“Crazy Like Us” is a enlightening book written by San Francisco journalist, Ethan Watters, in which he contends that the exportation of typical American psychological disorders included in the DSM to other countries is an ineffective approach at attempting to aid mental health patients in those countries. Watters educates readers about the dangers of applying American mental disorders to individuals in other countries due to differences in diets, culture, and social norms. He documents a series of case studies in which victims of mental health disorders in various countries are affected by culture and societal norms. He argues that classifying a mental illness under a generic American disorder is dangerous and downright
Certain mental illnesses are unique to cultures. They are recognizable only within a particular society, at a particular time. Such disorders are medically and anthropologically known as “culture-bound” or “culture specific” syndromes.
Abnormality may be defined as behavior that causes distress, loss of freedom, physical or emotional pain, and increased risk of death or injury to self or something that causes a disability of some sort. Abnormal behaviour is however difficult to diagnose because it is, to a large extent, based on the symptoms people exhibit. Psychiatrists and psychologists use a standardized system called a diagnostic manual to help them but this system isn’t without faults. Since there is no clear definition of normality or abnormality – and symptoms of the same psychological disorders may vary not only between individuals but also between social and cultural groups, it is clear that a
Every culture will contain its own unique perspective and understanding of mental illness. Each culture devises different terms for disorders and diseases. For example, an individual from another culture runs amok. In this culture amok means an individual is experiencing an episode of violence, aggression, and homicidal ideation. In my culture one may consider this individual in terms of manic or psychopathic (Sue & Sue, 2013). Culture effects everything about ourselves and it is essential counselors are aware how their cultural worldview effects the counseling process.
After reading chapter 1 of Ronald J. Comer’s book, Fundamentals of Psychology, I now have a clear understanding of what clinical psychologists and psychologists, in general, deal with on a daily basis when faced with people who have psychological problems. These psychological problems all have some common features to these abnormalities. These four common features are deviance, distress, dysfunction and danger. To start off, deviance can be described as actions, behaviors, thoughts and emotions that are mostly different than those people who are within the cultural norm. People who break these cultural norms are considered to be deviant, but it is based off of what people consider to be “normal.” These
Within this category, there is both negative self-stigma, happening on a personal basis, for seeking help7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 21, 29, 71 as well as negative public stigma towards individuals with mental illness, occurring on a societal level43, 44, 45, 47, 63, 68, 75, 79. All negative stigma towards mental health discourages individuals from seeking professional mental health services. The culture in which an individual makes the decision of whether or not to seek help modulates the relationship between stigma and HSB. Different cultures have varying ways of interacting with mental illness and differently influence the effect that stigma has on HSB. It is common that individuals that are a part of collectivist cultures have less HSB than those in individualist cultures5, 15, 57. Also, the culture of social groups within a society can effect HSB37, 81, such as the effects of the role of gender in a culture58, 60, 64, 65, 95, 96, as one
Eastern and western cultures tend to show and deal with mental illnesses differently, mainly due to the differences in cultural and social norms. There is a lot of speculations regarding what causes mental illnesses such as depression, despite all the speculations there really is still no clear answer for the causes. Although holding an extreme personality type which conflicts with societies values has been found to be a risk factor. When diagnosing a patient with a mental illness, cultural, ethnic background and social norms need to be taken into consideration along with other factors. Since depending on where that individual is from, and where they are being diagnosed can drastically change the diagnosis. Cultural differences in values, beliefs, and practices may contribute to mental illnesses, eventual
Ever since the dawn of clinical psychology, every effort has been made by those versed in its practice to understand, identify, and when possible, to help to heal the pathological and dysfunctional processes that we now call mental disorders. Among the many different varieties of mental disorders that clinical psychologists can now identify, there are perhaps none that are as mysterious in nature, or are as challenging to threat as those which are designated as Personality Disorders. Such disorders are characterized by persistent and enduring patterns of internal, cognitive and emotional experiences, and subsequent outward behaviors that differ significantly from those of other individuals within the surrounding culture (APA, 2013). As with
When we think about mental disorders, we think of a variety of conditions dealing with mental health disorders that affect our moods, the way we think and how we act. Some people find it hard to adjust to these illness while others learn to manage and keep the symptoms under control. “Although some people become disabled because of a chronic or severe mental illness, many others are able to live full and productive lives.” (Goldberg, Some examples of mental illness may include such as depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, and ADHA (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) just a name of few.
