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'Life-Wind Illness' In Tibetan Medicine: Depression, Generalised Anxiety, And Panic Attack

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Chapter Summary

This chapter combines findings from the study of the Rgyud bzhi, anthropological fieldwork with contemporary amchi and their patients, and psychiatric studies in other cultural settings. The reflection of these three perspectives on one another enriches appreciation of the complex interaction of cultural, social, and pan-cultural factors in such conditions. The comparison of classical Tibetan and modern psychiatric constructions of Tibetan refugee cases does not necessitate a reduction of the phenomenology of 'life-wind illness' as professionally understood by amchi, nor of srog rlung as constructed by lay Tibetans, to biomedical terms. The location of these closely related, distinctively Tibetan forms of distress within the standardised, if imperfect, nosology of diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM) does, however, facilitate a comparison of their etiologies, symptomatologies, and courses with those of disorders in other cultural settings which have been found to approximate the same DSM criteria.

Keywords: classical Tibetan construction; DSM criteria; nosology; psychiatric studies; srog rlung; symptomatologies



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    Proceedings of the Tenth Seminar of the IATS, 2003. Volume 10: Soundings in Tibetan Medicine — Recommend this title to your library
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