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Culture and Mental Illness

Coriolis

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I have seen a few comments in other threads that mention culture in reference to how people views mental illness, especially the family members of someone experiencing mental illness. In the US, and here I mean "garden variety" Americans, mental illness is losing some of its stigma, and from what I understand the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") required mental illness be treated on the same terms as physical illness. Still, there is prejudice and misunderstanding among much of the populace about this category of illness.

How do other cultures view mental illness, and what is the impact on the ability of people who have it to cope with it, seek treatment, and get on with their lives?

This thread is not in Support/Advice subforum, but please be mindful as you comment that this is a sensitive topic for many people, especially those sharing personal experiences.
 

Tilt

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The way we tend to view mental illness here is very Western-centric. So there is some subjectivity and culture bias when it comes to mental illness. It pretty much boils down to teams of experts deciding the "cultural standard", what deviates from it and to what degree (when is it clinically significant?). To read more about it, there's a whole sub-field called cross-cultural psychology.

There are different disorders recognized by the WHO's ICD-11 vs. the APA's DSM-V. For example, the former recognizes gaming addiction disorder and C-PTSD while the latter does not.

Also, there are mental illness designations that were created to cater to a country's specific culture. For example, Japan has Taijin kyofusho (an extreme fear of interpersonal relationships...due to the constant expectations from family and society). And Hikikomori (voluntary extreme social isolation).
 

Tater

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I'm afraid my understanding of this issue is mostly just relative to my culture.

I believe that views on mental illness tend to differ among cultures because psychology itself has a precedent in white, western culture. Psychology has had its greatest influence among white affluent people because white affluent people can afford treatment and connect with therapists who tend to share the same values.

I don't have access to one-on-one mental help under my public health care plan, which is provisioned under Obamacare. I can seek out group therapy under my plan.

I believe that as someone who works 30 hours a week, I should be afforded one-on-one mental help of some kind because my work tends to be psychologically and emotionally exhausting.

I remember talking with a coworker and she said, "You feel like you should be getting paid to - ."

I finished her sentence, "Be my own psychologist? Yeah."

EDIT: Replaced "Private" with "one-on-one" to clarify.
 

Lark

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I have seen a few comments in other threads that mention culture in reference to how people views mental illness, especially the family members of someone experiencing mental illness. In the US, and here I mean "garden variety" Americans, mental illness is losing some of its stigma, and from what I understand the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") required mental illness be treated on the same terms as physical illness. Still, there is prejudice and misunderstanding among much of the populace about this category of illness.

How do other cultures view mental illness, and what is the impact on the ability of people who have it to cope with it, seek treatment, and get on with their lives?

This thread is not in Support/Advice subforum, but please be mindful as you comment that this is a sensitive topic for many people, especially those sharing personal experiences.

Its much the same here, big surprises as its part of the anglo-sphere, and I still encounter shocking prejudice among professionals who really, really should know better.

Anyway, so far as I am concerned a lot of mental illness IS physical illness, at least the relationship or correlation between them is very close. This might sound like the old fashioned medical model, or "its all organic/brain, or its not mental illness", that persists sure but its been transcended by the biopsychosocial model. The thinking behind it comes in for the usual flak, criticism of the evidence base, criticism that its more aspirational than actual. Those criticisms could be true enough, depending on the people or contexts involved, unfortunately, I would have a hard time arguing that its always possible to achieve true standardization or congruence between practice and policy/theory. I'm not being an apologist or making excuses, just on this issue like any other I think there needs to be a pessimism of the intellect and optimism of the will to make improvements.

A lot of it comes down to debates about psycho-pharmacology, people shouldnt be as ashamed of reliance on medication as sometimes they appear to be, I definitely dont find diabetics feeling that way about their medication. There is burn out and frustration (fear and anxiety too) associated with reliance but not concerns about competence, capability or adequacy, either expressed by the individual or others. It is shocking the amount of times I've encountered opinion that anyone using medications for corrective purposes will automatically experience flawed judgements thereafter, it really is very serious as I've also seen the same individuals who would have second thoughts about individuals with medical reliance issues excusing alcoholism, illicit or recreational drug use, in themselves or others.

