Each culture has rules governing the appropriate ways to express and deal with anxiety. Culturally competent nurses should be aware of them while being careful not to stereo-type clients.
People from Asian cultures often express anxiety through somatic symptoms such as headaches, backaches, fatigue, dizziness, and stomach problems. One intense anxiety reaction is koro, or a man’s profound fear that his penis will retract into the abdomen and he will then die. Accepted forms of treatment include having the person firmly hold his penis until the fear passes, often with assis-tance from family members or friends, and clamping the penis to a wooden box. In women, koro is the fear that the vulva and nipples will disappear (Spector, 2008).
Susto is diagnosed in some Hispanics (Peruvians, Bolivians, Colombians, and Central and South American Indians) during cases of high anxiety, sadness, agitation, weight loss, weakness, and heart rate changes. The symp-toms are believed to occur because supernatural spirits or bad air from dangerous places and cemeteries invades the body.