7.3.10

Culture-Bound

Culture-bound syndrome:

Culture-specific syndrome or culture-bound syndrome is a combination of psychiatric and somatic Symptoms that are considered to be a recognizable disease only within a specific society or culture. There are no objective biochemical or structural alterations of body organs or functions, and the disease is not recognized in other cultures. While a substantial portion of mental disorders, in the way they are manifested and experienced, are at least partially conditioned by the culture in which they are found, some disorders are more culture-specific than others. (wikipedia)

Examples:


Taijin Kyofusho: A form of social anxiety wherein the sufferer dreads any type of social contact, is afraid of eye contact, fears harming people, has a phobia of blushing, a phobia of deformed bodies and a phobia of body odor. Taijin Kyofusho affects 10-20% of the Japanese population, and is more prevalent within males.


Ghost Sickness: A psychotic disorder of Navajo origin wherin the sufferer experiences a pervasive feeling of terror, loss of appetite, nightmares, hallucinations, weakness and a feeling of suffocation.


Piblokto: Also known as “Arctic Hysteria”, appears exclusively among the Inuit peoples of the Arctic Circle. Most often seen among women, symptoms include uncontrolled behaviour, running around naked, echolalia, depression, coprophagia and so forth.

further reading.

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