Isaac Scientific Publishing

Psychology Research and Applications

Schizophrenia, Culture, and Culture-Bound Syndromes

Download PDF (190 KB) PP. 1 - 13 Pub. Date: March 31, 2021

DOI: 10.22606/pra.2021.31001


  • Kevin Volkan*
    Department of Psychology, California State University Channel Islands, Camarillo, CA, United States; Graduate Medical Education Program, Community Memorial Health System, Ventura, CA, United States


Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness that affects people all around the world. It presents in many different contexts, across geographic boundaries, and in different ways. Rates of schizophrenia seem generally to be the same regardless of geographical location, though there is some evidence that those in developed nations have a higher incidence of the disorder. Also, immigrants who relocate to areas where their culture has little, or no representation are at more risk for schizophrenia. While the prevalence of schizophrenia is similar around the world, the presentation of the disorder can vary widely, depending on the cultural, religious, and supernatural beliefs native to specific areas. Examples of varying types of presentation of schizophrenia, including culture-bound disorder variants, can give insight into the ways in which people from across the world make sense of this devastating disease, and ways in which they attempt to treat it.


schizophrenia, culture-bound syndromes, Windigo psychosis, Qi Gong psychosis, Amafufunyana, Saora disorder


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