Cultural aspects of morbid fears in Qatari women

  • M. Fakhr El-Islam
Original Paper


The contents of morbid fears are patterned by cultural factors that decide the nature of the objects of the fears. Common factors in Western cultures do not obtain in local culture, which provides other objects for morbidfears in predisposed individuals. In the muslim community in Qatar, after-death fears dominated panic attacks, agoraphobia was rare, social phobias mirrored shame rather than guilt about failure to fulfil socially accepted norms of social behaviour, and obsessional fears revolved around fears of failure to control devil-induced impulses to harm self or others. Hypochondriacal fears of disease thrived because somatically oriented physicians colluded with somatizing patients in an endless search for presumed organic aetiology. Generalized anxiety fears were not encountered independently of other morbid fears.


Public Health Social Behaviour Common Factor Cultural Factor Social Phobia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Fakhr El-Islam
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryHamad Medical CorporationDohaQatar

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