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Original Articles

Running Amok: A Modern Perspective on a Culture-Bound Syndrome

Article Abstract

Running amok is considered a rare culture-bound syndrome by current psychiatric classification systems, but there is evidence that it occurs frequently in modern industrialized societies. The historical origins of running amok as a psychiatric condition are reviewed in this article, and its relevance to modern day episodes of violent behavior is discussed. Psychotic illnesses, personality disorders, and mood disorders are all possible causes of amok, and the identification and treatment of patients who are at risk for manifesting violent behavior are discussed.


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