According to mentalhealth.org.uk, it is estimated that between 5% and 28% of any general population hear voices that other people do not.
I’m sure it is quite difficult to describe what it is like to hear voices especially when you have never heard one yourself.
It is different from the inner dialogue that we usually have that reminds us to either do or not to do things.
In a conversation with a friend on this matter, he asked, so what about our religious leaders who claim to hear the words of a Supernatural Being? I simply answered, “well; I can’t speak on matters of the supernatural.”
I am speaking about the one that comes from outside, those ones that are multiple and out of control?
Are they hallucinations? Are we mad when we start to hear these strange voices?
What do we have to do when we hear such voices? Should we rule in the fact that we may have some mental illness?
Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr. William Ahlijah acknowledged that there is strong stigmatization in matters relating to mental health in Ghana.
He believes that this should not make us ignore the condition. It is a dangerous move.
“I know there is a lot of stigmas associated with suicide and mental health. We are being ostrich-like with this; burying our head in the sand pretending that these things do not exist but they do” he said.
What I get from this comment is that, as Ghanaians, we should quit pretending that we are all okay in our mind.
We should stop acting like all is well upstairs.
If it were, you will not have cases of weird sexual orientations, strange murders and suicide cases.
Ghanaians should stop assuming that every mad person got there because he abused some drug.
He or she may just have a mental illness that can be treated.
The public health sector should make service for mental health easy to access by the average Ghanaian.
We can maintain public sanity that way.
Are we all mad, if we hear voices? Maybe not
But it won’t hurt if you check.
Written by: Dorothy M. Buatsi|universnewsroom.com
(Level 400 Political Science & Archaeology student, University of Ghana)