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Buddhist Mind and Matter
Open AccessArticle

From Sadness to Madness: Tibetan Perspectives on the Causation and Treatment of Psychiatric Illness

School of History, Archaeology and Religion, Cardiff University, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF1 3EU, UK
Religions 2014, 5(2), 444-458; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel5020444
Received: 9 April 2014 / Revised: 7 May 2014 / Accepted: 8 May 2014 / Published: 15 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Science and Religion: Buddhist and Hindu Perspectives)
Buddhist-derived “mindfulness” practices are currently enjoying popularity amongst both the lay population and health professionals in the West, especially in the treatment of psychiatric conditions such as depression. This popularity leads to questions regarding how people in diverse Buddhist communities might conceptualise psychiatric illness and healing. This paper explores perspectives on psychiatric illness within a Tibetan Buddhist community in North India, focusing on the role of “emotions” in causation and treatment which was frequently discussed by informants. Comparisons between biomedical perspectives on emotional “disturbance” as a symptom of psychiatric illness and Tibetan conceptions of emotions as causal or contributory factors in a number of psychiatric illnesses are discussed. Three case studies are described to illustrate some of these common perspectives, examine how they are reflected in health-seeking behavior, and consider comparisons between the two systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: Tibet; psychiatry; madness; Buddhism Tibet; psychiatry; madness; Buddhism
MDPI and ACS Style

Deane, S. From Sadness to Madness: Tibetan Perspectives on the Causation and Treatment of Psychiatric Illness. Religions 2014, 5, 444-458. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel5020444

AMA Style

Deane S. From Sadness to Madness: Tibetan Perspectives on the Causation and Treatment of Psychiatric Illness. Religions. 2014; 5(2):444-458. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel5020444

Chicago/Turabian Style

Deane, Susannah. 2014. "From Sadness to Madness: Tibetan Perspectives on the Causation and Treatment of Psychiatric Illness" Religions 5, no. 2: 444-458. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel5020444

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