What is the role of cultural influences in the diagnosis of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Updated: Oct 07, 2019
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Answer

Cultural influences on the presentation of depression can be significant. The practitioner should be aware of differences in the expression of psychological distress in patients from other countries or cultures.

Culturally distinctive experiences (e.g., fear of being hexed or bewitched; experience of visitations from the dead) should be distinguished from actual hallucinations or delusions that may be part of a major depressive episode with psychotic features.


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