Thursday, May 10, 2007

Mental health and physical illness in Cambodia

Mental distress often manifests itself as an undiagnosed physical illness, something that psychologists call somatic symptoms. A study of 268 people in Cambodia compared people who exhibited unexplained physical symptoms with healthy controls. The researchers found an increased incidence of traumatic events, depression, anxiety and panic in those who had somatic symptoms. Those who had suffered under Pol Pot's regime and the subsequent civil war showed more somatic symptoms and panic while those who had endured domestic violence suffered from increased levels of depression, anxiety and panic.

Perry, Christopher T., Oum, Phalyka and Gray, Sheila Hafter - The body remembers : somatic symptoms in traumatized Khmer Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry Spring 2007, 35(1), 77-84

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