We’re all bona fide psychos

P Syc In Ghana mental illness is not a rich man

Mon, 29 Aug 2016 Source: Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi

By Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi

Oh heck, let me dive right into it : We’re all sick in the head in one way or another but we don‘t know it. I’ll tell you why in a minute!.

While having a frank and open discussion with a group of bright and dedicated people on the topic of how to make Ghana great and more equitable place for all; especially the youth, an interesting and unspoken points were brought up:‘ How much is enough and how many Ghanaians are literally and figuratively mentally sick?’.

While the discussion continued to find solutions to the difficult problems of systematic unemployment, underemployment of our youths and college graduates, drug abuse and other socio-economic pathologies, another legitimate question came up; “why do we have so many religious TV stations in the country when we need educative stations to help the nation to take -off to meet this century’s economic demands and aspirations?”

We can’t even find solutions to the common emerging problems in our society and communities, yet we have devoted the major part of the media’s resources to ‘recycle the garbage’ everyday.The answer: over 80% of us are mentally sick.No, I kid you not!

If you don’t believe me look, around your neighborhood. Look at the time we spend at the DVLA offices, Registrar General, Lands department, our harbors to clear our goods, hospitals’ assembly lines. What about the conditions of our drainage and sewage systems, chop bars, police stations’ barracks and market areas? The list is long; nevertheless I’m sure you get my point.

In United States of America it’s believed that over 46 percent of people are mentally ill at one point or another in their lives. Yes, a study says that one in every four people in America has mental illness. At least, they’re better off in America because most people know they have access to medication, treatment and therapy so they can be crazy all they want.

On this side of the Atlantic Ocean it’s a different story. We’re way off the hook. I believe the figure is hovering around 80-85 %, because we lack proper mental health facilities and diagnosis so the problem keeps growing every day. Our kind of metal disease is unique and incurable.

Oh yes, I’m not making this up. In Ghana mental illness is not a rich man’s disease.It affects the rich,the poor,the talented, the politician and the regular guys and even the intellectuals.

It’s not a character weakness and certainly not a behavior of people who are not grateful for what God has done for them—after putting them on a fertile land with enough water bodies and right amount of sunshine—they don’t even know how to manage or utilize those assets they did nothing to acquire. Just like cancer, mental -imbalance is an equal opportunity employer and we’re having our biblical proportion of it.

Just look around, we virtually import everything we consume in this country,while our colleges and universities only create and train employees instead of entrepreneurs who can create jobs.Our schools and colleges are busy constantly training people to work for money instead of work to acquire tangible and non tangible ‘assets’. Instant gratification has become part of our lifestyle that is why we don’t have time to acquire marketable skills and knowledge.

We’re in a country where 90- percent of TV licenses have been issued to churches and religious establishments to promote their pastors who claim to have the direct phone line to God— so as to sell us magic oil that are supposed to cure any conceivable disease or problem. Can you imagine if these TV stations were turned into well-stocked libraries to encourage our young people to acquire real marketable knowledge from books?

Folks, I can pretty much predict a nation’s future, educational attainment and bank account if I knew how many libraries it has in its towns and villages.

Can anyone explain to me why we buy huge amount of drugs from the herbal drugs vendors who are mostly junior high school dropouts, yet they have ‘Doctor’ in front of their names and killing us softly? We’re in a country where most of the herbal medicines are basically manufactured by the same company without instructions or directions, yet consumers don’t care to know that.

Why force the children to study hard when we can buy their way out at examination halls and get fantastic results?

Don’t tell me there is nothing wrong with us when the best way to make it big in this country is to be a fake pastor or an empty- promise politician. If you don’t see all that as a sign of mental sickness then nothing is.

In Ghana any lunatic can put the entire country on panic mode by just planting a hoax on the internet or cellphone.Do you remember the night when everyone was forced to walk to the nearest soccer field in the middle of the night to wait for an ‘earthquake’?

Oh Lordy, with the help of our traditional rulers and politicians all our river bodies and forestry have been destroyed with impunity, yet we expect blessing from upstairs.Do we really deserve any blessing from God?

Speaking of blessings, according to the big book, there is more blessing in giving than receiving. But since most Ghanaians love to receive all the time without giving anything in return, it’s safe to say that most Ghanaians are not qualified to get any blessing from God or get to heaven.With that in mind why do we spend so much time in church anyway?

Yes indeed, we’re sick in the head so don’t be surprised if you witness a lot of weird things in this election season because we’re all lunatics and can easily do and say anything without control. We often act as if we’re somehow better than our neighbors when in essence we’re just trying to gain our mental equilibrium.

Unfortunately, our future as people is not where we’re going but what we’re creating. Until we see that we will continually walk around like people with no heads or goals.

Until we meet here again stay tuned, beblessed, informed and educated.

Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi is a social commentator.

Columnist: Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi