The Problem with Diagnosing Depression Accross Cultures Part 3: What difficulties arise from applying Western categories of mental illness to Asian societies?

There are many problems that arise due to the importing of the Euro-American psychiatric paradigm and its accompanying categories.  These include decline in the quality of care, and the further unfortunate stigmatisation of those who are suffering from mental illness.  The DSM criteria, as well as the worldviews propagated by the World Health Organisation and … Continue reading The Problem with Diagnosing Depression Accross Cultures Part 3: What difficulties arise from applying Western categories of mental illness to Asian societies?

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The Problem with Diagnosing Depression Across Cultures Part 2: Why is it difficult to diagnose depression outside Western contexts?

Image Source:  http://www.rajasthanonline.in/About/tourism/religious-spots/index.html The reason that Western categories such as Depression are inapplicable when it comes to diagnosing mental illness in these societies, is due to conflicting ideas of what constitutes depressive emotions between these societies and the psychiatric paradigm with its roots in Western biomedicine.  This results in discrepancies in what are normative and … Continue reading The Problem with Diagnosing Depression Across Cultures Part 2: Why is it difficult to diagnose depression outside Western contexts?

The Problem with Diagnosing Depression Across Cultures Part 1: Are Idioms of Distress Culturally Specific?

Image Source:  http://www.rajasthanonline.in/About/tourism/religious-spots/index.html An aura of uncertainty and even scepticism often accompanies explanations of certain mental illnesses.  Depression is among the many disorders listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (or DSM) that, despite its aforementioned presence in such a conscientiously and methodically organised manual for categorising vocabularies and … Continue reading The Problem with Diagnosing Depression Across Cultures Part 1: Are Idioms of Distress Culturally Specific?

Modernity in South Asia (part 2)

(continued from part 1) To this day, Marxist anthropologists (Thorner 1982; Patanaik 1990) have described India as neither capitalist nor feudal, but having elements from both, i.e. ‘semi-capitalism’ or‘semi-feudalism’.  Likewise, European historians, from the advent of the British Raj, saw Indian history between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries in a global perspective, thereby insinuating that … Continue reading Modernity in South Asia (part 2)

Is Hinduism a Religion? (part 2)

(continued from part 1) In order to comprehend 'Hinduism' fully, we must unveil its origins. This brings us to our next variable, geographic location.  The famous words of the Anglo-Welsh philologist Sir William Jones, have given scholars clues as to the primeval origins of Hinduism’s sacred language, Sanskrit: 'The Sanscrit language, whatever be its antiquity, … Continue reading Is Hinduism a Religion? (part 2)