enosiphrenia – The belief, founded or otherwise, that you are being made part of a gestalt group consciousness.

The term enosiphrenia (“joined mind”), coined in an allusion to schizophrenia (“split mind”), was first reported by parapsychologist Sir John Travers Lexow, writing in 1888 in a bulletin to the Royal Miasmatic Bedlam Society. His report of a person who found their thoughts uncomfortably joined and commingled with those of nearby people is still the typical diagnostic case for the malady. It differs from simple telepathy in that it combines thoughts from multiple people into a single gestalt with aspects of each, where telepathy is generally a simple transmission of information.

Most (65%) of enosiphrenia sufferers only encounter sporadic and low-level incidents of group consciousness, typically with people nearby that have some sensitivity to psychic phenomena. The sensation can range from an uncomfortable annoyance to a debilitating attack which takes months of recovery time as consciousnesses are disentangled. A significant portion (20%) of enosiphrenia patients retreat into themselves and become catatonic; this is thought to be a defense mechanism which works by minimizing conscious thought to suppress the shock of having those thoughts joined by others.

The remaining 15% of enosiphreniacs, sometimes misleadingly called paranoid enosiphreniacs, serve as an unwilling locus for the development of a hive mind. They are generally kept isolated and sedated as the ability to create more enosiphreniacs and instinctively joining with them can spiral out of control with disastrous consequences. The Battle of Saarbrucken in 1917 is believed to be the most serious enosiphrenia outbreak on record; a enosiphreniac conscript in the Imperial German Army had a major episode which led to an entire battalion of heavily-armed troops becoming a gestalt consciousness. Artillery strikes were eventually used to break up the formation, leading to deaths in excess of 2,000.

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