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Lecture 9

HLTHAGE 1CC3 Lecture 9: Mental Health and Illness culture globalization

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McMaster University
Health, Aging and Society
Mat Savelli

Mon Nov 14 Mental Health and Illness Lecture 9: Culture, Globalization and Mental Illness Intro Notes on Culture Culture plays important role when it comes to critically analyzing mental illness as a concept Although we have a redderick of mental illness as a sort of subjective thing (has or does not have), it is mediated by culture What we see (thoughts, behaviours), influences how we understand/experience mental distress, shapes what we do about it, and hope to achieve when we encounter and rectify abnormality in a way Are mental illnesses global? Can abnormal behaviour be exported? - Bringing all diagnosis to a new climate and trying to apply them there Many criticize models of mental illness (especially the medical model) because they fail to include culture within their list of variables A persons symptoms are partially shaped by their behaviour and experience themselves shaped by culture Problematically, DSM criteria is designed by a very particular subset of the population- many dominant positions occupy many of the same cultural subset (EX: white, male, well educated, upper middle class) and they bring their own definitions of mental health or what is seen as normal/abnormal behaviour Some people suggest if we globalize we take these ideals/desires or the people (white, male, well educated, upper middle class) we impose them on people around the world in a way that may not be malicious but may not be appropriate Culture and Experience Defines if behaviour is considered deviant - hallucinations among First Nations communitys vs non-indigenous: these experiences are not markers of mental illness; it is a normal thing in everyday life (ex: ancestor telling you something) - possession versus psychosis in Latin America Content - FBI vs KGB - person living in US is more likely to believe FBI is tracking/following them whereas Soviet Union KGB is tracking them - fat phobia (or not) and EDs; militated by culture; where you see people engaging in food behaviour it doesnt have anything to do with mental disorder its more of a somatic thing Expression of illnesses- done in a culturally-accepted way - Depression in West vs East Asia; East Asia: dont talk about having low moods, dont present with lots of sadness, instead they present with somatic complaints (pains in back awful feelings in stomach, headaches)Mon Nov 14 - Panic attacks (AAs- burning skin; Caribbean- trembling; EAs- dizziness; Arab- fear of dying; PRs- derealisation - we know how to act crazy Likelihood of developing a disorder? - some theorize less chance of AS and narcissistic PD in collectivist cultures - in those cultures that are collectivist (not focused on individuals) there are far lower rates of mental illness Culture and Care Most important psychologist: Arthur Kleinman Differential rates of particular illnesses - depression more common in West, mania in developing world - are these natural differences, e.g. effect of Judeo-Christian guilt? (depression rates are higher Something different in environment, the way practitioners are trained, etc.? Etiological and treatment models (medical vs supernatural) - the way someone is treated Diagnostic basis - African Americans and schizophrenia/mood disorders; far more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia then depression, less likely to be referred for psychotherapy and more likely to be confined in psychiatric care (mental hospital) - gender expectations in PD Beyond care Culture Bo
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