So I think there is a cultural dimension to seeking help, using certain sorts of help, ongoing help even.

The thing about any health service which will make direct provision, like the UK, is that this is probably not going to look like what people expect (and people expect all sorts of really unrealistic or incredibly, I mean INCREDIBLY, vague things already when it comes to mental health and emotional well being). It could be pretty basic and time limited. Demand is already high in relation to these kinds of services, I expect it to get higher too but I dread a day in which "insatiable consumerism" proper gets totally integrated into the mix. This can be effected by whether or not there are established prescribing and therapy cultures already and how much they overlap etc.

After the advent of the public health insurance or direct provision what is the likely mix of public/private supply to be? Will there be a two speed provision contingent on private wealth? If there is will it simply result in a poor service for poor people? That gives rise to further "resentiment" (in Nietzsche's sense) in some parts of the population and all sorts "indirect" pressures, stressors, illness on the part of the "worried well" who live in a shared space with the sick.

One final point, I would say this because of some of my personal and professional bias, but there are two major factors people need to think about, which are broadly speaking cultural and effect mental health. The public attitudes towards personal responsibility, social reciprocity etc. really, really matter. No matter how good, ie comprehensive, responsive, paternalistic even, a service is if its users are going to chaotic, abuse the service, tie it up in games playing (in the sense of The Games People Play) etc. It will be of little benefice. Its not the role of services, not entirely anyway, to determine public attitudes. The second factor, which I think is very significant, is other cultural expectations and issues which have massive implications of public and personal mental health and emotional well being, ie crime and punishment, utilities, urban dereliction/renewal, corruption, war/foreign policy even (particularly to families, communities and individuals in services).

There's 1001 memes and truisms which really do reflect a reality, like the cartoon dog sitting as the house burns and saying "this is fine" or the old saying "when you begin to doubt your mental health ensure you are not surrounded by assholes". Being adjusted to a bad situation is not a good idea and it definitely should never, ever become public policy. Its also unsustainable, there are limits to human adaptation/maladaption, something gives eventually.
 

Lark

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The way we tend to view mental illness here is very Western-centric. So there is some subjectivity and culture bias when it comes to mental illness. It pretty much boils down to teams of experts deciding the "cultural standard", what deviates from it and to what degree (when is it clinically significant?). To read more about it, there's a whole sub-field called cross-cultural psychology.

There are different disorders recognized by the WHO's ICD-11 vs. the APA's DSM-V. For example, the former recognizes gaming addiction disorder and C-PTSD while the latter does not.

Also, there are mental illness designations that were created to cater to a country's specific culture. For example, Japan has Taijin kyofusho (an extreme fear of interpersonal relationships...due to the constant expectations from family and society). And Hikikomori (voluntary extreme social isolation).

If your symptomatically using behaviour though, as those Japanese examples do, then there are definitions in DSM/ICD, they are in one of the three clusters of Personality Disorder, the odd/eccentric cluster, and are considered schizoid or schizo-typical (no relation so schizophrenia). Gaming addiction and C-PTSD probably have their corollaries too, diagnostic difference often does not dictate entirely different interventions and treatment plans.

I take your point though, I just think that the culture blind criticism of western medicine is over done these days. That said I do not personally believe in complete relativism and still maintain that there are universals, particularly when it comes to medicine.

Japan is a very interesting case when it comes to studying culture since it is genuinely different to the west, as is China, in some pretty unmistakeable and definite ways. I remember reading about the death of a family in Japan from starvation following a lay off and their refusal to claim public benefits or private charity due to honorific norms they thought would be insulted by it.
 

Tater

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How do other cultures view mental illness, and what is the impact on the ability of people who have it to cope with it, seek treatment, and get on with their lives?

