A 30-year-old married lady from the Sukma district presented with anxiousness, multiple physical complaints, and frequent episodes of possession by the goddess (“maata aana”).
Manas provides mental health services through the out-patient departments at the district hospitals in four districts in Chattisgarh. Our psychologist collaborated with the Medical Officer in treating this lady. Focus of counseling was on eliciting stressors, understanding her culturally held beliefs, and integrating adaptive coping mechanisms into her life.
Mrs. D is a 30-year-old married mother of 2 children from the Sukma district in Chhattisgarh.
She belongs to the Muriya Samaj. She is 12 th educated and works as a forest guard. The
primary concerns she reported were- feeling anxious (‘ghabraahat’), heaviness in head, gas
trouble and vomiting on having burps, pain in hands, tingling sensations in legs and hands,
darkness filling eyes and dizziness.
These problems started abruptly in Oct 2020, when she returned after attending the funeral of
a family friend, a same-aged woman who passed away due to heart-attack. When she started
experiencing distress, her neighbours and relatives told her that this might be because the
Goddess was angry with her, and she should regularly visit and pray in their temples. She
began visiting the temples, and she reported having experienced episodes where the goddess
possessed her body (‘Maata aana’). These episodes are considered as instances where the
goddess is blessing the person whose body is being possessed. She remembers being
possessed, but couldn’t explain other details. Following “maata aana” she feels better for a
while, but again the symptoms come back.
Manas provides mental health services through the out-patient departments at the district
hospitals in Sukma, Narayanpur, Kanker and Dantewada.
Mrs. D was referred to the hospital by her superior. After meeting Mrs. D, the medical officer at the district hospital in Sukma recognised that she was emotionally distressed and referred her to our psychologist.
On further evaluation by our psychologist, Mrs. D also reported disinterest in everyday activities, constant low mood and difficulty concentrating. She had markedly reduced sleep and appetite. She
explained that she constantly worries about who will look after her children if something
were to happen to her. She believes that her people in her community may have done some
black magic out of jealousy and that is why she has been experiencing these difficulties. In addition to this, her marriage is also a source of stress. Mrs. D explained that she and her
husband are from two different communities between whom intermarriage is not allowed. As
a result, she feels that her husband has not been accepted by her family and he is still not
allowed to sit and dine with her family.
Counseling and collaborative treatment
The focus of the initial sessions was on establishing a rapport and trying to understand the
cultural belief system. The belief systems held by Mrs. D were validated as these were seen
to alleviate her distress. Both deep breathing and guided imagery were practised in the
session and benefits of both were also explained. In addition to this, mild doses of
benzodiazepines were also prescribed by the nodal officer for the district mental health
project. Focus of future sessions will be multifold: exploration for other stressors, working
on adaptive coping mechanisms and integrating a psychotherapeutic framework into the
existing cultural belief systems.
this summary/ detailed will be the template for:
1. one case for wcd – Neha
2. one case for gender – maybe the one that rashmi maam participated in and contributed the gender perspective. – neha/pankhuri
3. services: opd; psychology and psychiatry- dr shiraz’s BAD and BPD comorbid case.
4. dausa: deenu’s writeup in hindi: deenu/neha
so, in the training section, main 5, these cases will be in hyperlink. clicking will expand into the ‘summary’ and also open a link to respective program page.