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10.4: Culture-Bound Disorders
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- Categorization as a disease in the culture.
- Widespread familiarity in the culture.
- Complete lack of familiarity or misunderstanding of the condition to people in other cultures.
- No objectively demonstrable biochemical or tissue abnormalities.
- The condition is usually recognized and treated by the folk medicine of the culture.
- Dhatsyndrome is a condition found in the cultures of the Indian subcontinent in which male patients report that they suffer from premature ejaculation or impotence, and believe that they are passing semen in their urine.
- Zar is the term for a demon or spirit assumed to possess individuals, mostly women, and to cause discomfort or illness. This condition is found in the cultures of the Horn of Africa and adjacent regions of the Middle East.
- Susto is a cultural illness primarily among Latin American cultures. It is described as a condition of being frightened and “chronic somatic suffering stemming from emotional trauma or from witnessing traumatic experiences lived by others.”