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March 31, 2016 | Author: | Posted in anthropology, life sciences

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down Page 1

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

A Hmong Child , Her Doctors and American Tragedy

A Psychological Analysis


America is known for having a culturally diverse society . The Hmong Group is among the population of the said society . In the story entitled The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down , which was written by Anne Fadiman , the main character came from the said ethnic group . The Hmong ethnic tribe is known for their knowledge and practice of traditional [banner_entry_middle]

and primitive medical processes in healing their sick members . Based upon their beliefs of spirits , they usually create their medical observations on the patients and later on apply the practices they know are needed for the patient ‘s recovery . The question is that since their traditional practices have been proven effective for many members of their group for the past years of their history , does it guarantee that their ways of healing the patients that they treat are better than that of medical processes ? Is there any possibility that the medical practices of the modern medicine be integrated with the cultural ways of the ethnic groups and still gain better results on the patient ‘s recovery later on ? How effective could the said kind of medical processes be when it comes to actual application ? These questions with regards to culture and its effect and influence towards medication would be the main of this and the subject of the discussions that would follow

About The Case

The story , as written by Anne Fadiman involves a young child who is afflicted with a serious illness . The girl ‘s name is Lia , a preschooler who has been experiencing developmental

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delay since she was in her younger years . As she grew up , she developed more serious health problems such as major seizures every now and then accompanied by several series of severe convulsions and cerebral Anoxia Because of the said situation , the young child was profoundly impaired and physically incapable of doing the normal things that a young child naturally does . She was not playful and she had fewer chances when she used to react on the situations that are happening around her

The parents of Lia , who were traditional Hmongs , believe in their cultural medication . Hence , whenever she passes out , or looses her consciousness , they claim that it is simply because she has `lost her soul ‘ and thus needs to receive ritual practices to be able to regain her own self . For several times of having seizures , the ethnic elder of their tribe has tried reviving the young girl through ceremonial ministries and application of herbal medicines which were prayed over for her benefit

Upon knowing this , the medical experts who used to handle Lia ‘s case before she went home believed that the further developments of her illness towards becoming worse was caused by the neglect of her parents in… [banner_entry_footer]


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