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CHAPTER 10 – MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH Hikikomori = social withdrawal o First appears among Japanese students at junior high and high schools when they decide no longer want to go to school sometimes in response to bullying incident or to have much social interaction with anyone; typical response is to shut off from the outside world and spend days reading books, playing video games, or watching TV o 3 times more common in boys than girls, especially among oldest sons in families; today about 1.2 million Japanese; 1 man in 10 in his late teens or early twenties is living as a recluse Explanation for causes of hikikomori o Reaction to extreme pressure from parents to do well in school o Relative homogeneity of Japanese society so that people who do not fit in can only feel comfortable in the isolation of their homes o Extremely low birthrate in Japan so many children grow up without much socializing influence from siblings o Product of a particular kind of parenting style, a reaction to the pressures of being the oldest son in a family with a demanding father and an over-indulging mother Hikikomori is particular to Japanese culture o Above hypothesized causes are less likely to be present elsewhere o Most Japanese parents would not take such a direct approach; doing so would only make matters worse, perhaps driving sufferers into violence or suicide o Symptoms do not match any other set of symptoms that is published in the DSM-IV (diagnostic manual of American Psychiatric Association used in West); do not fit into a single category and are diagnosed with a wide range of different conditions including social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and schizophrenia o In no other culture is the prevalence nearly as high as it is in Japan Cultures vary in ways that parents deal with their parents, and in particular, how they deal with a child who is behaving inappropriately Mental Health What is a Psychological Disorder? Disorders are usually defined with respect to behaviours that are rare and cause some kind of impairment to the individual, although there are many exceptions to this general pattern Alcohol abuse is considered a disorder but not that rare Dhat syndrome = South Asian; belief among young men that they are leaking semen which causes them to be morbidly anxious as semen is largely viewed by them to be a source of vitality; semen is a very precious commodity and an excessive loss of it is feared to result in serious illness; associated with guilt and anxiety among its victims about having indulged in certain disapproved sexual acts that have apparently caused them to spring a more enduring task o North Americans tend not to view semen as a precious resource, key source of vitality, or bulwark against disease, they likely wouldn’t be all that anxious about losing it o Because norms regarding appropriate sexual behaviour differ between South Asia and North America, most North American males would likely not feel much guilt at the thought
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This note was uploaded on 01/16/2012 for the course PSYC 307 taught by Professor Stevenheine during the Winter '11 term at The University of British Columbia.

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