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Depressive Disorders: Cultural Factors

Depression exists among all racial and ethnic groups and in all countries. It consistently ranks as a top contributor to global disease burden across the globe. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), proposes that the nine symptoms of depression are universal but acknowledges that culture also plays an important role in prevalence rates, manifestation, diagnosis, and treatment of depression.

Culture encompasses a variety of psychologically relevant elements, which may represent beliefs, values, and social norms. Cultural factors may include themes such as familial roles, gender roles, communication styles, affective styles, values of authority or personal control, individualism, collectivism, and spirituality, among others. Whereas race involves similar observable characteristics, ethnicity refers to groups with common characteristics, such as nationality, language, history, traditions, ...

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