medicine who become misguided to believing a blackmagic, religious spiritual myths of disease aetiology and even spiritual management of certain (=to them) ‘possessive’ illnesses.

I’ve seen very frequent in my clinical practice, disease which to a lay person, is possess by jin, syaitan and iblis and they turn out to be either of neurotic and psychotic origins.

I still remember very clearly a young form four girl who claimed to be a spiritual healer. Many people had used his special power to treat their ‘possessive’  illness. Some worked but many failed. When she was in her possessive state she will be in great pain, massaging her chest to the extend that she developed some scarring at her sternum.

She claimed to see what was happening in the holy Mecca. That was strange to me. I was desperate to help her because of the unbearable pain she had been experiencing in front of my eyes. In a second, I thought, if someone psychotic could see images like shadow why not they have novel experience of religious nature. Though it was congruent to sociocultural explanation in Islam which, in lateral definition wasn’t considered to be psychosis, I want to try putting her on an anti-psychotic.

She came back weeks later free of pain and in clear mind. She had improved and stopped behaving as a spiritual healer. Obviously, her experience has been distorted due to repeated storytelling about her spiritual ability to heal spiritual illness. She has been personified into ancient worshipped spiritual healer. People started to believe she had magical ability. People flocked from all around the village to come and see her.

That is what Malay mentality is all about!

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