"Khyâl attacks" (khyâl cap), or "wind attacks," is a syndrome found among Cambodians in the United States and Cambodia. Common symptoms include those of panic attacks, such as dizziness, palpitations, shortness of breath, and cold extremities, as well as other symptoms of anxiety and autonomic arousal (e.g., tinnitus and neck soreness). Khyâl attacks include catastrophic cognitions centered on the concern that khyâl (a windlike substance) may rise in the body - along with blood - and cause a range of serious effects (e.g., compressing the lungs to cause shortness of breath and asphyxia; entering the cranium to cause tinnitus, dizziness, blurry vision, and a fatal syncope). Khyâl attacks may occur without warning, but are frequently brought about by triggers such as worrisome thoughts, standing up (i.e., orthostasis), specific odors with negative associations, and agoraphobic-type cues like going to crowded spaces or riding in a car. Khyâl attacks usually meet panic attack criteria and may shape the experience of other anxiety and trauma- and stressor- related disorders. Khyâl attacks may be associated with considerable disability.
Related conditions in other cultural contexts
Laos (pen lom), Tibet (srog rlung gi nad), Sri Lanka (vata), and Korea (hwa byung).