ⓘ Ataque de nervios


ⓘ Ataque de nervios

Ataque de nervios is a psychological syndrome mostly associated, in the United States, with Spanish-speaking people from the Caribbean, although commonly identified among all Iberian-descended cultures. Ataque de nervios translates into English as "attack of nerves", although it is used in its common cultural form to refer to a specific pattern of symptoms, rather than being a general term for feeling nervous. The condition appears in Appendix I of the revised fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a culture-bound syndrome.


1. Classification

Despite comparisons to panic attacks, investigators have identified ataque de nervios as a separate syndrome with measured differences in anxiety sensitivity, and types of attacks. Marlene Steinberg, an Associate Research Scientist at Yale University stated that because it is similar to Multiple Personality Disorder, some Hispanics may be misdiagnosed with an ataque de nervios syndrome instead.


2. Symptoms

Reported aspects of the syndrome include uncontrollable screaming or shouting, crying, trembling, sensations of heat rising in the chest and head, dissociative experiences, and verbal or physical aggression. The reaction is usually associated with a stressful event relating to the family, although it is not specifically defined as arising from such occurrences.