If you find yourself constantly fearing that your genitals are shrinking, then you may have koro syndrome.
Koro syndrome is a psychiatric disorder characterized by anxiety and a deep fear of the shrinking of the penis and/or retraction of the genitals into the abdominal until they disappear. For koro syndrome sufferers, it is believed when the genitals do disappear you will die.
This fear or anxiety is mostly found in individuals in countries such as India, China and Japan. In the United States and Europe the syndrome is referred to as the Genital Retraction Syndrome.
Koro syndrome is largely observed in young Asian men. Many of these young men are usually uninformed about physiological puberty. They are also deprived of proper sex information that explains their physical development. Individuals who suffer from the koro syndrome believe their penis shrinking is a warning sign of their imminent death.
Koro Syndrome is mainly found in Asian countries. Scientists are unsure whether it is due to a native cultural tendency towards a type of anxiety or if the syndrome began as a rumor that has been taken literally. A few doctors have noted koro syndrome has become increasingly popular in Western countries, however, in Western countries, koro syndrome was linked to additional psychological conditions.
People who suffered from koro in the U.S., were also diagnosed with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, anxiety disorder or body dysmorphic disorder. While in Asian countries individuals who suffer from the condition are otherwise healthy.
In a study conducted by German researchers, it was observed patients who suffer from alternative mental illnesses, once their mental disorder was treated, more times than not their fear of genital retraction diminished. German researchers also believe the koro syndrome may exist more often than reported. They noted many patients may be reluctant to report their symptoms due to feelings of shame.