Psychopathy and Culture
Culture-bound syndrome is the amalgamation of some somatic symptoms i.e. body pain or disturbed function of any organ and psychiatric symptoms such as alterations of the experiences and behaviors which are considered to be perceptible diseases in the specific culture. A list of most common culture-bound syndrome is included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) and some of them are discussed below.
Brain Fag: Brain Fag is classified as a culture-bound syndrome which is associated with white collar people in West Africa. This is a colloquial term that exhibits symptoms like headache, nervousness, irritation and breathing problems or a combination of these. Brain Fag is a common problem related to high school students or university students. The students succumb under the competitive environment to achieve good grades.
It can be argued that mental stress is associated to many students across cultures and boundaries and not just with students from West Africa. This can be disputed based on the fact that there is a high male ratio pursuing higher education and due to this competitive environment, brain fatigue is often held responsible to incapability to perform well in that environment. If there were more opportunities and lesser competition in the West African society, the term may not have been derived (American Psychiatric Association, 1994).
Koro: Koro is a mass hysteria associated to Malaysian culture that describes the feeling of retraction of genitals leading to death. This is reported mostly from Asian countries and people have suffered anxiety attacks and resorted to extreme measure to avoid this condition resulting in injury to genitals. The fear can stem from the...
... middle of paper ...
...of abnormal behaviors and its causes. In this paper, we have discussed a few of the culturally significant syndromes prevalent across geographies and their causes.
We also looked into the precautionary measures in interacting with peers, clientele or students across cultural boundaries and establishing a code of conduct for communication. This can be helpful for people engaged in human resources, medicine, counseling and roles that involve cross cultural communication.
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders. Fourth Edition
Ann M. Kring, Gerald C. Davison, John M. Neale, Sheri L. Johnson. (2007). Abnormal Psychology, Tenth Edition
Lee, C. (2001). Culturally responsive school counselors and programs: Addressing the needs of all students. Professional School Counseling, 4, 163-171.