The article that I read, Hwabyung in Korea: Culture and Dynamic Analysis, by Sung Kil Min was a look at Anger (fire) disease which is known as Hwabyung in Korean culture. What the disease basically entails is a strong feeling of anger with related behavioral and bodily symptoms. The anger is seen as a reaction to being the put in an unfair situation, usually social in nature and must be suppresses so as not to interfere with familial or social relationships. This suppressed anger continues to build till it finally causes Hwabyung, which can show itself through heat sensations (hot flashes redness of the face), somatization, respiratory oppression, insomnia, anorexia, depression, anxiety, and behavioral symptoms such as sighing, tearing, and an impulse to open doors or go out from closed situations. An interesting aspect of this is that even though patients become very depressed, they are still extremely talkative. Hwabyung symptoms are thought to symbolize the nature of fire, and other symptoms such as the open of doors are seen as the release of anger. Culturally, there is a unique sentiment known as Haan, which signifies the mixed mood of missing, sadness, suppressed anger and feeling of unfairness that results from societally tragic history, as well as from traumatic personal trials. This could be a product from any number of things including a failed romantic relationship to lower family class, to being swindled. An accumulation of feeling of haan and the inability to deal with such has been reported to be a major reason behind Hwabyung. While the disease has mostly been known for effecting women, it is also recognized for effecting people in the lower social class.
Treatment of this disease is varied from person to person. Often sufferers will go to physicians, pharmacists, traditional herb physicians, Christian faith healing, shaman rituals and psychiatrists looking for treatment. The methods used to combat this disease can be psychotherapy, drug treatment, family therapy, community approaches, often integrated with traditional and religious healing methods or through the use of haan-puri, which is basically the sentiment of resolving, loosening, unraveling and appeasing negative emotions with positive ones. An example that Min gives of this is if the haan of a mother was caused by poverty, and a violent husband, the haan-puri might be a result of the success of her son, for which she endured the hardships for.
Sung Kil Min. Hwabyung in Korea: Culture and Dynamic Analysis. World Cultural Psychiatry Research Review, Jan 2009 accessed 7/20/12