How Culture Shapes Your Mental Illness

Linda Rodriguez McRobbie at The Boston Globe:

Culture shapes who we are, so it follows that it would also shape our manifestations of stress, mental disorder, emotion. Yet, that also implies a kind of messiness that modern psychology and psychiatry, particularly the American kind, have spent the last 100 years struggling to tidy up.

Since their founding, psychology and psychiatry have strove to standardize the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders — to bring some certainty to what can feel like a very uncertain field.

But increasingly, clinicians are recognizing the downside of those strictures. Delivering the best care for patients will require something broader and more adaptable — mental health care models that can accommodate hundreds of individual cultures. And because no individual patient experiences a culture the same way, those models will ultimately have to do something even more radical: create the sort of super-personalized mental health care that the profession has aspired to — or, perhaps, should have aspired to — all along.

more here.