Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2010 Jun;34(2):244-78.
doi: 10.1007/s11013-010-9174-y.

Khyâl Attacks: A Key Idiom of Distress Among Traumatized Cambodia Refugees

Affiliations

Khyâl Attacks: A Key Idiom of Distress Among Traumatized Cambodia Refugees

Devon E Hinton et al. Cult Med Psychiatry. .

Abstract

Traumatized Cambodian refugees with PTSD often complain of khyâl attacks. The current study investigates khyâl attacks from multiple perspectives and examines the validity of a model of how khyâl attacks are generated. The study found that khyâl attacks had commonly been experienced in the previous 4 weeks and that their severity was strongly correlated with the severity of PTSD (PTSD Checklist). It was found that khyâl attacks were triggered by various processes--such as worry, trauma recall, standing up, going to a mall--and that khyâl attacks almost always met panic attack criteria. It was also found that during a khyâl attack there was great fear that death might occur from bodily dysfunction. It was likewise found that a complex nosology of khyâl attacks exists that rates the attacks on a scale of severity, that the severity determines how the khyâl attacks should be treated and that those treatments are often complex. As illustrated by the article, khyâl attacks constitute a key aspect of trauma ontology in this group, a culturally specific experiencing of anxiety and trauma-related disorder. The article also contributes to the study of trauma somatics, that is, to the study of how trauma results in specific symptoms in a specific cultural context, showing that a key part of the trauma-somatic reticulum is often a cultural syndrome.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 11 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. Psychosom Med. 2007 Dec;69(9):832-40 - PubMed
    1. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2005 Oct;193(10):697-9 - PubMed
    1. Transcult Psychiatry. 2001 Dec;38(4):403-432 - PubMed
    1. Transcult Psychiatry. 2004 Jun;41(2):155-99 - PubMed
    1. J Anxiety Disord. 2007;21(1):42-58 - PubMed

MeSH terms

Feedback