Koro syndrome features anxiety that protruding sex organs (i.e., penis, breasts, vulva) are shrinking or retracting into the abdomen, leading to death. In locations where epidemics occur, the sensory experience of genital shrinking is accompanied by other somatic symptoms (e.g., tingling extremities, palpitations, sweating), which are local idioms of distress for illness and fears of impending death. In the context of epidemics, symptoms are acute. Once the panic subsides, symptoms rarely recur. However, patients’ and caretakers’ efforts to rescue the organ (e.g., string, clamps) often cause physical injury. In contrast, nonepidemic or isolated cases of koro are associated with chronic psychological distress. This entry looks at the classification of koro, summarizes known epidemics, and briefly discusses treatment.


Koro is an Indonesian term adopted in the late ...

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