Cultural Considerations in the Diagnosis and Classification of Depression: The Hispanic Perspective

  • Renato D. Alarcón
Part of the Issues in Children's and Families' Lives book series (IICL, volume 8)

Personal Journey: Renato D. Alarcón

It was a sunny weekend afternoon in Atlanta. Dressed in a T-shirt and blue-jeans I was cutting the grass and enjoying the exercise. Suddenly, the lawn mower got stuck, and I did the most naïve (or stupid) thing one can imagine: without turning the engine off, I put my hand under the blades attempting to clear the path. A sharp pain only meant that in an instant, two fingernails had been “erased,” and one finger severely fractured. My wife took me to the Emory Hospital ER (I was professor and vice-chair of psychiatry at the time). The radiology technician took a look at the X-rays of my hand. Then he looked at me –brown, sweaty, dusty, with a bloodied hand wrapped in gauze: “Sorry man,” he said “you’ll have to change your line of work, no more cutting the grass, get a safer job. Perhaps you can learn to make hamburgers or tortillas at McDonald’s.”

I had decided to be a psychiatrist early in my high school years. When I was 11, my father gave me, a...


Domestic Violence Mental Health Professional Suicide Rate Hispanic Population Cultural Formulation 
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© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Professor of Psychiatry, Mayo Medical School and Medical Director of the Psychiatric Teaching Unit, Mayo Medical Research CenterRochester

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