Honestly I think many of them talk with people who are similar to them because doing so decreases their loneliness and improves their mental health. And, honestly, this is probably a better solution to literal therapy because doing so enables them to press boundaries in a more personal way.
 

Tilt

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If your symptomatically using behaviour though, as those Japanese examples do, then there are definitions in DSM/ICD, they are in one of the three clusters of Personality Disorder, the odd/eccentric cluster, and are considered schizoid or schizo-typical (no relation so schizophrenia). Gaming addiction and C-PTSD probably have their corollaries too, diagnostic difference often does not dictate entirely different interventions and treatment plans.

I take your point though, I just think that the culture blind criticism of western medicine is over done these days. That said I do not personally believe in complete relativism and still maintain that there are universals, particularly when it comes to medicine.

Japan is a very interesting case when it comes to studying culture since it is genuinely different to the west, as is China, in some pretty unmistakeable and definite ways. I remember reading about the death of a family in Japan from starvation following a lay off and their refusal to claim public benefits or private charity due to honorific norms they thought would be insulted by it.
I don't disagree with your points. I was putting a theoretical spin on it as to why there may be a difference in perception in regards to mental health. How mental illnesses are defined can alter the framework a bit and affect the treatment plan, relative to the cultural norms.
 

Firebird 8118

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Mental illness still appears to be stigmatized in my culture (Indian).

In my case, my family knows that I have issues outside of just Asperger’s (like anxiety and depression). They just don’t think outside therapy is needed, nor am I taken seriously whenever I experience a meltdown or any other crisis episode from this explosive combo. In fact, I get scolded for not being mature. :mellow:
 

Lark

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This is useful on the topic of some of the cultural angles on mental health.
 

J. Starke

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I think western countries have less stigma about mental illness because they have more mental illness. So in one way the society understands, but in another way it clearly doesn't understand, because there are so many people with mental issues, there must be something wrong with the society in general.
 

Virtual ghost

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Here the general approach is that you aren't really mentally ill until you are a complete mess and can't operate even closely to normal. Plus your friends and family kinda have a social obligation to fix you if the damage isn't that big. What is actually possible to do in most cases, especially since safety nets are still fairly strong. Therefore falling out of the loop really needs a complete brake-down of someones life's. Although westernization is making things worse in this regard, but it also creating larger and larger counter movement. To the point that the whole bunch of pro individualist centrist parties have collapsed (only 1 to 2% support, the strongest one is at 4%).


In other words here people simply know that our past is dark or totalitarian and therefore people since their birth go through the problem(s) with shields up. And then they relax through hanging out with their friends or family. Since that is kinda how we handled this problem for centuries. What is because once there is a war or change of political system you can't go through this fully alone, even if you are very rich. As a matter of fact in certain ways that only rises the chances that something will happen to you. Therefore here just about everything is going through social networking, we pay medical bills to the people that we don't know (psychological stuff included), we pay college to our neighbors, there are no closed communities, richer and poorer people can live close to each other, we tend tend to get jobs through networking, street crime is minimal since welfare is making it kinda generally pointless ... etc. Therefore we try to absorb pretty much everything through this large social network, for which we think it should be ready and in place when the next grand mess hits. As I said my grandfather lived in 5 different countries and survived 3 wars while he never moved from the place of his birth. Therefore here people tend to be much more aware of the fact that there is a greater whole than them. What changes the whole approach to how you see yourself or approach mental illness. Since it is hard to run away from the real problems when they finally surface.
 

Morpeko

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From my experiences and those of other Asian-Americans I have talked to, I think it's especially difficult for us to seek help due to the stigma that being raised in an Asian culture has placed upon us, despite living in America. It's strange having to live with two different outlooks. America doesn't deal with mental illness especially well, but at least many Americans acknowledge it as a truth. All I can say is, Asia doesn't look at it the same way.

