Psychiatry's Missing Diagnosis: Patients' Cultural Diversity Is Often Discounted

The Washington Post reported that psychiatry's medicalized approach to mental health may be flawed in light of cultural diverity.

(The Washington Post) -- "Scientists have broadly played down the role of cultural factors in the diagnosis, treatment and outcome of mental disorders. In part, this is because modern psychiatry is based on the idea that mental illnesses are primarily organic disorders of the brain. This medicalized approach suggests that the symptoms, course and treatment of disorders ought to be the same whether patients are from the Caribbean, Canada or Cambodia...As the population of the United States grows ever more diverse, however, this approach is facing challenges from within the profession's own ranks." Sunday, June 26, 2005.

Psychiatrists interested in integrative mental health care have already suggested that Western psychiatric diagnoses can be constrated and compared with, for example, diagnoses from Chinese medicine, which operate along a different set of worldviews yet nonetheless have a cogent understanding of mental health diagnosis and treatment.

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