Views & reviews
Where are the South Asian psychiatric patients?
I find psychiatry a fascinating part of medicine, but one which has a lot of stigma and discrimination attached. I started my psychiatry placement wondering if this stigma is as prevalent as it used to be.
The placement was at a regional specialist psychiatric unit, with all the different specialist services available for psychiatric illnesses, from forensics and eating disorders to old age psychiatry. Towards the end of my placement, one thing stood out that I found strange: I had not encountered a single patient of South Asian origin, not a single inpatient or outpatient. My observation amazed me but did not surprise me. Why?
In my experience South Asian culture is different and is renowned for its emphasis on tradition and honour. Family pride, reputation, respect, and credibility are at the forefront of this culture. However, is the health of an individual