Culture-Bound Syndrome

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  • A combination of psychiatric symptoms that are unique or specific to certain societies and cultures. Culture-bound syndromes are present throughout the world. They are not objective, structural dysfunctions or biochemical abnormalities in the organisms that can be objectively identified, and they are not recognized in other cultures. However, the abnormalities are readily identified within the culture and tend to involve dramatic symptoms of short duration. These conditions are commonly treated by the folk or indigenous medicine of the culture.

    The existence of culture-bound syndromes is controversial and is not accepted by all mental health practitioners or anthropologists. Recognizing the need to consider symptoms that are not common in European or American societies when evaluating individuals from other cultures, the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical ...

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