folk illness


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Related to folk illness: Culture-bound syndrome

illness

 [il´nes]
folk illness the experience of symptoms that are not identifiable with biomedical categories of disease; causes include natural forces, supernatural factors, interpersonal factors, and emotions. An example is susto, which is a Hispanic term for fright caused by a traumatic experience. Symptoms include listlessness, loss of appetite, and withdrawal. Curanderos (folk healers) treat the illness with prayers, rituals, and laying on of hands.
psychosomatic illness somatoform disorder.

folk illness

A disease or condition found only in specific societies, ethnic groups, or cultures. Often the culture has causal explanations for these illnesses, as well as preventive and treatment measures. Well-known examples are present in the Hispanic American culture (e.g., empacho, caida de mollera, mal de ojo, susto). These are diagnosed and treated by folk healers called curanderos. Some other examples of folk illnesses include amok and piblokto, though numerous other examples exist within multiple cultures. See: amok; piblokto
See also: illness
References in periodicals archive ?
Richard Omark, "Nervous Breakdown as a Folk Illness," Psychological Reports 47 (1980); Purdie and McLennon, "'After My Breakdown'.
Leigh should be more worried about being able to monitor the baby's symptoms of illness than the Mien therapy (the "head thrown back" symptom reported with the folk illness could become worrisome with a high fever).