Culture-bound syndromes are combinations of psychological and bodily symptoms that are considered to be a recognisable disease only within a specific society or culture. One such syndrome is Taijin Kyofusho - 'the disorder of fear'.
Taijin Kyofusho is a specific type of social anxiety which finds its origins in Japan. It is seen as an individual's intense fear that his or her body, its parts or its functions, displease, embarrass or are offensive to other people in appearance, odor, facial expressions, or movements. Taijin kyofusho, centers on concerns about embarrassing others with one's presence, rather than embarrassing one's self in the presence of others. TKS is believed to emerge out of a childhood history of social inhibition and shyness. The disorder may abruptly follow a stressful or humiliating experience or its onset could be more subtle in nature with the lifetime course of the disorder usually existing on a continuum."