The paper Jinn Possession in Mental Health Disorder was presented by Hamidi Abdul Rahman at the Regional Forum (ASEAN) on Jinn and Sihr in Medicine at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 29-30 November 2014.
This paper discusses the diversity in the understanding of mental health disorders, Muslims perception of jinn as a contributing factor affecting mental health, a new Pisang Jinn Possession Model, diagnosis of jinn possession and the therapy for jinn possession.
The understanding of mental health disorder varies across cultures (Somer, 2006). The differences can arise from the difference in understanding or modelling of the human e.g. the concept of psyche, body, soul etc. It can be explained, for example, from a Biblical and Hebrew perspective (Kaplan & Schwartz,1997). Rather than dying out, the belief in supernatural entities is widespread today even amongst the well-educated population in Western countries (Thomason, 2008). The belief is also prevalent in other cultures and religion, including Christianity (Leavey, 2010).
The term mental health disorder is subjective and can differ according to cultures. The symptoms of the problems may be similar but the classification may differ according to the understanding of the person. The perceived cause of mental illnesses can be biological (brain abnormality, genes, or chemical imbalance) or non-biological (stress, relationship, childhood experience etc) (Sears, Pomerantz, Segrist, & Rose, 2011). Epilepsy, for example, can be perceived as medical or punishment by God or expiation of sins, etc. (Small et al., 2005).
The difference in the understanding of mental health disorder is not limited to the general public but also extends into the scientific community. A set of symptoms classified as “Trance and possession disorders” under ICD-10 is classified as “Dissociative Identity Disorder” under DSM-5. Differences or controversies on the classification can be attributed by the different understanding of mental health disorder or can be caused by unhealthy influence of pharmaceutical companies in the classification revision process (“Controversy over DSM-5: new mental health guide”, 2013).