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How does the death conscious culture of Iran affect experiences of depression?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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  • Moujan Mirdamadi
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/03/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Issue number1
Volume43
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)56–76
Publication statusPublished
Early online date9/08/18
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper is divided into two parts. First I argue for the existence of a death-conscious culture in Iran, traceable in religious and literary texts, and manifested strongly in the discourse following the Iran-Iraq war. I then look at how this culture influences articulations and experiences of depression as felt by Iranian patients. Adopting a phenomenological perspective and drawing on empirical data, I show how death-consciousness, as a point of cultural divergence between the UK and Iran, can be used to account for some of the phenomenologically significant cultural variations in the experience of depression. These include attitudes towards suicide, the significance of feelings of hopelessness, and the existence of a sense of absurdity among Iranian patients.