"Penis panic" is a culture-specific syndrome in which an individual has an overpowering belief that his or her genitals (e.g., penis or female nipples) are retracting and will disappear, despite the lack of any true longstanding changes to the genitals. It is also known as shrinking penis, and it is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The syndrome occurs worldwide, and mass hysteria of genital-shrinkage anxiety has a history in Africa, Asia, and Europe. In the United States and Europe, the syndrome is commonly known as genital retraction syndrome. The condition can be diagnosed through psychological assessment along with physical examination to rule out genuine disorders of the genitalia that could be causing true retraction.
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