The contrasting ways Chinese people and Westerners express symptoms could point to distinct experiences of the same disorder.
Just after lunchtime, on a blistering summer day in Washington, D.C., cultural psychologist Yulia Chentsova-Dutton is showing me the stars. They’re on her computer screen at Georgetown University, and labeled disturbingly: insomnia, anhedonia, headache, social withdrawal, chronic pain, and more. Each star represents a somatic or emotional sensation linked to depression.
Chentsova-Dutton’s father was an astronomer. She’s found a way to use what he studied, the night sky, to understand her own research: how culture can influence the way we feel and express emotion. If you look up, there are thousands of stars, she says. You can’t possibly take them all in. So, each culture has invented schemas to remember them by, constellations. She pushes a button, and several of the depression stars are connected by a thin yellow line. To read more from SHAYLA LOVE, click here.