Koro in China

Koro is an acute anxiety disorder in which the individual has a partial depersonalization including the shrinking of either he or she’s genitals. This syndrome is connected with the malay meaning of Koro which is the head of a turtle, in which the Ming Dynasty correlates longevity with. This article summarized a study that was done on a male individual suffering from the syndrome and experienced anxiety through tachycardia. He also experienced nocturnal emission after excessive masturbation in which he connected his symptoms to a shrinkage of his genitals. As his symptoms worsened, he would seek aid from various local healers and doctors when he was referred to psychiatric outpatient department. His diagnosis of Koro was largely contributed to his excessive masturbation and as soon as he stopped, his symptoms began to fade although he still suffered from some cases of nocturnal emission and anxiety.

This type of syndrome seems more cultural and individual based when I read the study and how the case was resolved in the end. The major contributors to the syndrome such as anxiety and partial depersonalization seemed to have minor connections with the biological makeup of the individual. Instead, it sounds as if the cultural background of China in referencing “Yin and Yang” can make a significant psychological difference. The biological aspects seem to stem from anxiety and complex psychological disorders that may have be connected with the traditional ideas of sex physiology as stated in the article. With cardiovascular symptoms, it appears that this syndrome could be fatal depending on an individuals heart conditions, however the depersonalization, or loss of reality seems more likely to be prevalent. I believe that this is being treated with specialized psychiatric care, as it seems most of the symptoms are coming from psychological dilemmas that induce biological trauma to the body in the form of anxiety. Upon treatment, it also appears that treatment has been successful, however the anxiety of shrinkage of the genitals may cause recurring symptoms. Biologically, the treatment appears to have few solutions including the ceasing of masturbation in this case, however other biological treatments would appear to have little success.

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