Susto

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Susto (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈsusto], Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈsuʃtu]) is a cultural illness primarily among Latin American cultures. It is described as a condition of "chronic somatic suffering stemming from emotional trauma or from witnessing traumatic experiences lived by others".

Symptoms[edit]

Among the indigenous peoples of Latin America, in which this illness is most common, susto may be conceptualized as a case of spirit attack.[1] Symptoms of susto are thought to include nervousness, anorexia, insomnia, listlessness, fever, depression, and diarrhea.[2]

Treatment[edit]

Treatments among indigenous people are natural. Some natural treatments to susto consist of using plants as medicine; sweating out the toxins; and massaging to encourage blood flow. Prayer is a big part of the treatment of susto. In addition to prayer, healing rituals are also used, some of which include sweeping and giving gifts.

Classification[edit]

Susto may be a culturally dependent variation of the symptoms of a panic attack, which is distinct from anxiety and depressive disorders.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Castillo, Richard (1997). Culture & Mental Illness: A Client-Centered Approach. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company
  2. ^ a b Razzouk D, Nogueira B, Mari Jde J (May 2011). "The contribution of Latin American and Caribbean countries on culture bound syndromes studies for the ICD-10 revision: key findings from a work in progress". Rev Bras Psiquiatr. 33 Suppl 1: S5–20. doi:10.1590/S1516-44462011000500003. PMID 21845335.

Further reading[edit]