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Koro Syndrome - Essay Example

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Koro Syndrome Introduction Depersonalization is a strange feeling in which a person may experience an alien feeling of unreality and peculiarity about themselves. They can even feel their body to be radically changing in somewhat bizarre manner. These kinds of experiences are quite common in our society…
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Koro Syndrome
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Download file to see previous pages For example, there has been the existence of varied anxiety syndromes that involve fright of death, fear of getting castrated and concerns regarding sexual potency. The Nigerian Yoruba believed that the main cause of male impotence was “bewitchment”, in such cases a male witch would steal a mortal man’s penis to use it for having intercourse with the wife of the victim or any other woman and then return it back in an altered and manipulated form thus making him impotent for life (Koro-A culture-bound depersonalization syndrome, n.d.) What is Koro Syndrome? Koro is primarily an anxiety disorder characterized with sexual dysfunction hysteria and death. In psychological terminology, koro is basically “genital retraction syndrome” (GRS). In layman terms, it is the delusion that the genitals will be completely shrinked into the body. The male victims of Koro mainly suffer from the fear of the fact that their penises are retracting to their abdomen and as a result they will die when the process gets completed. In females, it is characterized by shrinking of nipples inside the breast mass. Koro mainly occurs to men and is occasionally seen in women. ( Koro- the Genital Retraction Syndrome, 2001) However, Koro is often considered a culture-specific disorder, which means only people of certain specific cultures and territories get affected by this disease, and it is not really one of those diseases generally recognized by Western medicines. It is seen mostly in Southern China, Malaysia, Singapore as well as certain parts of Africa, Afghanistan, India and even in some parts of the West. Every region has different names for the disease, like in China it is known as “suo-yang” (suo=shrinkage yang=penis), in Cantonese it is known as “suk-yeong”, in India “jhinjhini bimari” (=tangling disease) etc. (Garlipp, 2008). Koro, primarily seen in the South China region, mainly affects young normal Chinese males in the age range of 21-40 years who have prior experiences of premorbid sexual inadequacies and maladjustments. Most commonly cited reasons of Koro Syndrome mainly include masturbation, illicit sexual encounters with prostitutes, witchcraft etc. Psychologists who laterally analyze different cultures are of the view that koro is closely integrated to panic attacks due to sexual apprehensions. Attacks are often experienced by men in situations which generally cause genitals to retract slightly, such as cold weather or emotional anguish (Koro-the Genital Retraction Syndrome, 2001). Most koro attacks occur usually at nights with common symptoms like senselessness, palpitation, pounding heart rate, fear of death, loss of penile shape and muscular tone, loss of sexual desire and power and genital tingling. It has been argued that these can be sufficient criteria for diagnosis of koro but not really necessary in any ways. The fear of depersonalization is so acute in certain cases that people often hold on to their penis all along during the course of the attack in fear that it might disappear inside their abdomen forever. They prefer to visually inspect their penis and touch them often to be sure of its existence and size (Koro-A culture-bound depersonalization syndrome, n.d.) Cultural Stigma One can get some insights into the causes of Koro from the Basic Chinese Culture. Koro means head of a turtle in Chinese. The Chinese, for long have been using the turtle symbol for long lasting lives and for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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