last updated August 22nd,
and is permanently morphing...
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In psychological anthropology
(specifically, ethnopsychiatry), "culture-bound syndromes" (CBSes) are
recognized as unusual or abnormal behavioral episodes that appear to be
"madness" or illness to outside observers, but are in fact carefully regulated,
culturally governed outlets of social tension. Perhaps the most famous
case is that of the Amok frenzy of Pacific Islanders, which involves a
great deal of simulated (and sometimes actual) aggression toward family,
friends, and neighbors. Other cases include the ataque de nervios (nervous
attack) and susto (soul loss) reported by Latin Americans, and the piblotoq
of the Eskimos, which may include episodes of tearing clothing, running
about aimlessly, glossolalia,
and coprolalia. There has even been some argument as to whether the 'universal'
DSM-III diagnostic category, "schizophrenia," might in fact be a Western,
folk, culture-bound syndrome.
_The Ghost in the Machine:
and the Matrix_
by Steve Mizrach (Seeker1)