Luckily, nobody in my immediate family believes that mental illness doesn't exist (although some of my extended family believe this), but even then, my parents do not understand how difficult it is to be dealing with things like anxiety, depression, etc. I have very caring parents who have provided me with great financial support and a lot of love, but that does not change the circumstances in which they were raised. They'll never be able to provide a strong support system for mental illness simply because they were raised under prejudice and misunderstanding. I think they're slowly getting better as they interact with me, but it will never be enough to get me adequate help, so I'm on my own.

Being a third culture kid on its own can be isolating, from elementary school to adulthood, and that's a story for a different day. Either way, I'm basically left feeling like I have to deal with my issues alone, since I don't have friends in person and my family is just ill-equipped to help. I've been raised thinking that most therapists are unhelpful and it's hard to get that out of my mind. And deep down I'm embarrassed to get a therapist. It's less stigmatized in America but even though it's commonplace there's still an aspect of shame that revolves around it. No matter where I live, I'll feel defective over it.
 

Frosty

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Im a white american, so I cant really speak to any other cultures beyond that.

But I can confirm that while I still see stigma, it has gotten significantly better- weirdly, in even just the past 5-10 years I have seen a big change where people have become a lot more open about sharing their experiences with it- which really contributes to less stigma.

BUT. Its still interesting, that for some illnesses- particularly Im thinking schizophrenia- the experience of symptoms between cultures are generally pretty distinct.

Hallucinations and delusions experienced by those in westernized cultures tend to be a lot more negative than those experienced by those in eastern cultures. And it DOES point to just, culture definitely having an influence.

“The striking difference was that while many of the African and Indian subjects registered predominantly positive experiences with their voices, not one American did. Rather, the U.S. subjects were more likely to report experiences as violent and hateful – and evidence of a sick condition.”

Stanford researcher: Hallucinatory 'voices' shaped by local culture
 

Coriolis

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Thank you to everyone who has posted here so far. There are some good thoughts on both western and eastern cultures, and on how mental illness is defined as well as approached and treated, I will respond more substantively later.
 

Mole

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Im a white american, so I cant really speak to any other cultures beyond that.

But I can confirm that while I still see stigma, it has gotten significantly better- weirdly, in even just the past 5-10 years I have seen a big change where people have become a lot more open about sharing their experiences with it- which really contributes to less stigma.

BUT. Its still interesting, that for some illnesses- particularly Im thinking schizophrenia- the experience of symptoms between cultures are generally pretty distinct.

Hallucinations and delusions experienced by those in westernized cultures tend to be a lot more negative than those experienced by those in eastern cultures. And it DOES point to just, culture definitely having an influence.

“The striking difference was that while many of the African and Indian subjects registered predominantly positive experiences with their voices, not one American did. Rather, the U.S. subjects were more likely to report experiences as violent and hateful – and evidence of a sick condition.”

Stanford researcher: Hallucinatory 'voices' shaped by local culture

Not so long ago we all heard the voice of God, which we now know was the right hemisphere of our brain talking to the left hemisphere. And with the advent of linear sequential logic, we suppressed our internal voice, called it an hallucination, and called it an illness.

And as the pendulum swings back with electronic media, we are becoming more inward, and more inclined to listen to our internal voice. But it now takes practice in a safe environment.
 

Coriolis

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The way we tend to view mental illness here is very Western-centric. So there is some subjectivity and culture bias when it comes to mental illness. It pretty much boils down to teams of experts deciding the "cultural standard", what deviates from it and to what degree (when is it clinically significant?). To read more about it, there's a whole sub-field called cross-cultural psychology.

There are different disorders recognized by the WHO's ICD-11 vs. the APA's DSM-V. For example, the former recognizes gaming addiction disorder and C-PTSD while the latter does not.

