Author(s) Knecht, Thomas
Year 1999
Title Amok und Pseudo-Amok
Published in Schweizer Archiv für Neurologie und Psychiatrie, Vol. 150; No. 3
Pages 142–148
Link [1]
Abstract Amok is the name of a culture-bound syndrome which is well known since many centuries above all in the Malay culture. Its main feature consists in a characteristic sequence of stages including a first phase of dismal brooding, ended by an outburst of aggression with furious, often lethal attacks against random victims followed by terminal sleep and the claim of amnesia.

Quasi-amok is a feeble version of the full-blown phenomenon. It features sham attacks against the people within reach, but these individuals never get quite over their inhibition to kill. Amok and quasi-amok are observed also inother parts of the world, even in western civilisations. For both phenomena, there are several different terms according to the population in which they occur.

In DSM-IV, amok is registered among dissociative disorders as well as among disorders of impulse control, whereas ICD-10 does not apply the term “amok”.

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