Higher intelligence is linked with higher rates of mental illness such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, causing the “mad scientist” stereotype to have ground in reality.
In the shamanic view of Dagara people, mental illness signals “the birth of a healer.” Thus, mental disorders are spiritual emergencies, spiritual crises, and need to be regarded as such to aid the healer in being born.
What those in the West view as mental illness, the Dagara people regard as “good news from the other world.” The person going through the crisis has been chosen as a medium for a message to the community that needs to be communicated from the spirit realm. “Mental disorder, behavioral disorder of all kinds, signal the fact that two obviously incompatible energies have merged into the same field,” These disturbances result when the person does not get assistance in dealing with the presence of the energy from the spirit realm.
Depersonalization disorder is a condition that can happen with no apparent cause, but often results from intense anxiety or extreme trauma. After a stressful situation, your sense of self can come unplugged from your own experience. And you end up with the deeply disturbing feeling that something else is controlling your actions. If you wave your hand in front of your face, it’s not really “you” waving it: you’re just watching it happen. And maybe it’s not even your hand at all, but that of a foreign body that you just happen to be inside of.