Cultural Variations in Interpretation of Postnatal Illness: Jinn Possession Amongst Muslim Communities
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Maternal experience of emotional and physical disturbance during the postnatal period is a worldwide occurrence but may be interpreted differently according to cultural background. Little is known about different expressions and treatment of cultural phenomena during the postnatal period such as the affliction of Jinn possession in Arabic cultures. Jinn are considered to be evil spirits, which cause emotional and physical distress at times of vulnerability such as the postnatal period. The aim of this paper was to explore maternal experience of Jinn possession and draw parallels with Western interpretations of postnatal illness. Ten women in an Arabian Gulf state who had recently given birth and identified themselves as having Jinn possession were interviewed as to their experiences of Jinn possession. Mothers described the Jinn as evil spirits who cause symptoms such as sadness, anxiety and physical malaise during the postnatal period. Numerous risk factors for possession emerged such as lack of familial support, poverty and a traumatic birth. Clear parallels emerged between Western concepts of postnatal illness and Jinn possession Mothers in Muslim cultures may experience Jinn possession during the postnatal period, which reflects similar symptoms and aetiology to Western concepts of postnatal illness. With increasing multiculturalism in the UK, understanding the origins and perception of Jinn possession is important for health professionals working in Muslim communities here.
- Al Bahrani, M. A. (2004). An investigation of the help seeking process among Omani students. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Ohio University, USA. Accessed etd.ohiolink.ed.
- Beck, C (1999) Maternal depression and child behaviour problems: A meta-analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing 29: pp. 623-629 CrossRef
- Braun, V, Clarke, V (2006) Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology 3: pp. 77-101 CrossRef
- Brown, S, Lumley, J (2000) Physical health problems after childbirth and maternal depression at 6 to 7 months postpartum. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 107: pp. 1194-1201 CrossRef
- Bugdayi, R, Sanmaiz, CT, Tezcanm, H, Kurt, AO, Oner, S (2004) A cross sectional prevalence study of depression at various times after delivery in Mesin Province in Turkey. Journal of Women’s Health 13: pp. 63-68 CrossRef
- Chan, S, Levy, V (2004) Postnatal depression: A qualitative study of the experiences of a group of Hong Kong Chinese women. Journal of Clinical Nursing 13: pp. 120-123 CrossRef
- Chandran, M, Tharyan, P, Muliyil, J (2002) Post-partum depression in a cohort of women from a rural area of Tamil Nadu, India: Incidence and risk factors. British Journal of Psychiatry 181: pp. 499-504 CrossRef
- Creswell, JW (2007) Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks/London/New Delhi
- Cross-Sudworth, F, Williams, A, Herron-Marx, S (2011) Maternity services in multi-cultural Britain: Using Q methodology to explore the views of first- and second-generation women of Pakistani origin. Midwifery 27: pp. 458-468 CrossRef
- Dennis, CL, Hodnett, ED (2007) Psychosocial and psychological interventions for treating postpartum depression. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Oct, Issue
- Ghubash, R, Eapen, V (2009) Postpartum mental illness: Perspectives from an Arabian Gulf population 1. Psychological Reports 105: pp. 127-136 CrossRef
- Grime, J, Pollock, K (2004) Information versus experience: A comparison of an information leaflet on antidepressants with lay experience of experience of treatment. Patient Education and Counselling 54: pp. 361-368 CrossRef
- Haga, SM, Ulleberg, P, Slinning, K, Kraft, P, Steen, TB, Staff, A (2012) A longitudinal study of postpartum depressive symptoms: Multilevel growth curve analyses of emotion regulation strategies, breastfeeding self-efficacy, and social support. Archives of Women’s Mental Health 15: pp. 175-184 CrossRef
- Hanley, J, Long, B (2006) A study of Welsh mothers’ experiences of postnatal depression. Midwifery 22: pp. 147-157 CrossRef
- Henshaw, C (2003) Mood disturbance in the early puerperium: A review. Archives of Women’s Mental Health 6: pp. 1434-1816
- Hildebrandt, K, Young, M (2007) Night waking in 6 month old infants and maternal depressive symptoms. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 28: pp. 493-498
- Kurzweil, S (2008) Relational-developmental therapy group for postnatal depression. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy 58: pp. 17-34 CrossRef
- Leahy-Warren, P, McCarthy, G (2007) Postnatal depression: Prevalence. Mothers’ Perspectives and Treatments Archives of Psychiatric Nursing 21: pp. 91-100 CrossRef
- MacInnes, A (2000) Findings of a community-based group for women with PND. Community Practitioner 73: pp. 754-756
- MacLachlan, M (2006) Culture and health: A critical perspective towards global health. Wiley and Sons Ltd., Chichester
- Milgrom, J, Schembri, C, Ericksen, J, Ross, J, Gemmill, AW (2011) Towards parenthood: An antenatal intervention to reduce depression, anxiety and parenting difficulties. Journal of affective disorders 130: pp. 385-394 CrossRef
- Nhiwatiwa, S, Patel, V, Acuda, S (1998) Predicting postnatal mental disorder with a screening questionnaire: A prospective cohort study from a developing country. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 52: pp. 262-266 CrossRef
- Nielsen, D, Videbech, P, Hedegaard, M, Dalby, J, Secher, NJ (2000) Postpartum depression: Identification of women at risk. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 107: pp. 1210-1217 CrossRef
- Oates, M (2004) Postnatal depression across countries and cultures: A qualitative study. The British Journal of Psychiatry 184: pp. s10-s16 CrossRef
- Office for National Statistics (2010). Population estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Population Density Tables 1981 to 2010.
- Patel, V, Rodrigues, M, Souza, N (2002) Gender, poverty and post-natal depression: A cohort study from Goa, India. American Journal Psychiatry 159: pp. 43-47 CrossRef
- Powell, A. (2003). Consciousness that transcends spacetime—its implication for the therapeutic process. Self and Society, 31(4), 27–44.
- Powell, A (2006) The contribution of spirit release therapy to mental health. Light 126: pp. 1
- Robertson, E, Grace, S, Wallington, T, Stewart, DE (2004) Antenatal risk factors for postpartum depression: A synthesis of recent literature. General Hospital Psychiatry 26: pp. 289-295 CrossRef
- Sandelowski, M (2010) What's in a name? Qualitative description revisited. Research in Nursing & Health 33: pp. 77-84
- Smith, J. C., Cumming, A., & Xeros-Constantinides, S. (2010). A decade of parent and infant relationship support group therapy programs. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 60(1), 59–89.
- Spinelli, MG (2004) Maternal infanticide associated with mental illness: Preventions and the promise of saved lives. American Journal of Psychiatry Sept 161: pp. 1548-1557 CrossRef
- Stevenson, M. D., et al. (2010). Group cognitive behavioural therapy for postnatal depression; a systematic review of clinical effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and value of information analyses. Health Technology Assessment, Sep 14(44): 1–107, iii–iv.
- Trivedi, JK, Mishra, M, Kendurkar, A (2007) Depression among women in the South-Asian region: The underlying issues. Journal of Affective Disorders 102: pp. 219-225 CrossRef
- Vik, T, Grote, V, Escribane, J, Socha, J, Verduci, E, Fritsch, M (2009) Infantile colic, prolonged crying and maternal postnatal depression. Acta Paediatrica 98: pp. 1344-1348 CrossRef
- Cultural Variations in Interpretation of Postnatal Illness: Jinn Possession Amongst Muslim Communities
Community Mental Health Journal
Volume 50, Issue 3 , pp 348-353
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Postnatal depression
- Jinn possession