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Does CBS Exist?

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Does CBS Exist? The primary aim for International Classification of Disorder is to be objective and universal so that it can be used with all countries. According to ICD culture bound syndrome does not exist, rather it is a local variation of universal disorders. ICD do not have a definition for culture bound syndrome, whereas the DSM has a definition for culture bound syndrome. So, those who are absolutist favour this by saying, all culture bound syndrome's takes form in different cultures, and that the underlying disorder is the same. Therefore, the behaviour does not matter, what matters is the underlying disorder. The first school of thought is the cultural relativist theory. They argue that disorders can occur only in one or some type of culture and that they are not similar disorders which might be found in another culture, so they argue against absolutist. Even if culture bound syndrome such as koro, pibloqtoq are different disorders, the way they are expressed clearly owes much to their local culture. ...read more.


This distinction is made through their criteria of uniqueness and great diversity of the underlying disorder. Cases such as Latah, where dissociative or trancelike behaviour is displayed, Amock, where an outburst of aggression takes place followed by experiences of amnesia, and Ghost Sickness, where there is preoccupation with death, are all culture bound syndromes. This is because of the strong underlying disorder, e.g. stress disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, or schizophrenia. However the problem with this is that there is no correct definition of the criteria to say what culture bound syndrome is and what is not. Universalists argue that the disorder is universal but showed differently in different cultures, such as depression, and so cultural relativitist argue that differences in expression is actually culture bound syndrome. Western biases and culture blindness of different cultures stop the existence of culture bound syndrome to be included in ICD. Because of the western cultures bias, culture bound syndromes do not fit with western ideology, and so western psychologists have to impose a value system they are familiar with. ...read more.


On the other hand those who believe in culture bound syndrome, it could be argued they are folk beliefs. For example Koro sufferers do not actually believe that their penis is retracting rather they have believed it through folk tales and they start to have a moral panic, just like MPD. Theses sufferers are vulnerable and can easily be labelled as having a mental disorder. This is all done probably to get self reassurances that something is wrong with them and they do not feel guilty if they do not succeed in life. Culture bound syndrome is useful to psychologist who are studying different culture traditions, as it allows them to look for appropriate culture diagnosis. However it is impossible to have its own classificatory system because it is too diverse, and importantly it should be seen in terms of its own values and cultures in which they occur. However, the evidence of absolutist proves better that CBS does not exist; therefore I believe that CBS does not exist. 1 Shah Mashud ...read more.

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