Susto (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈsusto], Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈsuʃtu]) is a cultural illness primarily among Latin American cultures. It is described as a condition of "chronic somatic suffering stemming from emotional trauma or from witnessing traumatic experiences lived by others".
Among the indigenous peoples of Latin America, in which this illness is most common, susto may be conceptualized as a case of spirit attack. Symptoms of susto are thought to include nervousness, anorexia, insomnia, listlessness, fever, depression, and diarrhea.
Treatments among indigenous people are natural. Some natural treatments to susto consist of using plants as medicine; sweating out the toxins; and massaging to encourage blood flow. Prayer is a big part of the treatment of susto. In addition to prayer, healing rituals are also used, some of which include sweeping and giving gifts.
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- Rubel, Arthur J; O'Nell, Carl W; Collado-Ardon, Rolando (1991). Susto A Folk Illness. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520076341.
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