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Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry

Theodore T Bartholomew, Shelene G Gentz
Although 12-13% of Namibians are reported to struggle with psychological distress, very few practitioners are available to provide mental health services in Namibia. Those practitioners who are available are often trained from Western counseling and psychiatric perspectives that may not readily align to beliefs about illness held constructed in Namibian cultures. Institutional effort is invested in the education and use of mental health practitioners, including counselors, social workers, nurses, psychologists, and psychiatrists...
May 11, 2019: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Sonya E Pritzker, Whitney L Duncan
In this article, we investigate how an increasingly popular therapeutic modality, family constellation therapy (FCT), functions simultaneously as a technology of the self (Foucault, Technologies of the self: a seminar with Michel Foucault, University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, 1988) as well as what we here call a "technology of the social." In FCT, the self is understood as an assemblage of ancestral relationships that often creates problems in the present day. Healing this multi-generational self involves identifying and correcting hidden family dynamics in high-intensity group sessions where other participants represent the focus client and his/her family members, both alive and deceased...
May 6, 2019: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Ashish Premkumar, Jennifer Kerns, Megan J Huchko
In the United States, the historical condemnation and punitive legal consequences of substance use during pregnancy-ranging from incarceration to termination of parental custody of a newborn-render pregnant women in state of biosocial precarity. Yet pregnant women who use illicit substances who desire to parent must generate a legible narrative for bureaucratic groups, such as Child Protective Services, through engagement with biomedical care in order to demonstrate parental capacity. Based on longitudinal interviews with pregnant women who were actively using illicit substances and attempting to parent after delivery, we posit that the relationship between biosocial precarity and biomedical care is a procedural interaction that is rooted in the potential to parent, described as the ability to have a "take-home baby...
May 4, 2019: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Suze G Berkhout, Juveria Zaheer, Gary Remington
Alterations in self-experience are increasingly attended to as relevant and important aspects of schizophrenia, and psychosis more broadly, through a burgeoning self-disorders (SD) literature. At the same time, issues of self, subject, and subjectivity within schizophrenia-spectrum illnesses have also gained attention from researchers across the social sciences and humanities, and from ethnographic research especially. This paper examines the subjective experience of disruptions in self-identity within a cohort of first episode psychosis (FEP) service users, critically engaging with the SD literature and bringing it into conversation with social sciences and humanities scholarship on self and schizophrenia...
April 12, 2019: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Wan Kam, Zhang-Jin Zhang, Sofie Bäärnhielm
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an alternative medical system utilised by many Chinese. However, the knowledge of TCM concepts of depression is limited amongst clinicians with training in Western biomedicine. The purpose of this study was to obtain a better understanding of the conceptualisation of depression from a group of TCM practitioners. Semi-structured interviews in Chinese were carried out with 10 TCM practitioners in Hong Kong. A case description of major depression disorder (MDD) was used as a basis...
April 8, 2019: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Julie Høgsgaard Andersen, Tine Tjørnhøj-Thomsen, Susanne Reventlow, Annette Sofie Davidsen
An increasing number of young adults in Denmark experience difficulties in completing their education and holding down a job. Many of these young adults have psychosocial problems and common mental disorders. To retain public income support they must attend education and work-directed activities, known as 'activation programmes'. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, this study presents an analysis of how one such programme unfolds in practice and how the participants engaged with the activities and negotiated the underlying rationales...
April 6, 2019: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Tarek Younis, Sushrut Jadhav
The PREVENT policy introduced a duty for British health professionals to identify and report patients they suspect may be vulnerable towards radicalisation. Research on PREVENT's impact in healthcare is scant, especially on the lived experiences of staff. This study examined individual interviews with 16 critical National Health Service (NHS) professionals who participated in mandatory PREVENT counter-radicalisation training, half of whom are Muslims. Results reveal two themes underlying the self-censorship healthcare staff...
April 5, 2019: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Sunita Channa, Anna Lavis, Charlotte Connor, Colin Palmer, Newman Leung, Max Birchwood
Eating disorder diagnoses are characterised by a pattern of disordered eating behaviour alongside symptoms such as body dissatisfaction and preoccupation with food, weight or shape (APA in Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, DSM-5, APA, Washington, DC, 2013). Incidence rates for eating disorders have increased during the last 50 years. However, epidemiological studies have suggested that such trends may not be a true representation of the occurrence of these illnesses in the general population, with figures underestimated due to reduced help seeking and poor access to care, particularly amongst ethnic minorities...
March 27, 2019: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Angela Woods, Akiko Hart, Helen Spandler
Recovery is now widely acknowledged as the dominant approach to the management of mental distress and illness in government, third-sector and some peer-support contexts across the United Kingdom and elsewhere in the Anglophone Global North. Although narrative has long been recognised in practice and in policy as a key "technology of recovery," there has been little critical investigation of how recovery narratives are constituted and mobilised, and with what consequences. This paper offers an interdisciplinary, critical medical humanities analysis of the politics and possibilities of Recovery Narrative, drawing literary theoretical concepts of genre and philosophical approaches to the narrative self into conversation with the critiques of recovery advanced by survivor-researchers, sociologists and mad studies scholars...
