Hwa-byung (from hwa, meaning fire, and byung, meaning disease) is a Korean folk illness precipitated by a situation that is beyond the power of one's control. Literally, the term means “an illness of fire.” It is categorized as a Korean culture-bound syndrome and translates to anger syndrome in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, because its recurrent and specific symptom patterns and pathogenesis do not correspond to a particular diagnostic mental disorder category. The prevalence of hwa-byung is reported to be 4.2% in the general population of Korea and 4.95% among middle-aged Korean women.

Dynamic Mechanisms of Hwa-Byung

The dynamic mechanisms of hwa-byung can be explained differently depending on one's perspective. In Western medicine, hwa-byung is defined as a chronic psychosomatic illness ...

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