How The Supernatural Shapes Our Understanding Of Our Loved One’s Mental Illness 

Mental illness is a serious and complex issue. Thus, this is not always easy to explain or to understand, even to those who suffered from different disorders for many years. It is true for those who have loved ones dealing with problems such as depression, paranoia and the like. 




Several factors come in place when trying to understand people’s struggles, including the belief in supernatural beings and energy. Let’s take a look at how this specific aspect affects how we acknowledge mental health issues. 

 Superstitious beliefs and behaviors are not often considered to be particularly concerning aspects of human nature. — Emily Green Psy.D.

Supernatural Entities As Cause Of Illness 

Before psychology and psychiatry were branches of science, many people would associate supernatural forces to be the cause of mental disorders. People would say that their children, wives, husbands, siblings and even neighbors were being possessed by evil spirits. It would account for any behavior that would be considered outside of the norms. 




At present, this may not be as common of a belief as before, but there are those who still believe that such factors play some part in mental health. For instance, some people think that depression is caused by a lack of prayer and a weak relationship with God. 

 We do the things we do because they work for us. It’s as simple as that. — Teri Woods Ph.D.

Unconventional Cures 

Similar to how some individuals turn to the supernatural to explain illnesses, they also believe such forces could be potential cures to such. Some people would turn to witch doctors and internet searches for unconventional treatments. It could include ingesting different herbs and teas, being involved in “cleansing” ceremonies, asking them merely to pray more often and so on. 


Science has often warned us against following such forms of cures are they are nothing more than old wives’ tales. Again, there are trained professionals who can provide our loved ones with proper care and treatments. Such unorthodox methods of dealing with mental issues could lead to more harm for the important people in our lives. Several cases in the past wherein individuals have suffered from unusual methods of treatment discovered decades later that they had some form of mental illness. 


Disregards Others’ Feelings And Emotions 

Consequently, when people believe that such aspects are the cause of disorders, this minimizes or ignores the emotions that our loved ones may experience. Instead of understanding their situation and discovering triggers to their distress, we may simply connect them to the paranormal. It then makes it seem like their feelings (such as sadness, anxiety and such) are evil because of their source. 

 Reason may be seldom used by individuals in determination of belief. — Ann Olson Psy.D.

It is not wrong to believe in something outside of our realm or the existence of something we cannot explain. However, it is harmful to ignore that there are scientific ways to describe what our family, partners or friends are going through. Denying them proper help from trained doctors and specialists could lead to the further deterioration of their condition. 




To avoid this, make sure that your loved ones seek professional help. It can be in the form of therapy, seeing a psychiatrist, or even joining self-help groups. Their well-being should be of utmost importance, taking into consideration the validity of their feelings which are not caused by paranormal factors.