Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Changgeng Yi Xue Za Zhi. 1998 Mar;21(1):1-12.

Folk belief, illness behavior and mental health in Taiwan.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taoyuan, R.O.C.

Abstract

In this paper, an overview of the literature relevant to the issues of illness behavior and help-seeking behavior in relation to mental health and illness, focusing on the Taiwan area is presented. Arguments for the prioritization and appreciation of the folk perspective of mental illness and health are addressed. The traditional medical beliefs in the Chinese culture that emphasize integration and continuity, instead of differentiation, of/between body and mind, person and nature, nature and super-nature, the visible (with form) and the invisible (without form), and yang and yin, have laid the basis for the theoretical framework of somatization as normative illness behavior rather than psychologization, and also dissociation as normative illness behavior rather than repression. A case report on folk psychotherapy is given here to illustrate the argument. The continuum models illustrated in this paper, either the shen-kuei syndrome in its broad sense extending from koro to neurasthenia, frigophobia or the spirit possession syndrome in its broad sense extending from the pathological and peripheral (Hsieh-ping) to the normative and ritual (shamanism), could well remind us of the powerful influence of the folk and popular contexts of culture that underlie illness behavior in relation to mental health in Taiwan.

PMID:
9607258
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center