- Locura is Spanish for madness. The term is used in Colombia and other Latin American countries to denote a severe form of "psychosis or " dissociation characterized by attacks of headache, agitation, bizarre, and sometimes violent behaviour, convulsions, loss of consciousness, and "auditory, "visual, "olfactory, and " compound hallucinations. The attacks are called ataques de locura (i.e. madness attacks). The hallucinations occurring during these attacks would often seem to feature wild animals (such as monkeys, jaguars, and snakes), and/or demonic beings. In folk medicine, ataques de locura tend to be attributed to magic or to be regarded as a sign that one is worthy to become a shaman. Although the attacks defy diagnosis in terms of Western classifications, they have been variously labelled as mass hysteria, somatoform disorder of the con-versive type, and 'culture-bound syndrome'.ReferencesPineros, M., Rosselli, D., Calderon, C. (1998). An epidemic of collective conversion and dissociation disorder in an indigenous group of Colombia: Its relation to cultural change. Social Science and Medicine, 46, 1425-1428.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.