Also, there are mental illness designations that were created to cater to a country's specific culture. For example, Japan has Taijin kyofusho (an extreme fear of interpersonal relationships...due to the constant expectations from family and society). And Hikikomori (voluntary extreme social isolation).
Do you think these conditions themselves are unique to Japanese culture, or rather that Japanese culture gives them special attention? I agree with your first paragraph, that deviation from the cultural standard plays a role in defining mental illness. "Clinical significance" is often taken to mean when does the deviation impact the person's ability to live independently. That depends on social factors to some degree, but I think there is more to it. I'm surprised the DSM-V doesn't recognize C-PTSD. It seems relatively common and well-documented.

I believe that views on mental illness tend to differ among cultures because psychology itself has a precedent in white, western culture. Psychology has had its greatest influence among white affluent people because white affluent people can afford treatment and connect with therapists who tend to share the same values.

I don't have access to one-on-one mental help under my public health care plan, which is provisioned under Obamacare. I can seek out group therapy under my plan.
That's unfortunate. I wonder if this is part of the ACA that got watered down, either as part of original passage, or later by Trump and cronies? I am familiar with western notions of psychology, at least as much as the average layman. Do other cultures have disciplines that serve the same function as psychology does in the west in helping to explain human mental processes and help those who experience difficulty in that area?

Anyway, so far as I am concerned a lot of mental illness IS physical illness, at least the relationship or correlation between them is very close. This might sound like the old fashioned medical model, or "its all organic/brain, or its not mental illness", that persists sure but its been transcended by the biopsychosocial model. The thinking behind it comes in for the usual flak, criticism of the evidence base, criticism that its more aspirational than actual. Those criticisms could be true enough, depending on the people or contexts involved, unfortunately, I would have a hard time arguing that its always possible to achieve true standardization or congruence between practice and policy/theory. I'm not being an apologist or making excuses, just on this issue like any other I think there needs to be a pessimism of the intellect and optimism of the will to make improvements.

A lot of it comes down to debates about psycho-pharmacology, people shouldnt be as ashamed of reliance on medication as sometimes they appear to be, I definitely dont find diabetics feeling that way about their medication. There is burn out and frustration (fear and anxiety too) associated with reliance but not concerns about competence, capability or adequacy, either expressed by the individual or others. It is shocking the amount of times I've encountered opinion that anyone using medications for corrective purposes will automatically experience flawed judgements thereafter, it really is very serious as I've also seen the same individuals who would have second thoughts about individuals with medical reliance issues excusing alcoholism, illicit or recreational drug use, in themselves or others.

So I think there is a cultural dimension to seeking help, using certain sorts of help, ongoing help even.
From what I know, many mental illnesses are linked to aspects of brain chemistry, which is why medications work at all in managing these conditions. That makes them just as physical as, say, diabetes. In some places/cultures, however, mental illness is still viewed as almost a form of possession - a moral or character flaw, rather than a medical condition requiring treatment. I don't think we are that bad in the US, but there definitely is what you describe: a reluctance on the part of many people with mental illness to take meds, and judgment on the part of others, maybe not because of the meds, but because of the illness itself. I hadn't heard the concern about meds leading to flawed judgments. I wonder how common that is here, among patients as well as other people.

After the advent of the public health insurance or direct provision what is the likely mix of public/private supply to be? Will there be a two speed provision contingent on private wealth? If there is will it simply result in a poor service for poor people? That gives rise to further "resentiment" (in Nietzsche's sense) in some parts of the population and all sorts "indirect" pressures, stressors, illness on the part of the "worried well" who live in a shared space with the sick.

One final point, I would say this because of some of my personal and professional bias, but there are two major factors people need to think about, which are broadly speaking cultural and effect mental health. The public attitudes towards personal responsibility, social reciprocity etc. really, really matter. No matter how good, ie comprehensive, responsive, paternalistic even, a service is if its users are going to chaotic, abuse the service, tie it up in games playing (in the sense of The Games People Play) etc. It will be of little benefice. Its not the role of services, not entirely anyway, to determine public attitudes. The second factor, which I think is very significant, is other cultural expectations and issues which have massive implications of public and personal mental health and emotional well being, ie crime and punishment, utilities, urban dereliction/renewal, corruption, war/foreign policy even (particularly to families, communities and individuals in services).
This touches on many related issues, from how health care is rationed/distributed to how society interprets causality in personal misfortune, to the fact that there will always be some people who will try to abuse a system. I was going to ask how much of this is influenced by culture vs being simply part of human nature, but I suppose that can be asked across the board here.

