Mental Illness In Asian American Culture Essay

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Introduction Generally speaking individuals view the symptoms of mental illness as being experienced and expressed in the same fashion across all cultures. They believe that a set channel of symptom expression is the same for every individual regardless of culture or ethnicity. Recent research into cultural expression of symptomatology has revealed that not every culture experiences mental illness in much the same way. In fact research has revealed that culture plays a large role in how mental illness is viewed and experienced (Wong, 2010). This paper will attempt to display the cultural differences in the expression and description of depression symptoms within the Asian American and European American cultures. It is theorized that there are distinct differences between these two cultures as their worldviews are decidedly different. In the Asian American culture the world is seen through a collectivist lens, meaning that they take into consideration the views and opinions of not only their family but their community as well. Mental illness in this particular worldview is not seen as something that is shameful to the individual but their family and community. Hence, the implications for having a mental illness in this culture are greater than they would…show more content…
Primarily the Asian culture views with mistrust the western cultures practice of mental health. Predominantly, because the western culture is given to confrontation, adapts a non-holistic approach, demands self- disclosure, and is driven by the individual’s personal desires and individuation. Something that is contrary to what the Asian culture stands for and advocates. Asians are also more likely to seek out the help of their religious shamans, etc. than they are of seeking mental health services from a licensed therapist (Gamst et al.,

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