Cases that do not meet all the requirements are generally classified as koro-like symptoms or given a diagnosis of partial koro syndrome.  These forceful attempts often lead to injuries, sometimes death. Cases of this fear have been reported around the world in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the U.S. 3-24, This page was last edited on 12 January 2021, at 13:54. In many cases, treating the underlying condition also causes the koro symptoms to subside. Ethiopia. In addition to the specific symptoms of each mental disorder, children with a psychiatric illness can exhibit signs that are specific to their age and developmental status. Indigenous treatments for koro vary dramatically and are often influenced by current events. Block, MD, Can COVID-19 Cause Psychosis? Improvement in local economic conditions, associated with a better quality of life, is suggested to contribute to the fading of the episodic occurrences of koro. Females occasionally suffer from a variation of koro in which they believe that their nipples are retracting. Culture-bound syndromes are clinical presentation forms of symptoms that are culturally distinctive (Kirmayer, 2001). BDD is different from koro. , In addition to differentiating koro from body dysmorphic disorder, physicians also recommend that differential diagnosis separates koro from physical urological abnormalities. , In Taoism and traditional Chinese medicine, frequent ejaculation is regarded as detrimental to health, as semen is considered to be related to a man's vital energy, and hence excessive depletion of semen may lead to illness or death. , A physical examination should involve an assessment of overall health along with a detailed genital examination. , Genital-related neurosis, in which an individual has an overpowering belief that his or her genitalia are retracting and will disappear, despite the lack of any true longstanding changes to the genitals. significance to koro. Anorexia nervosa is a form of mental illness specific to: Western countries; Subjects. Some authors believe that the idea of death caused by the semen depletion resembles the idea of death caused by genital disappearance, although such linkage between koro and Taoism, which influences Chinese medicine to some degree, is only speculative. Frank Bures, "The Geography of Madness" (2016), Melville House Publishing, pp. , A koro epidemic struck Singapore in October 1967 for about ten days. Koro is an irrational perception that one's prominent sexual body parts are withdrawing into the body and subsequently being lost. There are many specific phobias. , Psychosexual conflicts, personality factors, and cultural beliefs are considered as being of etiological , The popularity of Chinese folklore also plays a role. ; 1998: 2120–43. Pain, tingling and other physical symptoms are common in koro but could also indicate an underlying physiological condition. Koro—The psychological disappearance of the penis. Did You Know That a Phobia of Chewing Gum Actually Exists?  The yin and yang theory proposes that an unbalanced loss of the yang humour produces genital shrinkage. The notion that mental illness arises from a combination or interaction of causes, ... Table 1, which draws on these various publications, is restricted to forms of risk for which relatively specific measures, largely targeted on individual prophylaxis, are at least potentially available, and is certainly not intended to be comprehensive. Anorexia nervosa is a form of mental illness specific to: Western countries.  Feelings of impending death along with retraction and perceived spermatorrhea has a strong cultural link with Chinese traditional beliefs. Newspapers initially reported that some people developed koro after eating the meat of pigs inoculated with a vaccine for swine influenza. Koro, known as a shrinking penis (or testicles, scrotum, or vulva in case of a female patient), is a folk illness or culture-bound syndrome specific to some countries in Southeast Asia, once particularly widespread among the Chinese of the south of lower education. , A medical, psychosexual and psychiatric history should be documented. , Psychological components of koro anxiety include fear of impending death, penile dissolution and loss of sexual power. A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder. The person will receive a yang- or yin-augmenting Chinese medicine potion, usually including herbs, pilose antler (stag of deer) or deer tail, and tiger penis, deer penis, or fur seal penis. , Sporadic cases of koro among people with non-Southeast-Asian ethnicity have been reported across the globe, for example, Nepali, Sudanese, Jordanian, Tanzanian, Nigerian, French, British, American and Canadian. Koro is also thought to be transmitted through food. Koro. Here’s What We Know So Far, How Phobias Can Be Affected by Your Culture. , Men who present with this complaint may have koro, but they may also be misinformed about normal genital size. Coping WIth Koro or the Fear of Genital Retraction, Ⓒ 2021 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reserved. , Several criteria are typically used to make a diagnosis of koro. Other mental health conditions are so …  A study analyzing the West African epidemics from 1997 to 2003 concluded that rather than psychopathology, the episodes were product of normal psychological functioning in undisturbed individuals, who were influenced by the local cultural models or social representations. In Asia, this fear is almost always accompanied by an imminent fear of death, although this element is often missing from reports in other parts of the world.  