I take your point though, I just think that the culture blind criticism of western medicine is over done these days. That said I do not personally believe in complete relativism and still maintain that there are universals, particularly when it comes to medicine.

Japan is a very interesting case when it comes to studying culture since it is genuinely different to the west, as is China, in some pretty unmistakeable and definite ways. I remember reading about the death of a family in Japan from starvation following a lay off and their refusal to claim public benefits or private charity due to honorific norms they thought would be insulted by it.
I know Americans with the same attitude. I suspect they escape starvation because we have a better social safety net. Can you say more about what you mean by culture-blind criticism, and what you see as the universals in mental health medicine?

Honestly I think many of them talk with people who are similar to them because doing so decreases their loneliness and improves their mental health. And, honestly, this is probably a better solution to literal therapy because doing so enables them to press boundaries in a more personal way.
I can see how people might have more in common with people from their own culture. In some cultures, however, mental illness is viewed so negatively that people experiencing it cannot get support this way but instead must hide their symptoms and suffering in a way that just exacerbates it.

Mental illness still appears to be stigmatized in my culture (Indian).

In my case, my family knows that I have issues outside of just Asperger’s (like anxiety and depression). They just don’t think outside therapy is needed, nor am I taken seriously whenever I experience a meltdown or any other crisis episode from this explosive combo. In fact, I get scolded for not being mature. :mellow:
Can you say more about what the basis for the stigma is? To what does your family attribute meltdowns or crises, if not to illness? This gets to the root of what I had in mind in making the OP.

I think western countries have less stigma about mental illness because they have more mental illness. So in one way the society understands, but in another way it clearly doesn't understand, because there are so many people with mental issues, there must be something wrong with the society in general.
Do you think there is more actual illness or simply that it is more often reported? Or perhaps western nations define mental illness more broadly.

Here the general approach is that you aren't really mentally ill until you are a complete mess and can't operate even closely to normal. Plus your friends and family kinda have a social obligation to fix you if the damage isn't that big. What is actually possible to do in most cases, especially since safety nets are still fairly strong. Therefore falling out of the loop really needs a complete brake-down of someones life's. Although westernization is making things worse in this regard, but it also creating larger and larger counter movement. To the point that the whole bunch of pro individualist centrist parties have collapsed (only 1 to 2% support, the strongest one is at 4%).


In other words here people simply know that our past is dark or totalitarian and therefore people since their birth go through the problem(s) with shields up. And then they relax through hanging out with their friends or family. Since that is kinda how we handled this problem for centuries. What is because once there is a war or change of political system you can't go through this fully alone, even if you are very rich. As a matter of fact in certain ways that only rises the chances that something will happen to you. Therefore here just about everything is going through social networking, we pay medical bills to the people that we don't know (psychological stuff included), we pay college to our neighbors, there are no closed communities, richer and poorer people can live close to each other, we tend tend to get jobs through networking, street crime is minimal since welfare is making it kinda generally pointless ... etc. Therefore we try to absorb pretty much everything through this large social network, for which we think it should be ready and in place when the next grand mess hits. As I said my grandfather lived in 5 different countries and survived 3 wars while he never moved from the place of his birth. Therefore here people tend to be much more aware of the fact that there is a greater whole than them. What changes the whole approach to how you see yourself or approach mental illness. Since it is hard to run away from the real problems when they finally surface.
This gets back to the notion of health care - mental or physical - being part of the common good rather than an individual problem. It does seem a healthier and more effective approach overall, however much of a tough sell it remains in the US unfortunately. It sounds like the general sense of community connectedness you describe makes it easier for people to get support, both informally and formally.

