A Fascinating New York Times Article Argues that the U.S. Is Exporting Its Concept of Mental Illness

January 10, 2010 at 2:55 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

This article from The New York Times Magazine argues, I think persuasively, that how people express mental illnesses varies from culture to culture, and that many cultures’ beliefs are less isolating and damaging than our pervasive notion that mental illness results from purely biochemical causes. The author cites a study that suggests that, far from reducing stigma, a biochemical view of mental illness tends to increase stigma and isolate sufferers further. Fascinating stuff.


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  1. I had a huge comment going about the NY Times article, but right in the middle of typing it, my computer jumped to a drag-racing site! Maybe it wasn’t meant to be. However, I do want to say that I thought the article didn’t give any credit to the wonderful and important strides that mostly Western medical scientists have made in the last twenty years or so that have made life so much better for all of us. I think we can appreciate the cultures around the world without negating the value of biochemical science. I had so much more to say, but, alas, my computer doesn’t always cooperate.

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