Neurasthénie tropicale

"biskrite", "saharite", or "névrose du sud", Africanité, Colonite, Senegalite, Guganite, Tonkinite, Caledonite, Colonite, Soudanité (sometimes written pseudonite)


Cafard (from French "cafard", meaning cockroach, or hypocrite)[1] referred to a mental condition prevalent among French soldiers in Africa, which was attributed to excessive drinking, especially of absinthe. The affected claimed they felt a beetle crawling in their head, they appeared depressed and irritable, and sometimes started killing people at random without provocation.[2][3][4]

Today the term, as well as its spelling variant cathard, is used to describe an amok-like behaviour occurring in Polynesia, which is defined as a sudden display of homicidality followed by exhaustion.[5]


  • Dantheville: Le cafard ou psychose des pays chauds; Archives d'anthropologie criminelle, January 1911, 26. (pp. 5 - 27)
  • Beaussart: Le cafard; Archives d'anthropologie criminelle, July 1911, 26. (pp. 365)
  • Beaussart: Impulsions chez un degenere, reactions delirantes d'origine alcoolique ou epilepsie larvee; Bulletin de la societe clinique de medecine mentale, 1912, 5. (pp. 84)
  • Granjux: A propos du cafard (notes sur les troubles mentaux dans l'armée d'Afrique); Archives d'anthropologie criminelle, October 1911.


  1. Colman, Andrew M.: A Dictionary of Psychology; Oxford University Press, 2009. (p. 109) ISBN 9780199534067
  2. Chambers's Journal, Vol. 94; W. & R. Chambers, 1917. (p. 255)
  3. Zeitschrift für angewandte Psychologie und psychologische Sammelforschung, Vol. 8; J. A. Barth, 1914.
  4. Kanitz, Walter: The White Kepi: A Casual History of the French Foreign Legion; H. Regnery Company, 1956. (p. 199 - 203)
  5. Carlson, Neil R.: Psychology: The Science of Behaviour; Pearson Education Canada, 2005. (p. 578) ISBN 9780205426867