The new course aims to tackle psychosomatic disorders. Image Credit: sxc.hu
A new six-month course will instruct doctors on how to treat patients who believe they have been possessed.
The course, which is being launched at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi, will teach medical professionals how to help patients with supposedly paranormal related ailments.
It will be carried out by the faculty of Ayurveda - an ancient type of Hindu medicine which typically employs treatments such as herbal remedies, dietary changes, massages and exercise.
The course will be named 'Bhoot Vidya', which translates to 'ghost studies'.
"Bhoot Vidya mainly deals with psychosomatic disorders, diseases caused by unknown reasons and diseases of mind or psychic conditions," said faculty dean Yamini Bhushan Tripathi.
Mental health issues are a significant concern in India - a country of 1.3 billion people with fewer than 4,000 mental health professionals and a worrying lack of awareness about mental illness.
For this reason, many mental health problems are interpreted as paranormal in nature and people will visit a shaman or witch-doctor for assistance rather than seeing a qualified professional.
Whether the Bhoot Vidya approach is the best way forward however remains unclear.
Source: BBC News | Comments (3)