April 16, 2007

Indian girls suffer mass hysteria

At a School for the Poor, a Mysterious, Crippling IllnessIn medical terms, Mexico’s public health authorities have concluded that the girls at the Children’s Village School are suffering from a mass psychogenic disorder. In layman’s language, they have a collective hysteria.

It is a diagnosis that doctors are usually hesitant to make, concerned they might miss any other cause and uncomfortable with 19th-century images of screaming girls, trances or collective delusions.

But Dr. Víctor Manuel Torres Meza, the director of epidemiology for the Mexico State health department, said there were some 80 documented cases from around the world. They are usually in closed communities, like schools and factories, and they tend to occur more frequently among adolescents and among girls.
What might be wrong with these girls?Officials said they had found no evidence of mistreatment, although they acknowledged that the girls were tightly disciplined and very isolated. The girls see their parents at most three times a year: two weeks in July, 10 days at Christmas and on parents’ day, which is usually in May. There are no phone calls and few letters.

The school justifies its policy as being fair to those girls whose families live far away and cannot visit them regularly.

“Yes, the girls miss their families,” Sister Cheong said. “But here we form character. A girl here is no longer an Indian girl from the mountains. She knows how to express herself, she knows how to smile. They have confidence.”
Comment:  Sounds like the boarding-school experience all over again.

3 comments:

russell said...

Writerfella here --
Rather than mass hysteria, the ailment could be 'mass stigmata'. Native people evolved on these continents, parallel to but independent of the evolution of other humans worldwide. Thus removed from the gene pool of the rest of humanity, it becomes possible that Natives are allergic to the rest of mankind. Allergies produce autoimmune response simply because the sufferers have no defense against the factors against which their bodies are reacting. Natives may be allergic to EuroMan, his foods, his clothes, his culture, and his very presence, simply because contact with such things only is some 500 years old. Rather than just his predations and his diseases, the very presence of such people may be a destructive factor for Natives that only just now has begun to emerge. Natives only are just over 100 years removed from their original environments into EuroMan's society. Yet, they are not quite completely assimilated into that society. Therefore, the autoimmune responses would take their time to exhibit themselves, until now.
writerfella himself exhibits autoimmune responses through rheumatoid arthritis and incipient Lupus, which fortunately his own constitution is resisting. Whereas Smallpox and Measles and Mumps and Chicken Pox and Tuberculosis once were the main killers of Natives, autoimmune responses have begun to rise as fatal conditions. The attrition of Natives by EuroMan's invasion marches on!
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

Most of the victims are Latinas, not Indians. Are you saying they're allergic to the Native half of their heritage?

russell said...

Writerfella here --
Entirely possible, as their Native heritage quiteis well known. But no kind of announcement has been made by the Indian Health Service, which seems more devoted to reporting on Diabetes and Heart Disease. Yet, the surge in autoimmune responses among Natives at least has been noted by the CDC and the AMA. It only is a matter of time before the IHS makes some kind of acknowledgment... Hopefully.
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'