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A culture-bound syndrome found in Ethiopia and other areas of North Africa, and among Arab communities in various parts of the Middle East, characterized by episodes of dissociation that are locally attributed to spirit possession and are associated with signs and symptoms such as shouting, laughing, self-injury or self-mutilation, singing and weeping, often followed by apathy and withdrawal. The condition is traditionally dealt with through elaborate ceremonies of exorcism involving singing, dancing, and drinking the blood of a sacrificed ram. Also called sar in Somalia and elsewhere. [Amharic zar an evil spirit]

Subjects: Psychology.

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