ⓘ Culture-bound syndromes ..

Culture-bound syndrome

In medicine and medical anthropology, a culture-bound syndrome, culture-specific syndrome, or folk illness 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. The term culture-bound syndrome was included in the fourth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders which also includes a list of the most common culture-bound conditions. C ...


Amafufunyana is an unspecified "culture-bound" syndrome named by the traditional healers of the Xhosa people that relates to claims of demonic possession due to members of the Xhosa people exhibiting aberrant behavior and psychological concerns. After study, it was discovered that this term is directed toward people suffering from varying types of schizophrenia. A similar term, ukuthwasa, is used to refer to positive types of claimed possession, though this event also involves those suffering from schizophrenia. It has also found cultural usage among some groups of Zulu peoples. The direct ...

Anorexia mirabilis

Anorexia mirabilis, also known as holy anorexia or inedia prodigiosa or colloquially as fasting girls, is an eating disorder, similar to that of anorexia nervosa, that was common, but not restricted to the Middle Ages in Europe, largely affecting Catholic nuns and religious women. Self-starvation was common among religious women, as a way to imitate the suffering of Jesus in his torments during the Passion, as women were largely restricted to causing themselves voluntary pain by fasting, whereas holy men experienced suffering through physical punishment, voluntary poverty, and celibacy.

Anorexia nervosa

Anorexia nervosa, often referred to simply as anorexia, is an eating disorder, characterized by low weight, food restriction, fear of gaining weight, and a strong desire to be thin. Many people with anorexia see themselves as overweight even though they are, in fact, underweight. They often deny that they have a problem with low weight. They weigh themselves frequently, eat small amounts, and only eat certain foods. Some exercise excessively, force themselves to vomit, or use laxatives to produce weight loss. Complications may include osteoporosis, infertility, and heart damage, among othe ...

Ataque de nervios

Ataque de nervios is a psychological syndrome mostly associated, in the United States, with Spanish-speaking people from the Caribbean, although commonly identified among all Iberian-descended cultures. Ataque de nervios translates into English as "attack of nerves", although it is used in its common cultural form to refer to a specific pattern of symptoms, rather than being a general term for feeling nervous. The condition appears in Appendix I of the revised fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a culture-bound syndrome.

Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder

Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, previously known as selective eating disorder, is a type of eating disorder in which people eat only within an extremely narrow repertoire of foods. This avoidance may be based on appearance, smell, taste, texture, brand, presentation, or a past negative experience with the food, to a point that may lead to nutritional deficiencies or other negative health outcomes.



Iichaa is a culture-specific syndrome in the Navajo culture. It causes behavior similar to amok, a syndrome found in other cultures.