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Seize the Moment Podcast

Sep 24, 2023

On episode 189, we welcome Roy Richard Grinker to discuss the cultural differences of conceptions of mental illness, the WEIRD model of mental health and its limitations in helping us understand it, the false dichotomy of the social/cultural and biological models of psychological disorders, the limits and benefits of using the DSM, how the model of neurodivergence doesn’t negate the existence of emotional struggles, Roy’s grandfather undergoing treatment with Sigmund Freud and why he considered him to be a poor psychotherapist, how Nepali concepts of mental illnesses focus more on their physical elements and why this affects treatment, and the promise of epigenetics in helping to treat trauma-related, generational disorders.

Roy Richard Grinker is professor of anthropology, international affairs, and human sciences at the George Washington University. He is a cultural anthropologist specializing in ethnicity, nationalism, and psychological anthropology, with topical expertise in autism, Korea, and sub-Saharan Africa. He is also the director of GW's Institute for Ethnographic Research  and editor-in-chief of the journal Anthropological Quarterly. He is the author of several books, including Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism. His newest book is called Nobody's Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness.

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