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How have anthropologists tried to understand depression in other societies - Essay Example

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Anthropology is the scientific study of social and physical aspects of human society.Anthropological methods and theories are applied to identify,analyse and resolve social problem by catagorizing them on physical,descriptive,cultural and historical grounds.Depression is a…
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How have anthropologists tried to understand depression in other societies
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Download file to see previous pages According to the prediction of WHO, in 2020 depression will be the second major cause of disability (Bhugra &Mastrogianni 2004, p.13).According to Murry and Lopez (1997), ‘In developing countries major depression is projected to be the leading cause of disease burden’(as cited in Bhugra &Mastrogianni 2004, p.13).
According to Kleinman and Good (1985, p.1) the terms ‘depression’, ‘melancholia’, ‘mania’ have long and continuous history in European thought. Greek and Roman writers also mentioned the presence of some ‘melancholic diseases’ among people which are similar to the ones identified today. Depressed patients are treated with medical regiments consisting of antidepressants and supportive therapies. This universal treatment of depression is of no surprise for biomedical researchers due to the fact that they consider depression to be a disease that is identifiable throughout the world. Past decades majorly contributed in identifying the biochemical and psychological factors that give rise to depression, but it does not show us the complete picture because of the recent research on neurotransmitters. Growing evidence identifies the issues about the universal perception of depression and conceptual complications. Kleinman and Good state, ‘Bioamines involved in the transmission and regulation of neurological messages-and a set of hormones are implicated in depressive illness.’ (1985, p.1) It implies to the presence of culture about depression. This essay analyses the contributions of anthropologists for understanding depression in non-Western societies.
Initially depression was considered to be the issue of west only. It refers to the perception of a less evolved brain in other parts of the world (Vint 1932 as cited in Skultans & Cox 2000, p.76). Prince (1967), German (1972), and Marsella (1976) identified not only an inadequate body of research about depression when it comes to non-western societies but also found ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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