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 …

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 …

Psychoanalysis and schizophrenia

The New York Times recently published a fascinating article by Christopher Bollas in which he describes a five year analysis with a woman whom he calls Lucy and who has a diagnosis of schizophrenia.  What’s particularly interesting about this case is that Lucy lives on a remote island in a …

What is psychosis?

The term ‘psychosis’ has a number of connotations, all of them negative. It’s often used in place of the word ‘madness’. It is also used as a term for schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder (manic depression), and paranoia. There is also a fairly widely held, though mistaken, view that psychotic individuals cannot …