Medications & Psychiatry

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
Psychiatry Under the InfluenceAlternatives Beyond PsychiatryAmerican MadnessAmerican PsychosisAn Unquiet MindAntipsychiatryBad PharmaBefore ProzacBetter Than ProzacBiological PsychiatryBipolar, Not So MuchBlack Man in a White CoatBlaming the BrainBrain Science and Psychological DisordersBrainwashedClinical Psychopharmacology Made Ridiculously SimpleComfortably NumbCompassion and Healing in Medicine and SocietyComplete Mental HealthConcise Guide to PsychopharmacologyCrackedCritical PsychiatryCultural FormulationDeconstructing PsychosisDemystifying PsychiatryDiagnosing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental DisordersDiagnosis: SchizophreniaDiagnostic Issues in Depression and Generalized Anxiety DisorderDimensional Models of Personality DisordersDisordered Personalities and CrimeDoctoring the MindDoctors of DeceptionDrop the Disorder!DruggedDrugs for LifeEmpirical Ethics in PsychiatryEssential PsychopharmacologyEssential Psychopharmacology of Depression and Bipolar DisorderEssentials of Psychiatric DiagnosisEsssential Philosophy of PsychiatryEthics in PsychiatryEvidence-Based Treatment of Personality DysfunctionExercise-Based Interventions for Mental IllnessFinding the Right Psychiatrist:Forces of HabitHandbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for TherapistsHappy Pills in AmericaHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHelping Parents, Youth, and Teachers Understand Medications for Behavioral and Emotional ProblemsHerbs for the MindHigh PriceHippocrates CriedHistory of Psychiatry and Medical PsychologyHookedHuman TrialsInfectious MadnessInspired SleepIntoxicating MindsIs It Me or My Meds?Let Them Eat ProzacLife-Threatening Effects of Antipsychotic DrugsLitLiving with Bipolar DisorderMad in AmericaMad ScienceMalignant SadnessMedicating ChildrenMedicating Modern AmericaMental Health in Asia and the PacificMind FixersMoments of EngagementMommy I'm Still in HereNatural Healing for DepressionNo One Cares About Crazy PeopleNot CrazyOrdinarily WellOur Daily MedsOverdosed AmericaPathologist of the MindPediatric PsychopharmacologyPediatric PsychopharmacologyPediatric PsychopharmacologyPharmaceutical FreedomPharmacracyPharmageddonPharmageddonPhilosophical Issues in PharmaceuticsPoets on ProzacPower HerbsPowerful MedicinesPrescriptions for the MindProfits Before People?Prozac and the New AntidepressantsProzac As a Way of LifeProzac BacklashProzac DiaryProzac on the CouchPsychiatric DiagnosisPsychiatric HegemonyPsychiatrists and Traditional HealersPsychiatry and EmpirePsychiatry and the Business of MadnessPsychiatry as Cognitive NeurosciencePsychiatry at a GlancePsychiatry in PrisonsPsychiatry ReconsideredPsychopathyPsychopharmacology Problem SolvingPsychotropic Drug Prescriber's Survival GuidePsychotropic Drugs And Popular CulturePsychotropic Drugs: Fast FactsRaising Generation RxRe-Visioning PsychiatryRecovery from SchizophreniaReligious and Spiritual Issues in Psychiatric DiagnosisRitalin NationRunning on RitalinRutter's Child and Adolescent PsychiatrySaving NormalSchizophreniaShock TherapyShock TherapyShould I Medicate My Child?ShrinksSide EffectsSometimes Amazing Things HappenStraight Talk about Psychiatric Medications for KidsSuccessful PsychopharmacologySuffer the ChildrenTaking America Off DrugsTalking Back to ProzacTextbook of Cultural PsychiatryThe $800 Million PillThe Age of AnxietyThe Anti-Depressant Fact BookThe Antidepressant EraThe Antidepressant SolutionThe Antidepressant Survival ProgramThe Big FixThe Book of WoeThe Complete Guide to Herbal MedicinesThe Conceptual Evolution of DSM-5The CorrectionsThe Creation of PsychopharmacologyThe Cult of PharmacologyThe Dream DrugstoreThe Emperor's New DrugsThe Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs 2005The Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs 2006The Making of DSM-III®The Medical Model in Mental HealthThe Medicated ChildThe Medication QuestionThe Merck DruggernautThe Mind/Mood Pill BookThe Natural Pharmacist : Natural Health Bible from the Most Trusted Alternative Health Site in the World The Pill BookThe Pill Book Guide to Natural MedicinesThe PlaceboThe Rise and Fall of the Biopsychosocial ModelThe Sedated SocietyThe Therapist's Guide to PsychopharmacologyThe Therapist's Guide to Psychopharmacology, Revised EditionThe Truth About the Drug CompaniesThe Use and Misuse of Psychiatric DrugsThe World of CaffeineThomas S. SzaszToxic PsychiatryTrouble in MindTry to RememberTry to RememberTwilight of American SanityUnderstanding Physician-Pharmaceutical Industry InteractionsUnhingedVoluntary MadnessWarning: Psychiatry Can Be Hazardous to Your Mental HealthWhat Is Mental Illness?What Psychiatry Left Out of the DSM-5What Works for Whom?Will@epicqwest.comWomen, Madness and MedicineYour Drug May Be Your Problem

