Depression and PMS culturally determined rather than biological diseases?
An interesting article that backs up the research showing that many Asian cultures (eating a plant-based wholefood diet, with a little fish, and good health lifestyle habits), have lower (or zero) levels of depression and PMS.
The Guardian reported on Monday May 20, 2013 that:
“A growing number of psychiatrists suspect mental conditions are ‘culture-bound syndromes’ rather than exclusively biological. Diagnostic categories such as ‘depression’ are cultural constructions, not global certainties… And two weeks ago the British Psychological Society released a statement claiming that there is no scientific validity to diagnostic labels such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder”
“In a recent editorial in the British Journal of General Practice, Professor Christopher Dowrick argues that depression could be a western culture-bound syndrome, rather than a universal disorder. In support of his case, Prof Dowrick notes the lack of consensus in psychiatry over what even constitutes depression: the endless shifting of diagnostic goalposts”
“In 1987, Thomas S Johnson claimed that the symptoms were an expression of “conflicting societal expectations” on women”
“In 2012, a meta-analysis of published research failed to find evidence that negative mood correlates to the pre-menstrual phase of the menstrual cycle. And earlier this year, a qualitative study found that a “cognitive reframing” of the symptoms could reduce self-reported pre-menstrual distress”
“I think the distinction between ‘biological’ and ‘social’ causes can get tricky. Lots of human practices that are clearly culturally patterned – child-rearing practices, diet, and sleep patterns, for example – affect our biology” says Dr Rachel Cooper, author of Classifying Madness.
Full article here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2013/may/20/mental-illnesses-depression-pms-culturally-determined