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ISSN : 2233-6710(Print)
ISSN : 2384-2121(Online)
Journal of Asia Pacific Counseling Vol.14 No.1 pp.1-26

The Perception of Psychosis among Young Adults in Southeast Asia: A Singaporean Perspective

Pawel D. Mankiewicz1, Wing S. Kam2
1Clinical Psychology Programme and Clinical & Health Psychology Centre, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore, Singapore
2Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Corresponding Author
Pawel D. Mankiewicz, National University of Singapore, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Kent Ridge Campus, Block AS4, 9 Arts Link, Room 03-25, 117570, Singapore.
Acknowledgment: Ethical approval was granted by the Departmental Ethics Review Committee (DERC) at the National University of Singapore (NUS), which was subsequently endorsed by the NUS Institutional Review Board (IRB), reference code 2021-September-16. Our research has conformed to the Declaration of Helsinki and all participants provided an informed written consent to take part in the study. The authors have had no known conflict of interest.


Psychosis is a complex mental health condition that may involve experiences of hallucinations, delusional beliefs, high levels of emotional distress, and considerable disruption to daily life. Individuals with this condition experience greater levels of public stigmatisation and discrimination compared to other mental health difficulties. Particularly in collectivistic Asian cultures, those with psychosis often experience social exclusion and internalized shame. To explore the specificity of psychosis-related attitudes in Southeast Asia, this study investigated the perception of such conditions among young adults in Singapore. Qualitative methodology was employed and semi-structured interviews were conducted with study participants. Verbatim data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis embedded in a transparent reflexive approach. Five superordinate themes emerged, as follows: individual perceptions of people with psychosis, social attitudes and behavior towards people with psychosis, individual reactions towards psychosis, perceived causes of psychosis, and sources of knowledge about psychosis. Cultural implications are discussed and practical indications for counsellors are also considered.