Culture Bound Syndrome: Koro And Windigo

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Culture Bound Syndrome: Koro and Windigo


Cultural Bound Syndrome: Koro5

Cultural Bound Syndrome: Windigo7

Healing Traditions or a Holistic Approach to Managing Koro and Windigo10




Culture Bound Syndrome: Koro and Windigo


The aim of this research paper is to discuss Koro and Windigo cultural bound syndromes. Cultural syndrome is a term of medical anthropology syndrome referred to a psychosomatic which is recognized as a disease that affects a society or specific cultures. Cross-cultural studies and research have indicated that there are several “culture-bound” (CB) phenomena/effects or behaviors that seem to be peculiar from the perspective of people in some of the more advanced or developed regions of the world, especially in the Western countries. The disease is not present in other social and cultural groups other than the place where it has been detected, although there may be experiences that have similarities.

The concept of syndrome specific to a given culture, culture-bound syndrome is defined in the DSM IV as the repeated occurrence of aberrant behavior patterns and experiences disturbing specific region and may be related or unrelated to a diagnostic category. This definition seems clear, however, it is not without many theoretical and practical problems. For example, some entities listed as culture-specific syndromes (SPC) do not belong to the scope of the disease, disorder or even in the eyes of Aboriginal and vice versa. It is therefore useful to provide a grid of reading these syndromes which enables a reasoned analysis (Rogler, 1999).

Koro Syndrome is a mental illness that affects people and is given by a popular belief. Men who suffer, think that the size of their penis is reducing continuously and are convinced that it retracts into the abdomen and it passes directly die. Symptoms are suffering episodes of severe panic states that make want to stop the shrinkage of the penis, and do so by acupuncture, or by the member pesos. It mainly affects men, but women can also do it, then the fear of retraction is applied to the nipples or labia (Chowdhury, 1994).

While on the other hand, windigo is a rare and controversial CB syndrome, found mainly among North American Indian tribes in the subarctic region, and is characterized by depression, suicidal/homicidal thoughts, and a compulsive desire to eat human flesh; if the afflicted individual does turn to cannibalism, he/she is considered by the culture to be a monster and is ostracized or put to death.

The American Psychiatric Association states that the term cultural syndrome refers to an experience problems or aberrant behavior that lead to characteristic restriction to a particular cultural or social group and that may be linked or not to the diagnostic category DSM- IV . Many of these are considered as evils or afflictions and most have local names. In contrast, cultural syndromes are limited to specific societies or culture areas and keep some consistency in repetitive experiences and problems passing the victim and to facilitate observation.

Cultural Bound Syndrome: Koro

Koro is a syndrome observed mainly in Asia, consisting of anxiety related to the mass belief ...