Modern psychiatry over the last one-and-a-half centuries has developed scientifically proven treatments for hysteria. Any form of intervention involving patients must meet the code of medical ethics that govern medical treatment. Otherwise, patients are exposed to risks as a result of unethical whether intentional or otherwise conduct.
The problem with hysteria is that the understanding that the Muslim community in Malaysia has of the phenomenon, differs from that of modern medicine. Many in the Malay-Muslim community equate hysteria with being possessed by evil spirits. This supernatural belief has its roots in animism, and predates the coming of Islam.
An academic paper written in by Intan Farhana Saparudin, Fariza Md Sham and Salasiah Hanin Hamjah of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia stated that, even after the coming of Islam, this animistic belief is strongly held even until today. As a consequence, we find that the Malay-Muslim community could not differentiate between the animistic concept of being possessed by evil spirits and the modern psychiatric understanding of hysteria. The understanding of modern psychiatry has its roots in Islamic civilisation when scholars studied what is known as ilm al-nafs or the science of the psyche.
Consequently, in line with studies of ilm al-nafs , history recorded that specialised wards, and later specialised hospitals, for treating psychiatric illnesses were established in the Islamic civilisation as early as the eighth century in Baghdad, Fez and Cairo. Ilm al-nafs is an offshoot of medicine which was studied and developed by the likes of al-Razi and Ibn Sina.
Al-Razi headed one of the earliest psychiatric wards in the world, and was one of the earliest to have written on mental illness and psychotherapy in his works al-Mansuri and al-Hawi. Ibn Sina discussed in his magnum opus, al-Qanun fi al-Tibb , remedies and medication for a number of psychiatric conditions.
Islamic medicine is not just about form, packaging or labels. What is even more pertinent is that Islamic medicine is primarily about providing solutions and solving medical problems. It does not create problems or attract unnecessary controversies. Another issue of contention with regards to the anti-hysteria kit is the price attached to it.
Disservice to Islamic medicine
The kit, packaged in what looks like a fast food meal box for children, is priced at RM8, It contains, among others, wooden chopsticks, pepper spray, ammonia salt and formic acid. The price also includes costs for training two users, expert treatment services if there is no improvement on the patient, supplementary treatment for chronic patients, three refills for the items in the kit, a ceramah session, risk management and online consultation. The kit, along with the contents and services that come with it, is costly.
Even Islamic medical practitioners are not happy with this cost. Gappima, which is an umbrella organisation of Islamic medical practitioners, collaborates with the Health Ministry in introducing Islamic medicine as part of the traditional and complementary medicine TCM service at selected government hospitals. TCM is viewed as a part of the holistic approach to healing.
Nonetheless, the anti-hysteria kit is seen as a disservice to Islamic medicine in particular, and the TCM initiative in general, primarily because of the high cost that comes with it. The other controversy is that the university and its researcher claim that the kit is a scientific innovation.
The methodology must be examined thoroughly.
Mobility And Maginot Lines: China Hysteria Down Under – propsawsofcmimi.gq
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