Related Topics
Textbook of Cultural PsychiatryReview - Textbook of Cultural Psychiatry
by Dinesh Bhugra and Kamaldeep Bhui (Editor)
Cambridge University Press, 2007
Review by Mark Welch, Ph.D.
Apr 14th 2009 (Volume 13, Issue 16)

The relationship between a person’s culture, psychiatric presentation and psychiatric empiricism has been debated for several decades, but a text that attempts to provide a comprehensive framework for clinicians concerning the provision of care has not been as forthcoming. There have been other examples; Tseng’s Handbook of Cultural Psychiatry from 2001 springs to mind. However, the scope of the current text is broader, more contextualized and aimed not just at clinicians. Bhugra, currently the President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Professor of Mental Health and Cultural Diversity at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, and Bhui, Professor of Cultural Psychiatry and Epidemiology at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London , are two British-based psychiatrists who have attempted to fill that gap by bringing together academics and clinicians from many (albeit mainly Western) countries to provide both theoretical and practical perspectives, and consider not simply presentations, but experiences of mental illness. As a result aspects of trauma, intellectual disability, sexual dysfunction, the refugee experience are all considered in depth and with some sensitivity.

The editors contend that cultural psychiatry is concerned with “understanding the impact of social and cultural differences and similarities on mental health and its treatments”. It is perhaps the last point, the impact on treatments, that is one of the most significant and important aspects of this book, and something that has not really been articulated in quite the same way before.

The aim of the book is to help all those involved in mental health care to “provide appropriate, sensitive and acceptable services for different cultural groups”. And while it may appear to be written by psychiatrists (qualifications and disciplines are not generally provided) it is not solely for psychiatrists. The different chapters are scholarly, but accessible to most people with a basic understanding of the area and the interface of psychiatric and sociological concepts. They are not overly technical and are arranged thematically which helps the reader negotiate the text as a whole -- it is after all intended to be a textbook and not necessarily read in sequence or as a thesis.

There are six major parts to the text: Theoretical background; Culture and Mental Health; Culture and Mental Disorders; Theoretical Aspects of Management; Management of Special Groups; and Cultural Research and Training. Of these, the first provides a useful overview of the concepts and history of the subject, but adds in useful chapters on spirituality and health inequalities.

The second emphasizes not just explanatory models, but health and the importance of identity formation, acculturalization and cultural consonance -- what is it like to be a stranger in a strange land, how are second and third generations affected?

The third is mainly devoted to disorders and the fourth and fifth concern themselves with treatment and management.

The final chapter looks more to the future and tries to locate psychiatry in a changing world in which not only the demographics, but the mobility and flux in society are becoming very different from even two or three decades ago. What is called the “biology-society dialectic” is yet to play out fully, and perhaps it never will or never should. Cultural identity is fluid, as perhaps is psychiatry’s response.

Readers of the book will find it practical and down to earth, tolerant and humane, sensitive and cogent. In the main the authors convey a sense of grounded practice that recognizes the interplay between the personal manifestation of illness and social factors. The book is not very prescriptive, but does provide a number of cautions that clinicians should consider, and certainly does not see itself as the final word -- indeed it is a work in progress and cultural psychiatry may well become one of the most significant areas of care and research in mental health. It is interesting to speculate how a revision of this text will look in the light of the forthcoming DSM-V.

There are some areas that could have been developed more, but they are few. Even so, there is not a great deal of space devoted to aspects of rehabilitation and recovery, even though it is acknowledged that a sense of cultural integration and identity is important to health and well-being. Some specific aspects of the refugee experience that present themselves to clinicians, such as war, terror, torture and persecution may have deserved more than one chapter. And it may have been interesting to gain more insights from workers in the developing world. Indigenous populations do not feature large, Africa and South America are not mentioned at all and India, Taiwan, Lebanon and Sri Lanka are the only non-Western countries to contribute, even if the authors have a wider experience.

In conclusion it can be fairly said that this book represents a major step forward in the understanding, recognition and care offered in one of the most important areas in the future of psychiatry.

© 2009 Mark Welch

Mark Welch, Ph.D., British Columbia, 2009


Welcome to Metapsychology.

Note that Metapsychology will be moving to a new server in January 2020. We will not put up new reviews during the transition. We thank you for your support and look forward to coming back with a revised format.

We feature over 8300 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than twenty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!

Join our Google Group!

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716