n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - African traditional healers' perception and diagnosis of mental illness

Supplement 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


The study describes the traditional healers' perceptions of mental illness in Thulamela Municipality. The study was explorative and descriptive in nature. Data were obtained from semi structured interviews, wherein six participants were interviewed and analyzed by content analysis. The findings of this study showed that traditional healers perceive mental illnesses as behaviors that are unusual to a given society. The study indicated the following symptoms of mental illness according to traditional healers: seeing things and talking alone. The study also reveals different diagnosis strategies that are used by traditional healers as well as the treatments used to treat mental illness. It was concluded that positive relationship with other people in the community is importance in the prevention of mental illness.

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