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date: 21 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The research literature on mood disorders is dominated by Western concepts. Historical changes and cultural variations are the focus of this chapter. We begin with a historical overview, then turn to the contemporary literature on cultural variations in mood disorders, focusing on: (1) etiological beliefs, (2) risk and resilience, (3) incidence and prevalence, and (4) symptoms. We propose an approach to understanding cultural variations in psychopathology based on a core idea from cultural psychology: the mutual constitution of culture, mind, and brain. Then, we describe some of the ways symptoms of disordered mood can be understood as emerging from looping processes in the culture-mind-brain system. For future research, we emphasize the importance of integrative studies across culture-, mind-, and brain-levels. Then we consider the possibility that historical changes in descriptions of disordered mood might include culturally shaped transformations in normal and abnormal experience.

Keywords: culture, history, depression, mania, psychopathology, mood

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