From my experiences and those of other Asian-Americans I have talked to, I think it's especially difficult for us to seek help due to the stigma that being raised in an Asian culture has placed upon us, despite living in America. It's strange having to live with two different outlooks. America doesn't deal with mental illness especially well, but at least many Americans acknowledge it as a truth. All I can say is, Asia doesn't look at it the same way.

Luckily, nobody in my immediate family believes that mental illness doesn't exist (although some of my extended family believe this), but even then, my parents do not understand how difficult it is to be dealing with things like anxiety, depression, etc. I have very caring parents who have provided me with great financial support and a lot of love, but that does not change the circumstances in which they were raised. They'll never be able to provide a strong support system for mental illness simply because they were raised under prejudice and misunderstanding. I think they're slowly getting better as they interact with me, but it will never be enough to get me adequate help, so I'm on my own.

Being a third culture kid on its own can be isolating, from elementary school to adulthood, and that's a story for a different day. Either way, I'm basically left feeling like I have to deal with my issues alone, since I don't have friends in person and my family is just ill-equipped to help. I've been raised thinking that most therapists are unhelpful and it's hard to get that out of my mind. And deep down I'm embarrassed to get a therapist. It's less stigmatized in America but even though it's commonplace there's still an aspect of shame that revolves around it. No matter where I live, I'll feel defective over it.
Thanks for sharing your own experiences here. I will ask you the same thing I asked Firebird: what does your family's culture see as the source of symptoms like depression and anxiety, and other aspects of mental illness? What is the nature of the prejudice and misunderstanding, and what do you think it will take to overcome it? Do you know how you formed the impression that therapists are unhelpful? Did you go to some who were unable to help?

Im a white american, so I cant really speak to any other cultures beyond that.

But I can confirm that while I still see stigma, it has gotten significantly better- weirdly, in even just the past 5-10 years I have seen a big change where people have become a lot more open about sharing their experiences with it- which really contributes to less stigma.

BUT. Its still interesting, that for some illnesses- particularly Im thinking schizophrenia- the experience of symptoms between cultures are generally pretty distinct.

Hallucinations and delusions experienced by those in westernized cultures tend to be a lot more negative than those experienced by those in eastern cultures. And it DOES point to just, culture definitely having an influence.
This is interesting, how cultural response varies by symptom. It goes back to other comments here about mental illness being defined with respect to cultural standards. From what I have read, some cultures/traditions associate spiritual meaning with hallucinations, for instance, and even try to induce them to gain insight or revelation.
 

Virtual ghost

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This gets back to the notion of health care - mental or physical - being part of the common good rather than an individual problem. It does seem a healthier and more effective approach overall, however much of a tough sell it remains in the US unfortunately. It sounds like the general sense of community connectedness you describe makes it easier for people to get support, both informally and formally.



Yes and that is kinda why I said a number of times that US kinda suffers due to the fact that the system was never really fundamentally at stake or actually changed. What would create society wide impression that perhaps extra effort is needed to make sure that everyone is ready for the times when the real problems will knock at the door. As a matter of fact my government just launched the campaign that if you don't feel ok due to the lockdowns and everything that you seek help. What probably is the case with a number of people. I mean here everything "healthcare" is generally seen as law enforcement, fire department or military. Therefore it is the system that should help you no matter how dark the times are. What is actually important step in keeping the worst of mental illnesses at bay. Just the idea that you have a clear back up probably really helps in holding general social climate to be more clear and grounded. What generally makes it easier for friends and family to pick up the pieces before things really go south, especially since multi-generational households aren't that rare. Therefore here the whole system seems kinda much more compact.
 

Firebird 8118

The Quiet Rebel
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[MENTION=9811]Coriolis[/MENTION] Hmm... they know that my meltdowns are a part of Asperger’s. They just think I’m in control of it and scream on purpose. :mellow:
 
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