Iran, How a Culture Develops Pathology with Dr. Effie Miri Hot
Dr. Effie Miri is an Iranian-born psychologist whose memoir, Iran, How a Culture Develops Pathology, reflects on the deep-seated psychopathologies she has observed among Iranians that stem from a patriarchical and fear-based interpretation of Islam.
Effie Miri’s memoir describes her personal experiences as a mother, student, immigrant and psychotherapist, navigating two different cultures. Her story presents the experience of thousands of Iranians who left the country due to the revolution. While symptoms like anxiety, depression, aggression, fear, shame, and guilt are shared by all human beings, she believes that the Iranian culture of today is more likely to breed fear, insecurity, self-doubt and dishonesty in a people she lovingly describes as sharp, ambitious, and hardworking. The different treatment of boys and girls, and the religious orientation of the culture have, she believes, created deep psychological pathology. Miri’s book is not meant to be religious or political, but as Iranian people are in essence, religious, the conversation must include Islam. Iran, she argues, has had distorted, fear-based versions of Islam imposed by many past and present religious leaders of questionable qualifications, impacting the mental health of its people.