Syncope is commonly deemed as a general clinical symptom that might connote different or-ganic and functional clinical pictures. Yet, remarks on nature and structure of associations between subjective emotional life, psychological distress, and syncope have fuelled a debate on potential causal implications of early exposure to distressing and/or traumatic events on early occurrence and recurrence of organic or psychogenic syncopal spells. The present work aims at providing an introductory overview on syncopal and psychogenic pseudosyncopal events and at discussing potential links between affective reactions, traumatic experiences, and occurrence of syncope symptomatology in the life-span. Finally, an interpretative model linking syncope as a shut-down reaction to overwhelming affective-laden situations is intro-duced and discussed.
Keywords: Syncope; trauma; stress response; emotion; psychogenic pseudosyncope.