ASSESSMENT OF PAIN SYMPTOMS IN TERMS OF CULTURE
Gonenli Toker, Sinem
Goksan Yavuz, Burcu
Karamustafalioglu, Oguz K.
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The common feature of somatoform disorders is the presence of somatic symptoms that cannot be explained by a general medical condition. Pain disorder is also among the somatoform disorders. Pain is defined as an unpleasant sensation occuring as a consequence of a disease, injury or an organic pathology. Breuer and Freud, in their studies on hysteria, suggested that pain could be a manifestation of a psychological problem. The lifetime prevalence is not precisely known. In the Turkish mental health study 12 month incidence of pain disorder is found to be % 11.3 among women , % 4.8 among men and % 8.4 in the general population. The cultural diversity of the mental illnesses particularly somatic symptoms is noticed. Traditions and belief systems influence the formation, presentation and the managemant of dissociative and somatoform symptoms. Types of somatic symptoms differ across the cultures. Higher rates of somatic complaints are found in South America, Asia, particularly in developing countries. The seperation between physical and emotional experience occurs precisely in Western countires. Thus somatic symptoms are rarely seen in Western culture.