Culture and mental health

There was an interesting article in the Healthcare Network section of yesterday’s Guardian by Yasir Abbasi, a British south Asian Muslim psychiatrist working in the NHS, regarding the importance of recognising and understanding different cultural beliefs and how these can become intertwined with mental health problems. 1 Abbasi gave two examples of patients he had worked […]

A culture of madness?

In the 1960s and into the 1970s the psychotic individual increasingly became positioned both as ‘victim’ and ‘anti-hero’.  Psychiatrists such as Ronald Laing and his colleagues argued that schizophrenia was caused by dysfunctional (if not outright pathological) family relationships, in which the schizophrenic subject found themselves in an impossible, no-win situation.  And although the proponents […]

Psychosomatics: when the soul meets the body

A while ago I posted a piece on medically unexplained symptoms.1 This was in response to an article by Louise Atkinson in the Daily Mail on chronic back pain and how this might be caused by stress and tension rather than any underlying physical problem.2 One of the reasons I wanted to write this current […]