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Culture shapes the character and behaviours of individuals. The psychological aspect
culture imbues on an individual cannot be understated. Culture dictates how people react or
express their innate feelings and emotions (Draguns & Tanaka-Matsumi, 2003). Some cultures
permit men to be emotional and expressive, while in others, they are greatly subdued. For
instance, in many African and Arab cultures, men are perceived as the bedrock of the community
and family. They cannot be seen to be emotionally expressive or shedding tears. In that regard,
culture significantly affects individuals’ psychological conditions.
Many cultures have their way that has proved constructive in treating psychological
conditions. In comparison, other cultures have embraced science and contemporary medicine in
explaining and treating psychological conditions. On the other hand, some cultures believe that
psychological conditions manifest malevolent spirits and employ tactics to treat the situation. It
is usually attributed to a demonic attack on the individual. There is no widespread acceptance or
recognition of mental health in many African cultures, and they rely on traditional concepts to
treat psychological conditions.
In Ghana, those who suffer from mental illnesses are perceived as outcasts and do not
receive the support they need to overcome the illness. What is strange is how the culture
perceives psychological condition as mental illness and subject the individuals to rituals
performed by traditional healers. The lack of knowledge in those cultures has made mental
health patients receive inhumane and substandard treatment (Cassimally,2013). Universal
healthcare is a right that they should enjoy, irrespective of their culture. In their ritualistic
treatment, the patients are chained to trees and structures, which can harm their physical well-
being. Ritualistic treatment of individuals suffering from psychological conditions is unique.
Cassimally, K.(2013 March 14). Tackling Mental Illness In Africa Learn Science at Scitable.
Retrieved October 13, 2022, from
Draguns, J. G., & Tanaka-Matsumi, J. (2003). Assessment of psychopathology across and within
cultures: Issues and findings. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 41 (7), 755–776.
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