Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952668 | Print ISBN: 9781412909488 | Online ISBN: 9781412952668| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Culture-Bound Syndromes: Susto
Susto , also known as “soul loss,” is a prominent feature of many cultures, including the Latin American and other Spanish-speaking communities of the United States. It is considered a folk illness with extreme psychological overtones, also characterized as “fright sickness.” Millions of people believe that frightening incidents such as witnessing a death, having an accidental fall or scare, losing something valuable, or being attacked or deserted by someone close can lead to susto. These incidents tend to have a common thread of helplessness and the inability to remove the cause of the fear. The biological responses that normally ...