Tibetan and Himalayan Library - THL

THL Title Text
Title: Trance, functional psychosis, and culture
Language of title: English
Author/Creator: R. J. Castillo

Description: This paper discusses the hypothesis that the symptoms of functional psychoses can be caused by culturally structured spontaneous trances that may be reactions to environmental stress and psychological trauma. Findings are reviewed of anthropological studies of meditative trance experiences in Indian yogis characterized by divided consciousness (dissociation), religious auditory and visual hallucinations, and beliefs in their own spiritual powers. An explanation of the psychological mechanisms of meditative trance is also provided, highlighting trance-related alteration of consciousness within an Indian cultural context. It is suggested that the psychological mechanisms of meditative trance are similar in structure to spontaneous trances underlying the symptoms of some functional psychoses. Findings from cross-cultural studies are also reviewed, highlighting the effects of culture on the symptoms, indigenous diagnoses, treatments, and outcomes of functional psychoses. In non-Western cultures, transient functional psychoses with complete recovery are 10 times more common than in Western cultures. It is suggested that egocentrism and a loss of spiritual explanations for psychosis in Western cultures constructs a clinical situation in which persons with functional psychoses are treated for a biogenetic (incurable) brain disease rather than a curable spiritual illness. This difference in cultural belief systems leads to poorer outcomes for Western patients compared to non-Western patients. Recognizing cultural differences in symptoms, indigenous diagnoses, and treatment for functional psychoses can help explain the dramatic cross-cultural differences in outcome.

Publisher Place: New York, NY
Publisher: Guilford Press
Normalized publisher place: New York, NY
Publisher country: United States
Publisher URL: http://www.guilford.com/cgi-bin/cartscript.cgi?page=home.html&cart_id=
Published Date: 2003
URL: http://www.extenza-eps.com/extenza/loadHTML?objectIDValue=20285&type=abstract
Subject: Meditation
Dissociative disorders
Psychotic disorders
Classification: Buddhism and Science -- Medicine -- International Medicine -- Psychiatry -- Psychiatric Conditions
Cultural Coverage: United States
Temporal coverage: 21st century CE
Language: English
Interface Language: English
Series 2 editor:
Source URL: http://www.guilford.com/cgi-bin/cartscript.cgi?page=periodicals/jnps.htm&cart_id=
Source: Psychiatry
Source Type: Journal
Source Volume: 66
Source Number: 1
Source Page Numbers: 38251
Start Date: 1938
Frequency of publication: Quarterly
Submissions: Instructions for authors (pdf)
ISBN/ISSN: 0033-2747
Location and access number: 12710226

Means of availability: Copies of this article are available online and in print by subscription. Check with library or see the journal's webpage for more information.

Format: Online resource
Print media (print or manuscript, including PDFs)
Media type: Text
Resource Type: Article
Digital Encoding: pdf
Reader Rating: useful
Release Flag: OK for viewing
Date Of Record Creation: 2005-03-25 14:31:01
Date Last Modified: 2006-05-15 16:48:48
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