Faith healers usually offer unorthodox therapies to their clients who present with an array of physical and psychological symptoms suggestive of the evil eye, jinn possession, and magic.
This exploratory pilot study aims to analyse the pattern of narrated symptoms and treatments given by faith healers practising in the Al-Qassim region, Saudi Arabia.
Forty five faith healers who consented to this study were given a predesigned, self-administered, semistructured questionnaire to collect the relevant data.
Notably, most faith healers have a poor repertoire of psychiatric symptoms, which could not specifically differentiate the three spiritual disorders. They tend to recommend an array of therapies rooted in religious concepts for the treatment of their clients who, they claim, show substantial improvement in their mental suffering.
The revealed symptomatology of each disorder alone may not be specific but it certainly helps them not only to identify these disorders but also to prescribe unconventional therapies. Future research should look systematically into the diagnostic and treatment methods for these disorders.