Possession by the ‘Zar’ among Ethiopian Immigrants to Israel: Psychopathology or Culture-Bound Syndrome? Academic Article uri icon


  • Imebet1, aged 45, originally from the Gondar region, emigrated to Israel during Operation Solomon' (1991). She had 3 children by her first husband, from whom she had divorced about 11 years before, and was currently living with a man 10 years her senior, by whom she had 1 child. About a year before the present referral, she had been seen in our center for dysphoria with somatization. She had been treated with antidepressants (Elatrol) with no response. Six months before the present referral, she had been seen ambulatory again at our center, and this time it had become clear that a Zar was involved. The patient was described as suffering a deep depression, and had often been sent urgently, by an ambulance, to a general hospital due to a severe headache and stomach pains. Upon examination in the Emergency Room, however, no organic source for the pain had been discovered. When seen, she spoke …

publication date

  • January 1, 1997