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Some Aspects of Psychiatry in India

Some Aspects of Psychiatry in India


OverviewsSome Aspects of Psychiatry in India SAGE Publications, Inc.1978DOI: 10.1177/136346157801500101 A. VenkobaRao Psychiatry in India, as in the rest of the world, cannot be divorced from the country's cultural milieu. India's religions, philosophies, superstitions, rituals, beliefs and value systems, methods of indigenous healing, and theories from ancient medical systems such as Ayurveda and Siddha must be considered ( Venk®ba Rao 1975 . The Indian family structure, the extent of literacy, urbanization, industrialization, and the impact of Western technology and culture cannot be ignored. This paper will confine itself to a discussion of culture specific syndromes, depressive illness, suicide and attempted suicide, and psychotherapy in India. CULTURE-BOUND SYNDROMES Important among the syndromes know to occur particularly in the Indian subcontinent, are the possession syndrome, the Indian Dhat syndrome, the ascetic syndrome, malignant anxiety, and suchi-bai. Other syndromes will be mentioned in passing. Possession syndrome The possession syndrome is common in all parts of India as is evident from the fact that it has a specific name in almost all Indian languages. Bharna (Hindi), Bhar Koreche (Bengali), Devadu or Bhutam pattukonnadi (Telugu), Swami or Peyi pudichiriki (Tamil), Devaru, Pisacha hididide, or Maimela bandhide (I~annada), Swamy Vanden Paor Padachu (Malayalam), Bharwana
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