The incomplete forms of koro are regarded as the non-cultural forms, while the complete form with acute anxiety is the classical culture-bound type. German Journal of Psychiatry. Koro is a culture-bound syndrome delusional disorder in which an individual has an overpowering belief that one's sex organs are retracting and will disappear, despite the lack of any true longstanding changes to the genitals. Koro has been described as a panic disorder that centers around the genitals. They were said to have reappeared after the men had appeased the witches responsible.  Later reports of outbreak suggest a spread beyond West Africa, including the coverage of episodes in Khartoum, Sudan in September 2003; Banjul, Gambia in October 2003; and Kinshasa, DR Congo in 2008. Popular opinion and news media echoed the victims' projection of viewing the epidemic as caused by Vietnamese food and tobacco poisoning in a hideous assault against the Thai people. A mental health campaign was conducted for the epidemic and since then no further episodes of the epidemic has occurred in China. The cases reported amounted to 97 in a single hospital unit within one day, at five days after the original news report. Since late 1996, a small-scale epidemic of genital shrinking was reported in West African nations. Olfactory Reference Characteristics and Treatment, Body Shaming, Harmful Diet Culture on the Rise During COVID-19, Coping With Zuigerphobia or the Fear of Vacuum Cleaners, Tips for Dealing With Maskaphobia (Fear of Masks), How You Can Overcome the Phobia of Success With Treatment. " Attempts have been made by numerous authors to place koro into different classes.  Similarly, a woman may be seen grabbing her own breast, pulling her nipple, or even having iron pins inserted into the nipple. In:Walsh PC, Retik AB, Walsh PC, Campbell MF, eds. In the 1970s and early 1980s, newspapers reported incidents of genital shrinking in Western Nigeria. Prognosis appears to be better in cases with a previously functional personality, a short history and low frequency of attacks, and a relatively uncomplicated sexual life. Congenital anomalies of the genitalia. This is demonstrated by the fact that Asians generally believe koro symptoms are fatal, unlike most patients in the West. There were a series of epidemic outbursts in 1948, 1955, 1966, and 1974, whenever there was social tension or impending disaster, followed by the last widespread episode in 1984–1985 and a much smaller outbreak in 1987. Ataque de Nervios Is a Culturally-Bound Syndrome Exclusive to Latinos. The symptoms subsided when the witches were appeased. Anorexia nervosa is a form of mental illness specific to. ... social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias. There was no evidence of significant premorbid or sexual psychopathology in most cases.. A 2008 study in the Journal of German Psychology found that many sufferers reported a recent sexual encounter that made them uncomfortable, such as an extramarital affair. CULTURAL PERSPECTIVESIn the late 1970s and early 1980s anthropological researchers began to focus on the cross-cultural study of health and illness, both mental and physical, and systems of healthcare. Retrieved 5 March 2013, from Ebscohost Database. , Extremely anxious sufferers and their family members may resort to physical methods to prevent the believed retraction of the penis.  It has been argued that the criteria are sufficient but not necessary to make a diagnosis of koro. For example, an outbreak might be blamed on an invading force or an individual rival. Defeating the foe is sometimes the recommended treatment in these situations. These are regarded as complete forms of koro, matching all the symptoms required for diagnosis without significant co-morbidity.  The Malleus Maleficarum, a fifteenth-century European manual for witchcraft investigations, relates stories of men claiming that their genitals had disappeared, being "hidden by the devil … so that they can be neither seen nor felt." Mental health problems are often silent, so the challenge is to find ways in which to communicate with Māori patients, be aware of the relationship between physical and mental health, be open to alternative ways of expressing mental health, form partnerships with Māori mental health service providers and support Māori health initiatives.  Sexual adjustment histories of non-Chinese victims are often significant, such as premorbid sex inadequacy, sexual promiscuity, guilt over masturbation, and impotence. Some are mild and only interfere in limited ways with daily life, such as certain phobias (abnormal fears). The sufferer first experiences a tingling sensation in the genitals, followed by a rapid-onset panic attack. The anxiety subsides quickly when a culturally acceptable treatment is used, from exorcism to potions.  