South African Hindu Psychologists' Perceptions of Mental Illness

Conceptualisations of mental illness are not universally applicable, as culture shapes the expression, perceptions and treatment preferences thereof. By focusing on the perceptions of Hindu psychologists regarding mental illness, this study aimed to provide a deeper understanding of the impact that...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Journal of religion and health
Authors: Padayachee, Priyanka ; Laher, Sumaya
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Springer Science + Business Media B. V. [2014]
In: Journal of religion and health
Further subjects:B Cultural competence
B Mental Illness
B Stigma
B Religion
B Hinduism
B Culture
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
Description
Summary:Conceptualisations of mental illness are not universally applicable, as culture shapes the expression, perceptions and treatment preferences thereof. By focusing on the perceptions of Hindu psychologists regarding mental illness, this study aimed to provide a deeper understanding of the impact that religious beliefs have on such conceptualisations. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six Hindu psychologists around the Johannesburg area, South Africa. Responses were analysed using thematic content analysis. From the findings, it was evident that religion plays a critical role in the understanding and treatment of mental illness. Hindu beliefs around psychological disturbances were salient. Additionally, it was found that a tension existed between psychologists' awareness of the influential function of religion, particularly amongst collectivistic communities such as the Hindu community, and their occupational understandings and practices, which are deeply rooted in Western thought. Furthermore, it was suggested that the fear of stigma prevented Hindu clients from reaping the benefits of seeking help from culturally competent psychologists.
ISSN:1573-6571
Contains:Enthalten in: Journal of religion and health
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1007/s10943-012-9646-1