1) Temporary appearance in critical situations
When SPs appear, they typically remain for only a short period and disappear rather quickly. If their appearance takes the form of stormy or violent behaviors, it tends to last for an even shorter period. In this case, SPs appear to consume a considerable amount of physical mental energy and get exhausted, literally unable to “stay up” any more. These states are approximated to episodes of cultural-bound syndromes characterized by sudden and violent behaviors, such as latah and amok.
This condition is similar to episodes of sudden, incomprehensible violence or attack by a single individual, which then subsides rather quickly, leaving the person amnesic of the episode (Kon, 1996). The triggering factor for the appearance of SP varies, but often it is related to reminders of some critical or traumatic event in the past. The way in which SPs appear is reminiscent of the mechanisms triggering flashbacks of past traumatic events occurring among patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).