Over the years, TBEN have questioned the mental state of their political leaders because of some of their actions and feelings that raise a lot of doubt.
Sometimes the public rejects this behavior because the majority tends to align themselves with their populist ideas and prejudices.
However, experts have different perspectives on ideas that most of us can easily conform to.
Snaida Ayub, a psychologist and counselor who spoke with TBEN.co.kestated that politicians are prone to mental illness that they do not publish for fear of damaging their reputation or losing their seats.
Vice President William Ruto addresses a meeting in Vihiga County on Wednesday, July 13, 2022.
The mental health expert noted that leadership is highly dependent on someone who is in the right psychological state and this could be one of the reasons why some of them shy away from revealing their struggles.
“A leader must be intellectually sober enough to be able to lead his/her nomination without being flawed or compromised. However, in Kenya, we don’t value and support mental health. That’s why leaders don’t openly admit their problems,” she declared.
The counsel added that public figures and, in this case, political leaders rarely seek help for various mental health issues, also because of the sparse information and stigma associated with the subject.
“Leadership is tough and it’s a job that comes with a lot of pressure. A leader will experience stress that evolves into depression, but in the usual African nature they’ll dismiss it as ‘things that come with the job’, she explained. .
Snaida echoed earlier comments by Professor Lukoye Atwoli, who painted a stark picture of the number of politicians who could be mentally ill but walked around without a diagnosis.
Atwoli is a professor of psychiatry with extensive experience in leadership, education and academic research. He pointed out that the level of mental health among the political class in the country is tearing the leadership apart.
“The scale of mental health problems in this country is several orders of magnitude greater than Covid-19, HIV and TB malaria,” said Prof. Lukoye, calling the problem politicians are grappling with as a worrying and looming epidemic.
“We have people with untreated mental health making decisions for the country in various functions. We have seen politicians do the most dramatic things. One sees someone hitting the tarmac while saying incoherent things in front of the media, but we choose them,” he added.
A study by the American Psychological Association showed that any society heavily involved in politics suffers from intense stress and that depending on the political climate, stress levels are bound to increase.
Presidential aspiring Raila Odinga leads Azimio leaders in Moyale, Marsabit County, June 23, 2022.
Thanks to Raila Odinga