(NaturalNews) Although modern Western psychiatry claims that mental illness is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain and should therefore manifest similarly in all cultures, a growing number of psychologists and anthropologists are challenging this notion.
They point out that all cultures throughout history have had different ideas of what it means to "go insane," ranging from Victorian epidemics of leg paralysis to the Southeast Asian mass murderous rampage known as "amok."
In recent decades, with the spread of Western media and the adoption of Western medical theories, the rates of conditions such as depression and anorexia have soared to epidemic proportions in cultures where they were previously unknown.
In one interesting case, a variety of anorexia unique to Hong Kong virtually disappeared over the course of several months after widespread media reports that were ignorant of the local variety instead described only the Western form. Now, the Western form is widespread in Hong Kong.