March 21, 2019: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Nicolas Marquis
This article aims at describing the tensions arising from working on and with someone in psychiatry, in order to make this person more "autonomous". First, through the example of the recovery, it acknowledges, the normative horizon of what is considered today as "good care": a negotiation between partners, aiming at increasing the possibilities for everyone to follow their own lifestyle. It then seeks to describe how this definition of good care is endorsed and applied in two institutions (in Belgium and in France) hosting people with severe mental health issues where the care teams are using three words ("contract", "project" and "autonomy")...
March 5, 2019: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Kieran Keohane, Victoria Grace
What is Alzheimer's: an organic, neuropathological psychiatric disease, caused by plaques and tangles in aging brains or/and an existential condition affecting the minds of aging persons experiencing disconnection from meaning-bearing networks of social relations? Reviewing current research and revisiting Alzheimer's original case of 'Auguste D' this paper offers an historical-sociological genealogy that raises fundamental questions of causality, and even of the ontological status of Alzheimer's and the dementia reputed to it as a disease entity...
February 26, 2019: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Erica Hua Fletcher
As grassroots user/survivor movements gained traction across the Global North, mental health activists have provided mutual aid for those who consider themselves to be negatively affected by their psychiatrization experiences and for those in search of alternative (non-biopsychiatric) frameworks for understanding mental diversity. In addition to in-person support groups, digital communication has become an integral organizing mechanism for mutual aid actions to support those in mental distress. However, activists have often found both digital and face-to-face communication to be quite taxing to their own well-being-as they negotiate personal capacity to respond to collective needs and practice self-care through limiting their engagements in radical mental health communities...
March 2019: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Rebecca J Lester
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 16, 2019: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Max J Stein
With the aim of advancing the cross-cultural investigation of the folk illness nervios, I conducted a dual-sited comparative study of symptom descriptions among two diverse research settings in Honduras. Baer et al. (Cult Med Psychiatry 27(3):315-337, 2003) used cultural consensus modeling (CCM) to confirm a core description of nervios among four Latino groups in the US, Mexico, and Guatemala, but observed that overall agreement and average competence in a shared illness model decreased along a gradient from presumably more-to-less economically developed sites...
January 5, 2019: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Alejandra Caqueo-Urízar, Alfonso Urzúa, Koen de Munter, María J Viveros, Laurent Boyer
The aim of the study is to explore the variation on patient's Quality of Life (QoL) across three Latin-Americans countries. The study included 253 stabilized outpatients with schizophrenia from three Mental Health Services in Bolivia (N = 83), Chile (N = 85) and Peru (N = 85). Patients' were assessed using Schizophrenia Quality of Life Questionnaire (SQoL18). We collected socio-demographic information and clinical data, while recognizing the cultural complexity/dynamics of each country, and the influence of cultural contexts on how people experience the health systems...
January 3, 2019: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Samuele Collu
The notion of affect has generated much confusion in anthropology given its focus on that which seems to escape our language. The evanescent features of affects have irritated many anthropologists who consider affect theory as an empirically weak or esoteric hermeneutics. In this article, I respond to these critiques by developing an anthropology of therapy that foregrounds the role of affects. My intent is to explore the possible contribution of affect theory to medical and psychological anthropology. I draw from my ethnography on couple's therapy in Argentina to suggest that we cannot understand therapeutic efficacy if we focus only on language and discourse...
January 3, 2019: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Emily Mendenhall, Andrew Wooyoung Kim
How we interpret concepts from suffering to survival has been historically debated in the field of anthropology, transcultural psychiatry, and global mental health. These debates have centered on the notion that such concepts are cross-culturally reproducible, although scholars who work the boundaries of culture, medicine, and psychiatry often triangulate methods from internationally standardized scales to various interpretive methods from participant observation to narrative. This article considers resilience, as opposed to suffering, as the subject of a reproducible entity by discussing the failure of an attempt to capture resilience via an internationally reputed scale called the "Resilience Scale for Adults" among cancer patients in urban South Africa...
January 3, 2019: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Ockert Coetzee, Colleen Adnams, Leslie Swartz
In a rapidly transforming world, cultural assimilation and the hybridity of clients and therapists are increasingly acknowledged. Juxtaposed against universalist and relativist discourses in Cultural Psychiatry, the elucidation of perceived "difference" from cultural norms, constructed as being observed in the lives of either the client, or therapist, or both, requires critical reflection on how such norms are derived and by whom. This cultural case study describes a clinical encounter between a Muslim South African woman, and a South African man of Afrikaner descent...
January 3, 2019: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Carol A Kidron, Laurence J Kirmayer
Efforts to provide culturally appropriate global mental health interventions have included attention to local idioms of distress. This article critically examines the potential gap between lay ethnopsychological understandings of the Cambodian idiom of baksbat (broken courage) on the one hand and clinical conceptualizations of the idiom as a potential indicator of posttraumatic stress disorder. Ethnographic semi-structured interviews with trauma survivors reveal resistance to current clinical translations and hybrid Euro-Western and Khmer treatment interventions...
December 4, 2018: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Atwood D Gaines
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2018: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
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