“So although there was a psychiatric term for depression in Japan, utsubyo, what it described was a mental illness that was as chronic and devastating as schizophrema” (516). In the Japanese view, utsubyo is dangerous which would make people lose confidence to hold their job or have a normal behavior. The meaning of utsubyo is easily transferred the Japanese conception that how their culture shapes the illness experience. However, in American’s view, the Japanese have the wrong interpretation of depression but they find out that in Japan, the small percentage of doctors would prescribe the drug to the patients and also to the small percentage of patients would be interested in taking it. As Watters’ observes, “for the small percentage of the population diagnosed with a debilitating mental illness, long hospital stay were the norm,. The average stay in a mental hospital in Japan was over a year, versus just ten days in the United States” (516). Because of the different cultural cognizes, Japanese and American have different solution to deal with the mental illness. On the other hand, talk therapy is nonexistent in the Japan but normally in America. In the West, the definition of depression tends to sadness. However, the Japanese see the depression as mental pressure of their job and personal relationships. Due to this, the different cultural communities also have different attribution
Some cultures affect diagnosis of mental disorders. Culture influences the motivation to get help for people with mental illnesses. For example Ugandans culture ridicule people with mental illnesses and the families have to do everything they can to hide it. Culture not only affects mental health but it also plays a role with our physical health as well. Some factors are our diet, social activities, work habits among others and diagnosis of treatments. Through culture, children learn which behaviors and temperaments are preferred and nonpreferred. Culture also plays a role in a child’s motor skills, some cultures don’t allow their babies to be on the tummy’s to start strengthening their muscles, so they can start crawling and eventually walking
Mental disorders are a result of different problems associated with the brain, and each problem has various symptoms. These disorders of the brain are normally characterized by different factors that are combined, such as emotions, relationships, behavior and abnormal thoughts. There are many reasons why mental disorders affect people, including family history and genes, life pressures and habits. Other factors like a history of drug abuse, stress, biology, a traumatic brain injury, exposure to toxic chemicals while pregnant, and even cancer may lead to mental disorders. Some examples of mental disorders include drug-related disorders, bipolar disorder or depression disorders, schizophrenia, intellectual disorders and disabilities, and
The symptoms of mental disorders are found in all nations and in all cultures; there are recognizable symptoms that are common worldwide. Mental health researchers have not yet been able to determine whether culture bound syndromes are indicative of one or more possibilities that include distinct disorders that exist only in specific cultures, and reflect different ways in which individuals from different cultures express mental illness, as well as reflecting different ways in which the social and cultural environment interact with genes to produce disorders, or any combination of these. (pp. 101)
One of the controversial topics that exist in the field of psychology today is: whether there is more universality than cultural variation in mental disorders. Some would argue that the specific differences that make up these cultures have an impact on measurement methods, assessment methods, definition of feeling abnormal, etc. They believe different cultures should adopt appropriate techniques in assessing certain mental disorders. Not every culture interacts the same way, shares the same interests, or expresses themselves in the same manner; so how would western methods control for the variances? In contrast, opposing advocates believe that Western practices in the psychiatric field were designed to apply cross-culturally in all countries (Patel, V., 1995). They believe the Western model is a “one size fits all” scheme, which can be applicable to all people from around the globe. The DSM-5 has categorized many disorders compared to previous versions, so for simplicity I will be focusing on a single disorder, depression, with examples from African, East Asian, and Euro Americans as examples from studies. I will proceed to first talk about the con side of the topic, followed by the pro. Finally, I will give my bias opinion on the subject.
The mind is a complex part of the human being that can elicit emotions, thoughts, and reactions that influence and mold an individual’s personality and attitude. Culture, diversity, religion can also play a strong role in how an individual views the world. As well as how the individual was raised, what values were instilled, and various experiences in life. Between the attributes that are contained in the mind, a person’s culture, values, and experiences in life are the sediment for a person’s foundation. The attributes mentioned, cannot act alone to help an individual in how they will cope with various situations. Some individuals are reluctant to be resilient by accepting help and support when encountered by stressors, tragedies, or traumas in life. Others decide that they want to put on a brave face and do the best they can, yet do not communicate to anyone their problems. Consequently, this can lead for a person to repress feelings, and when they reach a breaking point emotions come out, can be of a great magnitude and dangerous. No doubt, the field of counseling and therapy is essential and beneficial to just about everyone.