This is how our ancient warriors dealt with PTSD

Deborah Dzifa Makafui November 17, 2022
African suction cup. Photo: Twitter/African Hub

Although the general public is aware of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and has a basic understanding of what it is now in recent times, there was a danger that its meaning was used and interpreted as a blanket diagnosis to cover a variety of mental health conditions that are linked to people who experience or witness traumatic events in the past. As a direct result of the nature of their service, soldiers and first responders may suffer from PTSD, among other invisible wounds or injuries. 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can have severe and incapacitating symptoms. Your relationships, employment, physical health, and mental health may all suffer as a result of PTSD symptoms. You might experience loneliness and struggle with emotion regulation or expression. 

When soldiers returned from battle, ancient cultures knew better than we did how to help them, and many of them had rituals to help mend these ruptures. When soldiers returned from battle in ancient Rome, for instance, the vestal virgins would bathe them to purge them of corruption.

When their warriors returned home, the Maasai of East Africa performed purification rites. Native Americans performed purification rituals in sweat lodges for returning warriors during which they could share their experiences and leave their “inner pollution” among the hot stones, where it would evaporate into steam and cleanse the warrior. In some parts of Africa, it was different.

Our ancestors supposedly had a profound method of handling PTSD. It was thought that to be accepted back into society after the war, a man had to spend three months with a shaman to perform some spiritual cleansing. According to legend, the human spirit was out of balance following the war and needed to go through certain rituals in order to be brought back into balance with the rest of nature and the community. 

Blood that had become sluggish and dysfunctional was brought to the surface using a horn. It was called the African suction cup by the colonizers. This practice is still being employed in various villages across Africa. For someone with back issues and hypertension, the blood is drained out and their pressure goes down. They are given some herbs and water to drink; this is the ultimate bliss as it is reported that it was beneficial. 

This is one of the rites that was done on African warriors to cleanse them of any mental sickness and trauma that they might encounter later on in life after the conflict, according to The African Hub. This method was carried out by Africans long ago before it was reportedly declared a Chinese invention, the outlet added.

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