Psychiatry with the Aborigines of West Malaysia

J. David Kinzie and J. Malcolm Bolton, American Journal of Psychiatry, July 1973, 130, 769-773.

Abstract: The authors report on a year’s experience with psychiatric patients from aborigine tribes in West Malaysia. Of the 20 cases seen, all but one were psychotic and 16 were also classified as schizophrenic. Withdrawal and running away were common symptom patterns. Only one patient came from a deep jungle area; the others were from fringe areas where sociocultural disruption was more evident. Because of a good preexisting medical service, these patients were easily managed in a hospital that emphasized their own culture. Follow-up in the jungle or villages by aborigine staff members and the use of long-acting injectable phenothiazines resulted in continued improvement of the patients.