Culture-related Depression in Taiwanese Women and the Application of The BodyMind Approach TM
This research explores the connection between modernisation and depression in women in Taiwan from two perspectives, those of modernisation and individualisation, and the duality between body and mind. Many researches indicate that in a personally oriented society, individualisation can be connected to depression. However, can this assumption explain the increase of depression in Chinese culture, which is more socially oriented such as it is in Taiwan? In addition, after the abolition of Martial Law in 1987 in Taiwan, personally oriented values have developed rapidly. Can psychological conflict between personal and social orientations relate to depression, and can depression be associated with less resilient individuals regarding this conflict? The duality between body and mind is also hugely accentuated in modernisation. It might generate difficulty in the treatment of depression, because depression normally combines both psychological and physical symptoms such as medically unexplained symptoms (MUS). The BodyMind Approach™ (TBMA), which is based on the union between body and mind, is an effective treatment for MUS and depression in England but it has not been practised in Taiwan as yet. Is it also effective in Taiwan? Moreover, is it possible that psychological and physical characteristics represent each other? If so, are there any movement characteristics for women with depression and MUS? Personal construct psychology (PCP) is adopted as the methodology and methods, and the participants are women with depression and MUS in Taiwan. Results from this study suggest that women in Taiwan who have a higher personal orientation are less likely to suffer MUS and depression. High personal orientation might help them to confront social pressures. However, conflict and tight construing are not correlated to depression. Moreover, TBMA is found more effective for decreasing symptom distress in MUS than reducing depression. Furthermore, it was found that there were different movement qualities between women with depression and those without depression, and these movement qualities changed over the course of the TBMA intervention. This research provides contributions regarding the effectiveness of TBMA on depression for women with MUS and an understanding of the connection between modernisation and MUS/depression for women in Taiwan, and supports a dialogue between Western and Chinese cultures.
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