Culture Bound Syndromes

Today I have been studying Culture Bound Syndromes and a few of them are really bizarre. I couldn’t help but post them on my blog 😀

1.) Dhat; mainly occurs in Indian-Hindu cultures.

This is when people hold the belief that semen is leaking out of their body and taking away their power. This leads to feelings of exhaustion, weakness, and lethargy.

On first appearance it may just look like these people are completely mad, but (this is what i find really interesting) they may not be as culture bound as it first appears.  If we take into consideration that, according to my textbook, in Indian cultures semen is thought to be produced in the blood, and is seen as a symbol of energy. It could be the underlying disorder is depression, one of the symptoms being loss of energy, and it is just being expressed differently by another culture!

2.) Koro; mainly occurs in Chinese cultures

This is the when people believe  that their penis is shrinking, and will eventually withdraw into their abdomen killing them! Obviously this results in extreme anxiety, and apparently they take countermeasures to stop this process; an example of which is tying objects, such as weights and chopsticks to their penis… OW! haha.

Well, urm, I don’t really have an explanation for that one. 😛