Are psychiatric clinics evil?

Psychiatry in Ethiopia PSY or the fear of the evil eye

Ethiopia has 80 million inhabitants - and 34 psychiatrists. Two of them work in a small psychiatric hospital in the provincial town of Jimma. Here people vegetate with the "evil eye".

Psychoses such as schizophrenia, paranoia or addictions are just as common in Ethiopia as in the rest of the world. (Deutschlandradio / Oliver Ramme)

They wear pajamas with the abbreviation PSY and shuffle through the dark corridors of the small clinic or through the garden. You are under the supervision of doctors and only get the medication that is in stock. Are the patients in Jimma better off than their fellow sufferers in the country? Psychoses such as schizophrenia, paranoia or addictions are just as common in Ethiopia as in the rest of the world.

But society's relationship to these diseases is mostly different from that in the West: those affected are considered possessed. "The relatives believe that mental illnesses are contagious and simply lock the sick away," says psychiatrist Dr. Negash. Patients in Jimma tell of long stories of suffering, doctors and nurses tell of their working conditions.

Production: DLF 2014

PSY or the Fear of the Evil Eye - A Visit to a Psychiatric Clinic in Ethiopia (PDF)

PSY or the Fear of the Evil Eye - A Visit to a Psychiatric Clinic in Ethiopia (text)