Author(s) Westermeyer, Joseph
Year 1985
Title Sudden Mass Assault with Grenade: An Epidemic Amok Form from Laos
Published in Simons, Ronald C. & Hughes, Charles C. (eds.): The Culture-Bound Syndromes - Folk Illnesses of Psychiatric and Anthropological Interest; Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dodrecht.
ISBN 9789027718587
Pages 225–235
DOI 10.1007/978-94-009-5251-5_21
Abstract Sudden mass assault (often labeled amok), generally with homicide and often with suicide of the perpetrator, has been reported from Malaysia, Sumatra, Papua-New Guinea, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, and Laos. In all of these countries cutting blades (long knives, machetes) have been the traditional weapon. Over the last half century other weapons have been used, including the rifle in Malaysia, Thompson submachine gun in the Philippines, and hand grenade in Laos. Similar assaults also occur elsewhere in the world, including the United States, but they have not been so carefully studied as in these countries of Southeast Asia and the Malay Archipelago. The cause for this discrepancy is not clear, but may be due to greater incidence in these countries.
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