Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
MARTINEZ-HERNAEZ, Ángel. When ants crawl around the brain: challenges and facts in cultural psychiatry. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2006, vol.22, n.11, pp.2269-2280. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2006001100002.
Culture influences the experience, expression, course, evolution, prognosis, and treatment of mental disorders (as well as mental health policy) but has been neglected by general psychiatry, which has failed to integrate it appropriately into epidemiological research, clinical practice, and health policies. The main reason for this failure has been a lack of awareness concerning the "culture of psychiatry". This article aims to contribute to the theoretical debate in cultural psychiatry by reviewing studies on: (i) theoretical discussions and ethnographic studies of mental health services, (ii) cross-cultural comparative studies on psychiatric disorders, and (iii) the use of the cultural skills model with ethnic minorities and refugees.
Keywords : Mental Health; Psychiatry; Culture.