L'Information Psychiatrique


History of insanity in Martinique: Origins and current evolution Volume 79, issue 6, Juin 2003

Assistant, Psychologue clinicien, Praticien Hospitalier pharmacien, Praticien Hospitalier psychiatre CHS de Colson, BP 631, 97261 Fort-de-France, Martinique. E-mail : pedo.hpdjsasi.fr

Like many elements of Caribbean life, the experience of psychic suffering is a composite made up of contributions from various cultures. The European concept of mental illness came to mix in with other conceptions of psychic disorders which, imported from South America, Africa or India, equally call on the notion of suffering and care, but also contain magical or sacred references rooting them in West Indian culture. It is not always easy to determine the origin of these beliefs, but they are still very much alive and we will endeavour to give an insight into their current status.