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November 12, 1927


JAMA. 1927;89(20):1707. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690200059024

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Amok  Dr. Van Loon, professor of psychiatry in the Medical School of Batavia, has had the opportunity to study the special psychoses of the Malay race, which he recently described to the International Institute of Anthropology. Of especial interest is the psychosis known as amok. A seizure of this sort is a thoroughly unexpected and murderous attack by a Malay subject, who throws himself on any one—even members of his own family—and kills or severely wounds several individuals before he has been overcome or, as usually occurs, kills himself. The insane subject seizes on the first arm at hand—gun or knife, more usually the Malay keris— and gives himself up to a massacre. If after the attack the patient can be questioned, it is common to find him in a state of complete amnesia. If he recalls anything, it will be the vision he saw. An enemy arose before him

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