Reality Check 37 Comments

We all have heard the stories… the ones that start by saying you know so and so killed his wife or so and so tried to kill her boyfriend and lately I have heard so and so killed his wife and then shot himself to death.

Now what I want to know is why do we as individuals go that far and not even consider seeking professional help? What is holding us back? Could it be we are scared of being labeled as “crazy” by our community for seeing a mental health professional?

I think we as a society could take some of the blame for being quick in labeling some individuals “crazy.” Do we ever think of the word “crazy” and how it affects an individual? I also think some of the myths we hear about counseling and psychiatrists actually plays a role in making our decision not to seek help.

I can tell you from my own circles of friends and random people I encounter on social events say to me “Therapy?  Please that stuff never works for Abesha people” or my favorite one is “Crazy people need therapy I’m not crazy” and another one that makes me smile is when I hear older people say to me, “Well that’s what buna is for… by the time you drink the third round you have solved your problems.”

Granted that might have worked for them but in this day and age something has got to give for our generation. I think we should all participate in creating awareness about this issue.

37 Responses to “Reality Check”

  1. 1 munit

    “professional help” Don’t believe in that.

  2. 2 tpeace

    lol how bout this:


    they say depression is alleviated through love…
    and other mental issues too… aluu ingidih…
    but ye, there are times when psycho-therapy and analysis of thoughts and dreams + some medication come in handy (i think some of it is simply airing out toxic thoughts – the therapeutic medication of self-expression) tho, point def taken: in the nation of Prozac its an irony our community doesn’t acknowledge mental disorders but shuns them & isolates those who have them…while everything shud be in moderation (who wants a similar case as ADD overindulgence??) complete avoidance is impractical

    funny thing, i personally knew someone who had ‘demons’ and was deeply disturbed. this was in eth. her trip to one of the sacred ‘tebel’ churches, she believed, cured her… without any medical treatment/therapy and she was fine afterwards…so i unno what to make of that

  3. 3 The Uncle

    Forget ‘professional help’ i don’t think the new epidemic of insane shenanigan has a dose of its cure yet. If anything just blame the economy!

  4. 4 saronm6

    Anonymous, great article.

    i once told a friend of mine who was at his late 20s to seek therapy. his respose was ” habesha people don’t need therapy they just need to go to church.”

    i thought, ok. he is even more insane than i thought, and
    i still think he needs some kind of help.

  5. 5 story

    From what i read in your story you put blame on domestic violence on mental illness. That is totally wrong. It is the mentally healthy husband that plans out the murder of his wife mostly because she is about to leave him. He mapped out how and where he will do it then he kills himself. why did he kill himself? Because he is mentally sane he is aware that what he did. The mentally ill on the other hand if he does something like that he does it without planning and after doing it he would still have no clue what he commited. I agree with you that our culture has to be open to take mental illness serious but i disagree that it is the cause of violence.

  6. 6 Z-House

    But you first have to admit what you’re doing is wrong and realize that you need outside help. I doubt that crosses the minds of “crazy” people.

  7. 7 Hamotu Kostara

    Definitely agree with the post. Mental health issues are taboo in the Abesha community….BIG TIME! The example mentioned in the case above is an extreme one, but there is so much that can be done before clinical depression and other forms of mental illness in the community reach an extreme point (nervous breakdown, psychosis..,or even a long drawn out sad and anxious life etc..). I think community organizers need to do a lot of work in destigmatizing mental illness via all available networks (friendship, family, religious, professional,…). People would learn to the identify the symptoms (on themselves and others) before it’s too late. It should be common knowledge that mental illness is very diverse and common and not always the stereotypical “ibdet” abeshas seem to associate it with. Unexpected life circumstances and events can push anyone into depression and other forms and varying degrees of mental illness and in most cases people can completely recover with proper medical care, including psychotherapy and medication.

  8. 8 Sophie

    Dear Story…I think domestic violence could be part of mental illness( not like chemical embalance)..if you can not control your anger you need some help would you agree? So then that would mean you need to talk to a professtional right? but i don’t think we as Ethiopians believe talking to a professtional would help but we are wrong its better to talk to someone and find a solution than the ones we have been hearing about and i dont think its an extreme example bacause its not it really happend people.

  9. 9 story

    Im speaking from experience. Some men are healthy in the brain but they feel their manhood is based on how they control the women because maybe they come from that type of culture. So god forbid the woman seeks separation/divorce this will mean the healthy man wants revenge out of selfishness he will plan out her murder. that is why they go to jail because they are healthy in the brain it takes a healthy brain to plan out violence especially our men they commit suidice after they murder their wives that is total awarness only totally healthy brain can do that. I agree with you this type of men need therapy to control their anger but they are not mentally ill. menatal illenss is loss of reality they cannot plan out such things if they commit it it’s without awareness. i hope i made sense.

  10. 10 maebel

    Marriage counselors, therapists, Psychiatrists,
    Are fine.
    But, they don’t give me peace of mind
    Because, what keeps me from my honey
    Is money!

    Source: Anonymous

  11. 11 maebel

    Munit, what about my help? I aint professional.

  12. 12 Sophie

    Thats exactly my point im not saying you have to be mentally ill to have just saying why not seek therapy for it..Do you get what im saying?

  13. 13 story

    YEs i do get your point but therapy is not our culture in a way! It seems white culture. I mean they go to therapy coz they got no real friends or family to talk their issues with. I got plenty of friends I can tell my issues to over coffee. So why pay someone to listen to me? I think therapy is for whites coz in their culture they got no close ppl. If u notice they always walk with dogs and animals. But I do agree if you got serious mental illenss you need psychiatric help. For little issues i don’t think so what is coffee ceremony for then.