Koro is also known as shrinking penis, and it is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. , The earliest Western reference to the term koro is found in B.F. Matthes' Dictionary of Buginese Language (1874) of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, "What we can learn from 'untranslatable' illnesses", https://web.archive.org/web/20100705184318/http://www.dsm5.org/research/documents/phillips_bdd.pdf, "Penile size and the 'small penis syndrome, "From Peculiar Psychiatric Disorders through Culture-bound Syndromes to Culture-related Specific Syndromes", "The year S'pore men feared for their penises", A mind dismembered: In search of the magical penis thieves, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Koro_(medicine)&oldid=999894233, Articles with dead external links from February 2020, Articles with permanently dead external links, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing simplified Chinese-language text, Articles containing traditional Chinese-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Genital retraction syndrome, shrinking penis. For example, koro (in its Chinese term of shuk yang, shook yong or suo yang (simplified Chinese: 缩阳; traditional Chinese: 縮陽)) is documented in the old medical book New Collection of remedies of value (simplified Chinese: 验方新篇; traditional Chinese: 驗方新篇) which was published in Qing Dynasty. This quickly leads to a sudden and pervasive fear that the genitals are disappearing. It appears to be heavily influenced by cultural beliefs, which might explain why epidemics are common.  Cases were reported in Cotonou, Benin where mobs attacked individuals accused of the penis theft and authorities ordered security forces to curb the violence, following the deaths of five people by vigilantes. Another example of a culture bound mental syndrome is koro in China and areas of Southeast Asia where Chinese culture has diffused (especially Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore). Koro is a form of mental illness specific to: Southeast Asia. Koro (medicine) Not to be confused with Kuru (disease). Belief in koro being caused by the fox ghost among the southern Chinese has been reported. Cases of this fear have been reported around the world in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the U.S. Interestingly, koro often appears as an epidemic in which multiple cases are reported simultaneously within a specific geographic area. Additionally, the physician should inquire about overall beliefs, personal values, and assumptions that the patient is making about his or her genitals. In the Western world, Koro is often treated as a specific phobia. , In the late Middle Ages in Europe, it was believed that men could lose their penises through magical attacks by witches. Saunders Comp. The book described the condition as "yin type of cold qi invasion" (simplified Chinese: 阴症伤寒; traditional Chinese: 陰症傷寒) which involved a sudden seizure during sexual intercourse with the penis retracting into the abdomen. Koro is a form of mental illness specific to: United States. The Psychiatric Times defines culture bound syndromes as being “local ways of explaining any of a wide assortment of misfortunes” and by saying “in a cultural setting in which there is a particular folk illness, both the experience and the behaviors of the ill person will be shaped by that patient’s understanding of that illness“. These changes may trigger a koro attack when observed, although the effects of cold temperatures are objectively reversible. This paper considers the formation and development of psychiatric conceptions of koro and related genital retraction syndromes from the 1890s to the present. First identified in ancient China, koro almost always follows an identical pattern. "Koro" (genital retraction syndrome): Psychotherapeutic interventions. Given that koro is often an “attack” with a great deal of associated anxiety, the physician should ascertain the patient’s emotional state along with the timeline from onset to the presentation at the examination. Brain fog is a form of mental illness specific to: Ethiopia. , Most of the ancient literature concerning koro was related to Chinese ethnic groups. A mental illness, or mental health disorder, is defined as patterns or changes in thinking, feeling or behaving that cause distress or disrupt a person's ability to function. Read our, Medically reviewed by Daniel B. While mental illness can occur at any age, three-fourths of all mental illness begins by age 24. Personal and cultural morals, religious doctrine and current mental health status often play a role in individual cases. A slowly developing form of schizophrenia is more likely associated with: Negative schizophrenia symptoms. During the "Burning Times" of medieval Europe, witches were held responsible for genital retractions in the local population. Koro or Genital retraction syndrome (GRS), generally considered a culture-specific syndrome, is a condition in which an individual is overcome with the belief that his/her external genitals—or also, in females, breasts—are retracting into the body, shrinking, or in some male cases, may be imminently removed or disappear. Types of Mental Illness. Mental health disorders account for several of the top causes of disability in established market economies, such as the U.S., worldwide, and include: major depression (also called clinical depression), manic depression (also called bipolar disorder), schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Acrophobia is a fear of heights. The primary intent of the male exam is to exclude genuine penile anomalies such as hypospadias, epispadias and Peyronie's disease.  Careful measurements of flaccid length, stretched length and flaccid girth will also be useful. Koro is a form of mental illness specific to: Southeast Asia. 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