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November 2022

Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol. 1993 Nov; 43(11): 396-401.

[Manifestations of somatization in Nigerian patients--diagnostic attempts and therapeutic approaches]

Ebigbo PO.

Faculty of Health Sciences and Technology, College of Medicine University of Nigeria, Enugu/Nigeria.

Within the last decades transcultural psychiatry has been more and more concerned with culture-depending illness. A tendency to somatization and symbolism proofed to be of importance. In this study from Nigeria specific patterns of black Africa are presented. Special complaints such as the followings are part of different psychiatric disturbances: "heat in the body and in the head; crawling, heavy and biting sensations". In this paper the communicative aspects of these complaints are emphasized. The more difficult verbal communication is, especially among immigrants, the more important regression to body language becomes. It is not rare that these symptoms are part of the defense system. The content of the complaints must also be understood in the context of the specific educational rules of Nigeria where longstanding skin contact in mothering increases the cathexes of the body.

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