I am not making this up. Many of you know that I am editing a book for a guy from Zimbabwe. He grew up during the war and watched his country, Rhodesia, fall from a developing nation to a 3rd World Country after Mugabe took over. This guy is really into politics, but a friend and I convinced him that his book would sell better as a memoir. So I am helping him dredge up stories from his childhood that are not in the original draft he wrote. One is about his out-of-control brother who, when he turned 12 or so, started to have rages, screaming matches, threw furniture, lit clothing on fire, and terrorized the family. I have no idea if it was hormones, PTSD from the war, heredity, or a combination, but he terrorized the family. In Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, they lag behind in mental health care for two reasons. One is that Mugabe's govn't built hundreds of beautiful new bldgs after Independence in 1980 (IOW, when the country came out of white, British rule) but he did not fund the local govn'Tourette's Syndrome to provide staffing and infrastructure. So these bldgs just sit there with-no one in them, or, they are very, very understaffed. Nurses, doctors and therapists who want more pay simply leave the country. The other reason they lag behind is because of the long-standing cultural issues of believing in spirits and other gods, including witch doctors (N'anagas) who used to actually do a lot of good, 100 yrs ago, but now, are simply there to make $. (They used to be the only ones who knew how to administer native herbs and natural rememedies, but when faced with-modern diseases like AIDS, they are out of their element.) The general population does not believe in schizoaffective disorder, bipolar, Asberger's, depression, or any type of mental illness. Everything that goes wrong with-you is caused by an evil spirit. So they call in a N'anga to beat the spirit out of you. It's basically an exorcism. I just finished a chapter in the book about his brother's first ceremony. Whew. Quite the ordeal. Very dramatic. And totally useless. I emailed and asked if L's brother improved with-maturity or time. L wrote back and said, "No, he just moved out of the house." I don't know why, but it struck me funny. Sometimes, that's all you can do. The sad part is, that his brother is still volatile, and he's married with-kids. If there is anything genetic there (and I think there is, since their dad was an alcoholic), it's going to be passed onto the kids. So it's another case of a difficult child raising other g'sfg, and no one has gotten to the root of the problem. L stopped believing in N'anagas almost the day he found out what they were. Sometimes they ask for donations of goods, clothing or food to be wrapped up and placed on the side of a mntn or far away from the ceremony, and the spirits will receive it as a gift. Some N'angas ask for $1,000 to be wrapped in a bag and left outside. One day he saw some kids retrievng a donated bag of clothing, and he knew the gig was up. I had a really bad day with-my difficult child today, but at least I didn't hire a N'anga. When he grows up, I'll tell him how lucky he is.