Feeling sad and depressed

In the beginning of the chapter, a scenario was presented where a woman was talking loudly to no one in particular. Later she reported that she had been possessed by the spirit of an animal and was talking with a man who had recently died.

In your culture, is this considered abnormal behavior? Why or why not?

How does your explanation clarify what you believe is abnormal versus normal?

There are many ways to describe feeling sad and depressed. In your culture, what are different idioms for expressing feelings of sadness and depression (such as “feeling blue” or “down in the dumps”)? Now ask someone from a different culture for idioms expressing sadness and depression.

What do different idioms say about how feelings of sadness and depression are understood and experienced in different cultures?

a.       Can you think of any psychological disorders that only appear in your particular culture? How would you go about studying whether a particular disorder is specific only to your culture?

b.      Timimi (2004) proposes that ADHD is solely a social/cultural construct, arguing that the stresses of modern Western culture have set the stage for the emergence of the disorder. Think about stresses that are prevalent in today’s society that might not have existed 50 years ago (such as the stresses associated with the possibility of being plugged into technology 24 hours a day). What kinds of disorders might we see now that we would not have seen 50 years ago? Be creative and come up with one or more new disorders, labeling the disorder and describing the etiology, symptoms, and prognosis.


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