What we can learn from ‘untranslatable’ illnesses

From an enigmatic rage disorder to a sickness of overthinking, there are some mental illnesses you only get in certain cultures. Why? And what can they teach us?

“DO NOT FEAR KORO,” screamed the headline in the Straits Times newspaper on November 7, 1967. In the preceding days, a peculiar phenomenon had swept across Singapore. Thousands of men had spontaneously become convinced that their penises were shrinking away – and that the loss would eventually kill them.


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