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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mental Illness in Bali

From the youtube commentary: 
According to the official governmental position, mental illness is almost non-existent in Bali. However, after interviewing almost half a million Balinese, Professor Lu Ketut Suryani (a Balinese psychiatrist) uncovered a far more sinister reality.
She estimates that over 7000 people in Bali suffer from serious chronic mental illnesses, but are not reported (and naturally not treated). For various reasons, their families have been reluctant to seek help. As a last resort, these families may either abandon their mentally ill relatives in the jungle (hoping they will die or just forever disappear) or keep them under restraints, chained, or inside makeshift cages. The survey-team encountered numerous cases where people were being locked up for several years (in some cases over a decade), in conditions that would have been considered inhumane even for livestock in the West!
The irony in all of this is that almost every one of these cases is treatable.

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