Amok describes a syndrome or pattern of behavior acknowledged in southeast Asia (Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia) characterized by sudden outbursts and frenzied violent behaviors after a period of brooding and quiet. Sometimes referred to as 'running amok' or 'gone amok', amok is considered a culture-bound syndrome that is an illness or combination of symptoms that is recognized only within a specific culture or group.
Amok is similar to the 'mal de pelea' condition in Puerto Rico. Amok typically is brought on by feelings of desperation, feelings of jealousy, or humiliation. This condition is frequently violent with individuals assaulting or even murdering others and sometimes results in suicide.
A typical example of amok would be an individual brooding silently with no previous indications of violence and then suddenly lash out in frenzied outbursts at the other people around them in a crowded area, perhaps with a weapon. Sometimes this ends with the individual being murdered or committing suicide.