My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?
The mere act of reporting accurately on the lives and experiences of black people constituted a political action during those decades of white minority rule. The indefatigable Henry Nxumalo, “Mr Drum” of the early 1950s, deliberately engineered a week’s imprisonment by violating some degrading curfew law and brought out a harrowing report on prison conditions. But rather than improve its prisons, the apartheid regime passed the Prisons Act, making it illegal to report on any South African prison — the law Gandar and Pogrund fell foul of. Yet imprisonment for breaking one or other of the hundreds of laws and ordinances that regulated the lives of black people was the experience of thousands in urban areas. – Pallo Jordan in Business DayBACK TO TOP