Culture-related specific psychiatric syndromes

Wen-Shing Tseng

in New Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199696758
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191743221 | DOI:
Culture-related specific psychiatric syndromes

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In certain ways, all psychiatric disorders are more or less influenced by cultural factors, in addition to biological and psychological factors, for their occurrence and manifestation. ‘Major’ psychiatric disorders (such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorders) are more determined by biological factors and relatively less by psychological and cultural factors, but ‘minor’ psychiatric disorders (such as anxiety disorders, conversion disorders, or adjustment disorders) are more subject to psychological causes as well as cultural factors. In addition to this, there are groups of psychiatric disorders that are heavily related to and influenced by cultural factors, and therefore addressed as culture-related specific psychiatric syndromes. Even though the encounter of culture-related specific psychiatric disorder in our daily psychiatric practice is relatively rare, the purpose of examining such specific syndromes has its significant purpose and implications. Through such unique examples, it helps us to appreciate the cultural attribution to the stress formation, reaction pattern, symptom manifestation, occurrence of frequency of disorders, and reaction to the disorders. It also concerns how to work on therapy for the disorder by complying patient’s cultural background.

Chapter.  6216 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psychiatry

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