Mental disorders in different cultures

Culture has a great impact in mental health. For example, the Nepalese culture has different hierarchies; if you’re in the lowest you have minimum resources. If a person has few to no resources, then it is more difficult for them to grow and move up the hierarchies to live a better life. The system is already incorporated in the culture and it is very hard to overcome it. Many people in the lower social classes can have more mental disorders then the others since they most likely live with more stress, lack resources, and may have bigger problems. Many individuals can have mental disorders due to the culture they live in and their traditions; this is were anthropology comes in.

Many people live in inequality, living under stress that can cause anxiety and eventually other disorders. The poor are the ones who suffer more. Since they are seen as less, they can’t grow and move up in the hierarchy causing this problem a cycle that doesn’t get solved. It is not only in Nepal that this happens, but also in the United States and other countries. Inequality influences a lot mental disorders and all health issues due to the lack of resources and the way those people from lower classes are seen. Anthropology can also see how mental health is in different cultures due to the religion and the traditions. Religion, which can be very important in certain cultures, also influences mental disorders since they have different beliefs on what is happening to the person. In addition, they have different procedures to treat them, medicine probably not being the first. Due to the inequality and the different social classes is why mental disorders can be more dangerous in lower classes since they lack resources and can’t see a professional psychiatrist, leaving it to what they do have that is probably a religious individual that brings traditions in. This is very common in rural areas in under developed countries since mental disorders don’t have the funding other illnesses have. Funding usually goes to were the crisis is; since mental disorders aren’t a crisis, then people don’t pay much attention to them.

http://blogs.plos.org/neuroanthropology/2014/10/23/oppression-mental-health-house-science-committee/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+plos%2Fblogs%2Fneuroanthropology+%28Blogs+-+Neuroanthropology%29

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One thought on “Mental disorders in different cultures

  1. Great post! It brings up many important topics regarding mental disorders and how they are treated in different cultures. I could not help think that not only is race used as a structural violence in the US but so is the stigma against the mentally ill. You bring up the point of how people with mental disorders are at a disadvantage and tend to fall in lower economic statuses and you effectively explain how this becomes a cycle that it hard to break out of. Without proper medicine and treatment people with mental disorders cannot reach their full potentials. It would also be an interesting topic to explore in terms of how biologically, the mentally ill are at a disadvantage due to the fact that mental illness runs in families. Thanks for sharing!

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