Shaman: Mental illness is “good news from the other world”


Mental disorders are spiritual emergencies, according to Malidoma Patrice Somé in “What a Shaman Sees in a Mental Hospital” published in Earth. We are One. Somé argues that western culture has become too entwined with “the energy of the machine” while the ancestral spirit of the natural world is trying to emerge within us. And the more we ignore or suppress these breakthrough energies, Somé says, “there will be a tendency from the other world to keep trying as many people as possible in an attempt to get somebody’s attention.”

However, without the proper supports in place, Somé cautions, “When this kind of rush occurs at a time that is not personally chosen, and particularly when it comes with images that are scary and contradictory, the person goes into a frenzy.” Somé says that with proper rituals and efforts to align the energies, the experience can be very positive. “The spirit sees in us a call for something grand, something that will make life meaningful, and so the spirit is responding to that.”

The article is an excerpt from Stephanie Marohn’s 2003 book The Natural Medicine Guide to Schizophrenia.

What a Shaman Sees in a Mental Hospital (Earth. We are One.)

See also:

Stephanie Marohn

Malidoma Patrice Somé



  1. Especially since there’s no scientific validity to the DSM disorders, other than they attempt to medicalize all human traits and emotions and the “serious mental illnesses” do describe well the ADRs and withdrawal symptoms of the psychotropic drugs; it really strikes me that our society should be looking into other ways to actually help people heal. And I have heard and read that much of the so called “bipolar” is “evidence based” doctors’ misunderstanding or ignorance of spiritual crises.

    I mean, let’s get real. The whole psychiatric mantra, “you have a life long incurable genetic mental illness that’s caused by a chemical imbalance in your brain and can never be cured, but it can be managed with our drugs” that will greatly harm you if you take them long term (which, of course they don’t mention), is so pathetic and lacking in hope. How empty inside, the people who make up and spew such lies must be – soulless, I guess.

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