chapter  17
11 Pages

Race, culture and psychiatry in South Africa


This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. Suffering and illness are recognized as part of the human condition the world over. Also, there is no doubt that individuals affected by misfortunes require care, help and treatment and/or support for illness or for the alleviation of suffering. And psychiatry and its co-disciplines in clinical psychology, counselling and psychotherapy have developed systems that attempt to address these realities. The author suggest that a psychiatry of the future will maintain 'illness' as the basis for understanding many human problems of a personal nature but illness will be seen as the result of a variety of influences in dynamic balance/imbalance - an illness model different from psychiatry. Different societies will have variations on what may be, eventually, several universal themes within psychiatric theory; and culture will be an integral part of the way that illness will be defined and recognized in any particular setting.