Saturday Summary: Unusual phobias, British Parliamentarians, and Crowing

– Posted in: Opinion

It’s been a great week here at Anxiety Central!

There have been two (long-promised) firsts: a book review and the answer to a reader question

And two posts are on their way to being among the most popular ever:

Today’s Saturday treats include a report of cultural differences in reporting mental health issues. Also, a hilarious video from Israel about a fear management group therapy session.

One in five British parliamentarians suffers from a mental illness

One in five British parliamentarians suffers from a mental illness caused by the stress in their lives, according to a recent confidential survey. According to the rules, Ministers of Parliament have to give up their seats for life if they are found to be mentally ill for six months. Those questioned in the survey said they feared disclosing their struggles because of stigma, discrimination and the fear of losing their seats.

Read the entire story from The Independent , “One in five MP’s suffers from stress-related mental illness.”

Cultural differences and mental illnesses

There is a good article posted on July 15, 2008, on Science Daily, about the cultural differences between East-Asian and North American expression of depression symptoms. East-Asians emphasize the physical symptoms, while North Americans make more complaints about the psychological symptoms.

This is a subject that I have often wondered about. There are many implications for mental health care in the United States, given the mix of so many cultures in the population. What do people of Hispanic origin say about their mental health problems when they go to the doctor? Irish origin? Egyptian? Congolese? I am almost certain that doctors and mental health professionals don’t have a clue about this, given the paucity of studies on the subject.

I have seen no similar study of Anxiety Disorders, but I would imagine that the same would hold true. People in East-Asian cultures with Generalized Anxiety Disorder might emphasize the fatigue and muscle tension, while North Americans may complain of uncontrollable worrying and concentration problems.

Unusual phobias

There are many phobias out there, some of them quite unusual. It seems that if there is something to fear, there’s a word for it! One of the best and most complete lists of phobias I’ve found is The Phobia List.

Ed Sanderson, of Ed’s Health Tips sent me a very funny video from the Israeli sitcom Kzarim. It’s setting is a fear management group therapy session. Fortunately, none of the fears of the participants are on any phobia lists!

Crowing and/or tooting my own horn!

Allow me to crow a little, please! The first post on this blog was June 25, 2008, so it’s been going for not quite 8 weeks. In that time the blog has had over 2,000 visitors who viewed about 4,000 pages. That’s pretty good for a new site not touting the foibles of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton!

You can find a list of the most popular posts in the right sidebar. Also take a look at the “Sitemap” tab, which lists all the posts on this blog. The posts with over 150 readers were:

What do you think? 

  • Have you had any experiences relating to cultural differences in the reporting of mental health problems?
  • Did you find the video insulting or just funny?
  • Should I toot my own horn, or just shut up about it?

As always, your comments are welcome!

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