Culture-Bound and Culture-Specific Syndromes

Culture-bound and culture-specific syndromes are clusters of cognitive, emotional, and physical symptoms that are specific to a particular cultural group. They were first introduced by cross-cultural researchers in the middle of the 20th century and officially entered the medical and psychiatric lexicon with their inclusion in the 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) in 1998 and the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) in 2000. The impetus for identifying syndromes that were specific to particular cultures has been driven by the growing recognition of cultural variation in conceptions of health and sickness, as well as expressions of distress. The ICD-10 lists 12 culture-specific syndromes, and the DSM-IV identified 25 culture-bound syndromes. As detailed in the final ...

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