Puerto Rican Syndrome

The Puerto Rican Syndrome (also known as ataque de nervios) is a psychological syndrome most associated with Spanish-speaking people from the Caribbean, although recognized in Latin Americans and Hispanic and Latino Americans.

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 (DSM-IV-TR) as a culture-bound syndrome.
Symptoms include attacks of crying, trembling, uncontrollable shouting, physical or verbal aggression, and intense heat in the chest moving to the head[1]. These ataques are often associated with stressful events, such as death of a loved one, divorce or separation, or witnessing an accident including a family member.

[1] Hinton et al: A model of the generation of ataque de nervios: the role of fear of negative affect and fear of arousal symptoms in CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics - 2009

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