  14. 14 Totit

    Story, there r different type of therapy available out there. U can not just dismiss everything. Therapy is not only there to share ur problems with a person, but it also helps u to be truthful to urself. It helps u tap into the level of the subconscious and even go deeper than that. It gives u a tool to not only see ur thought process, but it can show u ways to be in control of ur actions and behaviors. It gives you a chance to be aware of your surrounding and be more responsible. Yeah, we all have friends to discuss all kinda of stuff with. But we are somehow always fronting, even to our friends, without knowing it. Well I am a great fun of therapy. I have seen it do wonders.

  15. 15 Sophie

    I could not have said it better Totit…Friends are great but they do not have the tools to let you explore and go deeper than the surface. Freindes are there to make you feel great about yourself and hardley let you face your demons. Where as the Therapiest knows what questions to ask and knows how to go about helping you with your issues together. Thats when you can truly explore and know yourself. Why are we so preoccupied with the notion of ” oh thats western BS”!…try it before you knock it.

  16. 16 Chebrarawa

    There is a very faded line between abnormal and normal. Even the shirks are not sure how to draw the line, for someone that is doubting if they have crossed it or not, i would say hold on to the therapy and try out some good old buna.

    Plus, “western therapy” is totally, like not culturally sensitive. It’s like you know. Like, I dunno. I mean. You get my drift. Totally like a different lingo. [disclaimer: writer doesn't practice this way of communication but her other personalities might]

  17. 17 Just saying

    There is western and then their is MULTIcultural Therapy for people like us…look it up you know what im saying…

  18. 18 Anonx

    Shouldn’t you first have to see a therapist before you can know its helpful or not. if you haven’t tried it or have no friend who has been there, how do you know? There are a variety of therapy and I sense all is not for everyone but some may be effective and some people (read Tony Soprano) seek it for petty stuff like how do you give orders to kill and still be a normal person , but who am i to judge.

    I haven’t been to one, but my objection would be, its damn too expensive without insurance and takes too many sessions and requires complete exposure (keep your cloth on)to see a difference. But if you have insurance and got a problem that just wont go away, please go to a doctor and talk about it or some kind of support group–you can even establish it if it does not exist. My prejudice: stay away from the meds; and the booze and the rest if you want real painful healing over an escape.

  19. 19 Just saying

    If you are worried about money they will work with just have to let them know. There are even place you can get counseling for counseling ya those are preety cheap or free. As far as too many sessions its individual based some might be short and some might be longer.Don’t let that stop you:)…speaking from experinece.

  20. 20 Anonx

    @justsaying: tell a little more about your experience. And please name,list the facilities where people can get free help. Luckly I am insured and can obtain access to expensive care….

  21. 21 Bez

    well, if you know you are “crazy” and seek help, then you are not actually crazy. If you are “crazy” but do not know it, then my friend thats when you are actually crazy. Hence, thats is why the real “crazy” ones think their actions make sense and go on killing sprees and shit, because they do not believe (nor aware) that they are crazy enough to need professional help.

    Perception is reality my friend.

  22. 22 Just saying

    I can speak more for Chicago residents…I recommend Northwestern’s Family Institute. There are a few locations including downtown Chicago and Evanston. It is totally sliding scale– as low as 5$. They offer individual therapy, not just family therapy. Their web site is
    In DC i have heard good things about George washington university counseling center and also International counseling center..Do your research though..Google them…Good luck!

  23. 23 Anonx

    Bez–thats my favoret line from Catch22 (insane vs sane)

  24. 24 story

    Im still clueless about therapy! I still don’t know its purpose!

  25. 25 Dinich


    I like ur coffee ceremony example…there is definitely some truth to it…

  26. 26 Sophie

    Therapy can help you identify the things in your life you can change to improve your sense of well-being, peace and self-esteem. Therapiest can teach you ways to cope with stress.

  27. 27 Winta

    I don’t believe in professional help either. Try to go to church and pray.

  28. 28 endalc

    MISS winta. thank you about for this your .advaice . or cunucltant. .i know will to this my problem soletion . i know will how to solive al so ,with out .loset to my powre . .i nver creat something . ishi miss . winta . oma .ewdesh alehu. .please write later .because .i

  29. 29 life coaching models

    Thank in support of sharing such a fastidious idea, iece of writing iis pleasant, thats why i hawve
    read it entirely

  30. 30 side effect

    certainly like your web-site but you need to test the spelling on several of
    your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems
    and I to find it very bothersome to inform
    the reality on the other hand I will definitely come
    back again.

  31. 31 prismus

    It’s awesome for me to have a site, which is beneficial for my knowledge.
    thanks admin

  32. 32 conservatory cleaning in upleadon

    Hi, for all time i used to check web site posts here early in the dawn, sinhe i enjoy to learn more and more.

  33. 33 farmacia 9 de julho

    -La empatía es ponerse en los zapatos de otra persona, sentir con su corazón, y ver con sus ojos.-Daniel H. Pink.

  34. 34 ????? 007

    ?????? ????
    ??????????????????????? ????(N??)
    ????? 007

  35. 35 ??????? supreme

    ???? N? ?????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????2007???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????1????????????????????????????????2????????????????????????3???????????????????????????????????????4???????????????????
    ??????? supreme

  36. 36 ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????TIFFANY ????????????? ?????/????????????????925????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    ???? ?????????????????????/?????/????????????????
    ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????TIFFANY ????????????? ?????/????????????????925????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  37. 37 ???? ????????? ?? 996

    ???? ????????? ?? 996

Leave a Reply