In 1692, the town of Salem, Massachusetts was overwhelmed from one of the most infamous cases of mass hysteria in recorded history. Pinpointing the exact cause, leading to such a bewildering effect, is a task that historians still debate. A family feud, a beggar woman, pirates, and an unsanctioned government, seem to have set the stage, in what would become an out of control, game of nuts. The first domino fell when four young girls became violently ill. Rather than investigating the nature of the outbreak, or questioning a possible ruse (one of the sick girls was a part of the family, feuding with the family of one of the accused). Three women were arrested, and charged with witchcraft.
Mozzy with Perk Callin
Is Mental Illness Catchable?
written & edited by Kendall F. Person
TIME reports: “Researchers from John Hopkins & Stanley Medical Research Institute, investigate a possible link between parasites in cats and mental illness [in us].” A contagious offense, if verified by science. Medical Daily – a conservative news site – however, screams hogwash “The idea that mental illness can be carried from one person to another is almost absolutely false.”
During the 17th century, belief in the supernatural was not uncommon, making the initial accusation, understandable when put into context. When word of the arrest spread, however, the opposite transpired, of what a reasonable community could anticipate. So real had this nonsensical gossip become, that the townsfolk of Salem not only believed the jailed women were witches – but were certain – their friends, families and neighbors… were all witches too.
Paranoia of a single individual – stoked by fear and anxiety – can ricochet around the room. If the paranoid speaks loud enough or through a megaphone, than paranoia may erupt into mass hysteria. If left unchecked by voices of reason and help, mass hysteria can grow until epidemic, manifesting into a land of nuts.
Is mental illness contagious? The jury deliberates. But catchable… a verdict has been reached.