Seeking Therapy in the South Asian Community

Family members sometimes have trouble supporting or fully understanding how debilitating mental health challenges can be. In some South Asian communities, an individual's lack of motivation may be viewed as mere laziness, and sad feelings as self-indulgent. A common cultural factor is the high value placed on inner strength and forbearance in many South Asian cultures. In the South Asian community, "guilt culture" can help maintain a collectivist framework. These were the words one of my young clients, Simran (note: all names have been changed to protect individuals’ identities), heard from her family when she told them she was seeking therapy. Albeit with good intentions, South Asian families often view the decision to seek therapy as a reflection of their failure to address their loved one’s problems at home. “You are, Ma,” Simran responded, “but I've been feeling down and I need an outlet for my feelings.” Her mother’s reaction... Read more

New figures for autism prevalence in China point to previous neglect

New figures for autism prevalence in China point to previous neglect

About 1 in every 100 children in China has autism, a prevalence on par with that in the United Kingdom and somewhat shy of that in the United States , according to a new study 1 . The findings suggest that autism is more common in China than previously thought.Autism was not recognized in China until 1982. Awareness has improved since, but many parents and doctors overlook autism traits such as speech delays because of a cultural belief that bright children speak late, says lead researcher Sophia Xiang Sun, a psychologist at the Star Kay Bridge Research Centre for Children with Autism in Xiamen, China.Previous prevalence estimates accounted only for children with severe autism, who tend to be enrolled in special-education schools. “People didn’t take autism seriously,” Sun says.Millions of autistic children in China go without needed services, behavioral therapy and educational support. The new numbers may help clinicians identify... Read more

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