EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Pibloktoq (hysteria) and inuit nutrition: Possible implication of hypervitaminosis A

David Landy

Social Science & Medicine, 1985, vol. 21, issue 2, 173-185

Abstract: The hysterical reaction among Eskimo peoples known as pibloktoq, one of a group of aberrant behaviors occuring among Arctic and Circumarctic societies termed 'arctic hysterias', has been explained by a variety of theories: ecological, nutritional, biological-physiological, psychological-psychoanalytic, social structural and cultural. The study hypothesizes the possible implication of vitamin intoxication, namely, hypervitaminosis A, in the etiology of some cases of pibloktoq. Its biocultural approach implicates elements of several explanatory classes, which are not mutually exclusive. Experimental and clinical studies of nonhumans and humans reveal somatic and behavioral effects of hypervitaminosis A which closely parallel many of the symptoms reported for Western patients diagnosed as hysterical and Inuit sufferers of pibloktoq. Eskimo nutrition provides abundant sources of vitamin A and lays the probable basis in some individuals for hypervitaminosis A through ingestion of livers, kidneys, and fat of arctic fish and mammals, where the vitamin often is stored in poisonous quantities. Possible connections between pibloktoq and hypervitaminosis A are explored. A multifactorial framework may yield a more compelling model of some cases of pibloktoq than those that are mainly unicausal, since, among other things, the disturbance has been reported for males and females, adults and children, and dogs.

Date: 1985
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0277-9536(85)90087-5
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:socmed:v:21:y:1985:i:2:p:173-185

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional
http://www.elsevier. ... _01_ooc_1&version=01

Access Statistics for this article

Social Science & Medicine is currently edited by Ichiro (I.) Kawachi and S.V. (S.V.) Subramanian

More articles in Social Science & Medicine from Elsevier
Series data maintained by Dana Niculescu ().

 
Page updated 2017-09-29
Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:21:y:1985:i:2:p:173-185