Mental Disorders in the United States

The culture-bound syndrome I decided to research is mental disorders in the United States.  I chose mental disorders because it is a pretty interesting topic.  This article talks about how hard it is for a skilled clinician to determine the nature of a patient’s signs and symptoms of a mental disorder. When pointing out someone’s medical condition you have to look at the signs, symptoms of that disorder and if it is a mental disorder or substance abuse or a medication problem or maybe it could be a combination of all of the above.  This is a very tricky subject.  The article states that according to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), culture-bound syndromes is defined as “recurrent, locality-specific patterns of aberrant behavior and troubling experience that may or may not be linked to a particular DSM-IV diagnostic category. Many of the patters are considered illnesses’, afflictions and most of them even have local names. The article also states that the culture-bound syndrome are usually limited to specific societies or cultures areas and the family members of the person with the illness are is the one to culturally explain the illness. Cultural interpretations of social stressors, social support, and levels of functioning, role of the religion and kin networks are factors that the DSM-IV believes are included in the person’s illness. It is also believed that the culture, region and family of the person with the illness should provide them with emotional help along with instrumental and informational support when it comes to dealing with the mental illness. It is important for the person to work within its culture and social status along with their clinician for diagnosis and treatment.  This article basically states that the illness of a person comes because of their culture and the stress it brings to the person and in order to come up with some sort of treatment plan you must find the problem and the clinician must be able to understand culturally what is going on.

“TAN Issue: January/February 1998: Features: Mental Disorders and Culture-bound Syndromes.” TAN Issue: January/February 1998: Features: Mental Disorders and Culture-bound Syndromes. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 July 2014.

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