, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 391-403

Anxiety disorders in Japan: A Review of The Japanese literature on Shinkeishitsu and taijinkyōfushī

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Abstract

As culture-bound syndromes, Japanese shinkeishitsu (“constitutional neurasthenia”) and taijinkyōfushō (“anthropophobia”) have received considerable attention in the Japanese literature. While these disorders are viewed as diagnostically distinct from Western psychiatric categories, recent studies by the Japanese suggest some affinity with Western social phobias, depression, and schizophrenia. The paper reviews this literature and offers suggestions for further cross-cultural research.

This paper was accepted for publication prior to the compilation of Volume 13, No. 2, “Neurasthenia in Asian Cultures.” Consequently it does not refer to the papers in that volume, several of which are very relevant to the discussion in this paper.