It also included the issue of the so-called culture-bound syndromes, sets of psychiatric symptoms and dysfunctional behaviors that are expressed in a particular way in a particular culture and that may or may not be related to other mental disorders already described in other countries/cultures (9).
Ataques de nervios in Puerto Rico: culture-bound syndrome or popular illness?
Emotional experiences that affect mental health and illness manifest in distinctive forms across cultural contexts as culture-bound syndromes (Chiao, 2015), which refer to patterns of maladaptive behavior that occur within a local context and are distinct from non-culture-bound syndromes (Lee et al., 2009).
Hwa-byung (HB; see model in Figure 1 developed by Choi, Pang, & Kim, 2006) is a Korean culture-bound syndrome that translates into English as an anger disorder.
There is also information on cultural expectations for professional dress codes, acceptable interactions between men and women, and culture-bound syndromes
. An appendix describes various illnesses and physical, mental, and emotional conditions and gives notes on ethnic populations most affected by them, from alcoholism to zar (spirit possession).
There are many culture-bound syndromes
, for example, some of which are mentioned in the classification systems, and more new ones are fast emerging.
The DSM-IV-TR includes an outline for cultural formulations designed to assist counselors in assessing the impact of clients' cultural contexts and, also, a glossary of 25 culture-bound syndromes
for use with diverse clients.
The clear absence in the DSM of culture-specific syndromes or culture-bound syndromes related to macrolevel issues--such as acculturation adjustments, migration and immigration trauma, ethnic-racial identity confusion, or PTSD due to socially sanctioned racism or violence (Velasquez et al., 1993)--can reduce such experiences to invisibility if one adheres only to the DSM system of assessment.
For example, although the DSM-IV (APA, 1994) includes a glossary of 25 culture-bound syndromes for use with culturally and racially diverse clients, this is by no means an exhaustive list and is limited when used for the assessment and diagnosis of people of color.
Some of the most common culture-bound syndromes described among Latinos include empacho (stomach ailment), susto (fright), caida de mollera (fallen fontanelle), mal de ojo (evil eye), bilongo/hechizo (hex), ataques de nervios (attack of the nerves), and envidia (envy) (Spicer, 1977; Trotter, 1981).
Many Latinos prefer spiritual healers, rather than a physician, to treat culture-bound syndromes because a physician does not have the knowledge or the understanding to treat the syndromes (Applewhite, 1995; Rivera, Lucero, & Salazar, 1979).
In some cases, men's health disorders, such as benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), can be characterized as "culture-bound syndromes
," given differential (and often profitable) emphasis in diagnosis and treatment by doctors and pharmaceutical manufacturers (McDade, 1996).