Psychological Disorders

Published: 2021-07-10 19:25:05
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Category: Logic

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Psychological disorders are culture-specific. Disorders by their nature are behavior that is outside of the normal behavior of the culture making the determination; however behavior is shaped by culture.
Laroi and colleagues (2014) for example, concluded that culture can affect what is identified as a hallucination, that they can be culturally meaningful. They conclude that it should never be assumed that a hallucination is a symptom of a disorder without taking the culture of the patient into account, as not all cultures have the same view that they are the result of illness. Littlewood and Dein (2013) go as far as stating that schizophrenia may be a side effect of Christianity which changed collective philosophies to more individual ones which had at its root shame and scrutiny. They stated that “every theology also presents a psychology” (Littlewood & Dein 2013).
Clinical depression is considered to be the an apathy and an absence of desires, however these symptoms find a very different context in Buddhism. In Buddhism there is a continual battle to rid the self of desires which bring karma, and to pursue nirvana. Nirvana is considered a perfect state, where one lacks all desires in the material world. While for the Buddhist this experience is bliss, for the modern Western patient it is an illness. This is exactly how Obeyesekere (1985): “I would say that we are not dealing with a depressive, but a Good Buddhist”.
Culture sets the context for behavior and how we interpret behavior. It is when we deviate from that which is considered normal within the culture that behavior is defined as a disorder, but not all cultures will see the same behaviors as diseases needing treatment.

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