Friday, February 10, 2012

Power of the Mind: Suggestibility

In Leroy, NY, a dozen girls came down with vocal and physical tics, seizures, passing out, headaches and anxiety. Assuming that there was some kind of toxic issue in the school, crews combed over everything to find nothing harmful. After extensive testing of the girls, the conclusion was conversion disorder.

Conversion disorder: (Wikipedia) Is a neurosis marked by the appearance of physical symptoms such as partial loss of muscle function without physical cause but in the presence of psychological conflict. Symptoms include numbness, blindness, paralysis, or fits without a neurological cause. It is thought that these problems arise in response to difficulties in the patient's life, and conversion is considered a psychiatric disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th edition (DSM-IV). Formerly known as "hysteria", the disorder has arguably been known for millennia, though it came to greatest prominence at the end of the 19th century, when the neurologists Jean-Martin Charcot and Sigmund Freud and psychiatrist Pierre Janet focused their studies on the subject. The term "conversion" has its origins in Freud's doctrine that anxiety is "converted" into physical symptoms. Though previously thought to have vanished from the west in the 20th century, some research has suggested it is as common as ever.

Mass hysteria was experienced by junior school girls in Tanzania. In September 2008, 20 girls at a school in Tabora started fainting while taking their final year exams. The mass fainting is being linked to neurosis related to the local practice of witchcraft.  

Authorities in Houston are still searching for answers after an area high school football game was called off early after nearly two dozen fans were hospitalized after suddenly becoming sick in the stands of Barnett Stadium on Friday night. During the second half of the game between Austin (Texas) High and Houston (Texas) Yates, many members of the band and dance team from Austin started suffering from nausea, vomiting and dizziness and began collapsing in the stands, according to numerous media reports. Officials feared they had been exposed to some type of biohazard and called hazmet teams to the scene but no traces of gases or chemical agents were found.

Suggestibility is an amazing thing.

The power of the mind is baffling. It reacts to what you feed it, whether it is happening or not. That is why our pulses can quicken, palms sweat when we watch a horror movie and why just thinking about eating a sour gummy worm makes our mouths water.


  1. My mouth did indeed water as soon as I read the words "sour gummy worm."

  2. I'm going with possession. I have some insider information.

  3. I would normally agree, however, Leroy isn't so far from me.... and there is a legal group looking in to this.

    A number of years ago, there was some toxic spill, the TOWNS OFFICIALS have ruled it as Conversion Disorder... however, the legal and medical experts are saying something completely different.

    These girls homes or homes of their birth are located eerily close to where the spill occurred.

    So.. I'd be interested to see how this plays out in court....

  4. Yeah, 60 min or something like that reported that there was a massive arsenic or cyanide spill back in the 40s. Apparently the EPA and others are looking into it. I think the Conversion Disorder is weirder though. Very weird. I get seeing someone puke and puking, but watching someone twitch out (with no personal experience with that phenomenon) and doing the same is odd.

  5. oh man do I want something sour now. lol.

  6. I find it intriguing that only the girls were affected. Remember an episode of Phil Donohue in the 80s where a couple of actors pretend fainted and more people in the audience fainted by suggestion and they had to shut down the show? I readily admit our school cafeteria once had someone vomit and thus began a dozen more...ew.


    Just thought you would like an update on this.