Research shows that suffering may differ depending on the culture and the surrounding of the person suffering. This research came up with four levels that can be used to analyses suffering systematically from the causes down to consequences. These four levels can hence be used to analyze the difference in experiencing a specific disorder in varying cultures (Quambusch et al. 2014). Different communities may vary in when it comes to defining what causes mental problems and this will go ahead to make the mentally ill person to have attitude hence shaping the experiences he will have. An instance is a research, which showed that European Americans consider mental disorder genetically inherited and one cannot just be mentally ill if in their lineage there, has never been such an occurrence. Indians on the other hand were trying to claim that mental illness is something, which brought by demonic spirits or witches that is, evil eyes of some members of the society. They claimed that mental illness has no relation at all with genetics of a person. Culture entails a lot and it is what makes the difference in races and groups. Cultural difference to some extent may create a barrier in dealing with situations and it is also crystal clear that culture can be incorporated a process we refer to as acculturation.
The second level is the experience phase. In these phase, the researchers argued that suffering which in this case is mental illness will be experienced differently depending on the culture of a person. Cultural teachings on the source of suffering determines the behavior of a person from that community in case of a problem since they already have formed opinion about how people with such problems behave (Quambusch et al. 2014). An instance of this is in the villages where mentally sick people walk around in villages’ and centers picking dirty alongside while in towns, mentally ill people in most in most cases walk around causing physical harm to whomever they come across. Because of culture, a mentally ill person in the village will not cause physical harm to anybody but will just walk around in rags picking dirty things alongside him while in town, they do not necessarily put on rags but they cause physical harm in most cases to people they meet along.
The third level of suffering is the level the expression level. This level speaks of people having different taste of the same thing (Mijakoski at al. 2015). This level has two perceptions with it, first is the personal level where one experience pain in a certain of the body and the other experiencing the same problem but pain in different part of the body. The other is public which determines how a person will relate his suffering to people surrounding him or her. Considering our topic of study, the mentally ill, we can say that different people will express the problem different and the public as well will react different. An instance in this level is a situation whereby American Indians never stigmatize the mentally ill individuals in most cases and they care for them while Asians do not want to associate with the mentally considering them shameful. The last level of suffering is the consequences level. This level talks of the results of the suffering an individual has. For example in America, the mentally ill people are taken to mental hospitals where they get the required medical attention while amongst African Americans, they suggest will suggest other means of coming up with a solution but not medical. This difference is brought by the difference in culture between the Americans and the African Americans.
Acculturation is the process of slowly learning and even incorporating customs, language and even beliefs (Mijakoski at al. 2015). Most of the immigrants in America have slowly adapted to the American lifestyle and way of doing things that is, they have adopted the American culture. In my case I will chose mentally disorder among Muslims who have adopted the bicultural acculturation strategy. Bicultural acculturation is a scenario in which, one does not fully abolish his culture but comes up with a combination of the two cultures. We find that in treatment of this group of Americans, the doctors, will always prefer to first identify the cultural identity of the mentally ill person (Mu et al. 2015). He would then analyze the acculturation level, which in this case is bicultural, and lastly the religious identity of the person. In this case, the ill person will be put under holistic treatment method in order to cover his religion, and then the modern US treatment formula for mental ill persons will follow. This two treatment methods clearly brings out the difference in approach to ill persons demonstrates the changes brought by acculturation.
Having disagreed with a patients preferred formula of treating a mentally ill person, as a medical practitioner, I would apply counselling as a method of coming up with a solution to this problem since at the end of it all, the objective is to treat the illness. I would first identify the barriers and differences in diagnosis methods for mental illness in the two cultures, which in this case is my culture, and the patient’s culture. I would then try to utilize the culturally sensitive inventions considering his race and their language appropriately to helps us come to a common ground before starting the treatment. I would lastly identify the resources available to help in eliminating the cultural barrier making us not to agree on the favorable treatment method (Mu et al. 2015). By critically discussing these with patient, both of us will be convinced to come into terms and find a solution.
In summary, culture is very diverse and before judging others, you should know them well. Different races or rather groups of people are associated to different lifestyle and custom. One’s culture determines so many things in their way of dealing with things. You may find that the way Americans view death is different from the way Africans or Indians view the same.
Quambusch, M., Pirttilä, A. M., Tejesvi, M. V., Winkelmann, T., & Bartsch, M. (2014). Endophytic bacteria in plant tissue culture: differences between easy-and difficult-to-propagate Prunus avium genotypes. Tree physiology, 34(5)524-533.
Mijakoski, D., Karadzinska-Bislimovska, J., Basarovska, V., Montgomery, A., Panagopoulou, E., Stoleski, S., & Minov, J. (2015). Burnout, engagement, and organizational culture: Differences between physicians and nurses. Open access Macedonian journal of medical sciences, 3(3), 506.
Mu, Y., Kitayama, S., Han, S., & Gelfand, M. J. (2015). How culture gets embrained: Cultural differences in event-related potentials of social norm violations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(50),15348-15353.