Aliens and Alienists: Ethnic Minorities and Psychiatry, 3rd by R. Littlewood

By R. Littlewood

During this vintage textual content the authors research the hyperlinks among racism, mental unwell health and wellbeing and insufficient remedy of ethnic minorities. via a sequence of case reports they talk about: * the mental legacy of colonialism and slavery * the racist bias in psychiatric and mental thought * diagnostic bias * the position of faith in psychological future health or disease * the worth of anthropological and pschoanalytic insights. The concluding bankruptcy during this variation reports the improvement of 'transcultural psychiatry' and summarises alterations in management of the psychological overall healthiness Act.

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Such a question seems irrelevant to the patient. He is initially concerned with whether they are going to harm him. Why is the black patient feeling so suspicious? Maybe the police and the hospital are behaving in this extraordinary manner because they have a grudge against him. How widespread is this conspiracy? How much will it be wise to say to the doctor? The psychiatrist is meanwhile looking for such ‘first-rank symptoms of schizophrenia’ as whether the patient experiences his thoughts being controlled by external influences.

How easy is it to look at the behaviour of someone from another culture and at the same time try to experience their reality? Psychiatry requires a detailed and sensitive knowledge both of language and subtle non-verbal behaviour. Discrimination against immigrant doctors and psychiatry’s low status within medicine seem to have resulted in psychiatric hospitals being staffed by psychiatrists many of whom are themselves immigrants and who would prefer to be working in another branch of medicine. Although it might be hoped that the shared experience of prejudice and migration would lead to a sympathetic understanding of the emotional difficulties of immigrant patients, overseas doctors and nurses are offered little chance of exploring their own experiences and are attracted perhaps to an approach based on medical treatment alone.

Native healers were epileptics, hysterics or neurotics. The mentally ill shared the primitiveness of tribal men. In mongolism, the non-European was likened to the subnormal. If the insane regressed to a primitive state of mind because of the stresses of society, the blacks were already there. Among them madness was, as it were, spread out thin—their normal condition. At the least his illnesses were simple: ‘The morbid mental phenomena of an insane Australian savage will of necessity be different from the morbid phenomena of an insane European, just as the ruins of a palace must be vaster and more varied than the ruins of a log hut’ [269].

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