Navigating diagnoses: understanding mind-body relations, mental health, and stigma in Nepal.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Anthropologists and psychiatrists traditionally have used the salience of a mind-body dichotomy to distinguish Western from non-Western ethnopsychologies. However, despite claims of mind-body holism in non-Western cultures, mind-body divisions are prominent in non-Western groups. In this article, we discuss three issues: the ethnopsychology of mind-body dichotomies in Nepal, the relationship between mind-body dichotomies and the hierarchy of resort in a medical pluralistic context, and, finally, the role of mind-body dichotomies in public health interventions (biomedical and psychosocial) aimed toward decreasing the stigmatization of mental illness. We assert that, by understanding mind-body relations in non-Western settings, their implications, and ways in which to reconstitute these relations in a less stigmatizing manner, medical anthropologists and mental health workers can contribute to the reduction of stigma in global mental health care.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kohrt, BA; Harper, I

Published Date

  • December 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 32 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 462 - 491

PubMed ID

  • 18784989

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3869091

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0165-005X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s11013-008-9110-6


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands