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Can shamans help treat depression?

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Air date: September 29, 2013

Host: Barbara Lewis

Research Medical History
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Interview: Michael Holtz, field producer and journalist.



A 2010 study found that the Hmong people are twice as likely to be affected by mental illness as the average American. The Hmong are based in Southeast Asia, but their largest population outside Asia is in Minnesota. Despite their predisposition to mental illness, many Hmong do not believe in mental illness and reject conventional Western treatment. Instead of being diagnosed with depression by a physician, many Hmong will seek out a shaman to see if there has been a loss of soul. Field producer Michael Holtz explores the methods of a modern-day shaman and how conventional medicine may be embracing holistic treatments for mental illness.

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