Our expert says:
OK, z, firstly it absolutely is NOT contagious. Nobody can "catch" it. Strictly speaking, it is a culture-bound disorder, that is it is a sign of emotional distress expresed in a specific way acording to the beliefs of a particular culture, and is just not seen in that form in other cultures.
But basically, it is about the underlying emotional distress. It is best diagnosed by a shrink or doc who understands that set of cultural beliefs and respects them, but treatment is effective, and generally attends to the underlying emotional problems and stresses and distresses, and incorporates any other healing practices which are believed in by the same set of cultural beliefs.
Now, if your desk-mate is as you believe suffering from such a condition, is this what she believes, as well as you ? Is she seeking help ? What help is available to her ?
Probably it would be most useful to calmly discuss with her your concern that she doesn't seem well, and see if she can be persuaded to seek help from a suitable clinic or doc, to whom you can describe what you have noticed and your concerns, as well of course as her being able to expres her own point of view.
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