Hsieh-Ping (Ghost Sickness)

Hsieh-ping, also known as ghost sickness, is a Chinese and Taiwanese culture-bound syndrome characterized by being possessed by an ancestral ghost, who is usually perceived as attempting to communicate with others. Those with this syndrome may present with brief trance-like states, delirium, tremors, apathy, and hallucinations. Others manifest dissociative symptoms with crying, laughing, shouting, and hitting one’s head against the door. Interestingly, those with Hsieh-ping may be locally viewed as having a higher status due to the spirit in them which may give them supernatural powers of healing and wisdom.

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