Sudden Soul Instability
His hysterical screaming was unbearable. Koijea stared, bile rising in his throat. The young man thrashed against the bindings that held him to the bed, tears streaming down his cheeks. The doctor moved about the room quickly, injecting a clear liquid into the man's IV. Soon his shrieks became feeble whimpers, and his eyes fluttered shut as he fell limp. "Ingersol's Syndrome," The doctor frowned deeply, still staring at their patient. "He has no family and refused medical euthanasia. Bah, I shouldn't be telling you this. Come, out of here and leave him be, he hasn't much time left anyhow." Koijea stared back at the man with concern as he was ushered out of the room. He'd strained his soul quite a bit during training, and had heard of Ingersol's Syndrome, but had never experienced it so viscerally.
Ingersol's Syndrome is caused by overworking one's soul past its limit. This does not occur in 100% of people who overwork their soul; in fact it only occurs in about 8% of the population. The exact reason that some people have this reaction to overworking their soul and not others is still in contention in the medical community. Of important note is that no one with an Enidia, a Stzozan-given ability that stems from one's soul, has ever suffered from Ingersol's Syndrome.
Symptoms can manifest anywhere from several minutes to several hours after the soul is stressed beyond its breaking point. Most souls will, at this point, get a "sprain" of sorts, which can be recovered with extensive rest. However, there are more severe symptoms involved with Ingersol's. Not everyone exhibits all symptoms, which include but are not limited to the following.
Mental Symptoms: Confusion, short and long term memory loss, panic attacks, heightened anxiety, severe moments of despair, suicidal thoughts and tendencies, inability to recognize familiar faces, hallucinations, and episodes of explosive anger.
Physical Symptoms: Severe widespread pain, vahel appearing despite not being activated, unusual vahel, tremors and spasms, shortness of breath, high blood pressure, vision blurriness and/or loss, ringing in the ears, hearing loss, fainting, vomiting, rapid heart rate, severe fatigue, and weakness of the muscles.
There is currently no known cure for Ingersol's. Treatment becomes management, and due to the lethality of Ingersol's, management often becomes making the patient as comfortable as possible, or medical euthanasia at the patient's choice.
Within four or five hours at the very latest, the less severe symptoms begin to manifest. This often includes common signs of soul strain, such as fainting, fatigue, weakness, confusion, breathlessness, and widespread aching. This soon quickly devolves into irregular vahel, vomiting, memory loss, high heart rate, severe anxiety and anger, blindness, tinnitus or deafness, and other severe symptoms. At this point, Ingersol's can be staved off with some medications that treat the symptoms. The longest anyone survived after the first symptoms manifested was a week. Once the end nears, the victim's heart rate will often spike, and vahel will begin to rapidly move across the victim's body. Within five minutes, the soul seems to shatter and dissipate, and immediately after the victim will go into multiple organ failure, leading to inevitable death.
Teenagers and young adults are ones that suffer from Ingersol's most often. This is thought to be because soul strain is higher in teenagers and young adults. Children's souls are often still malleable and flexible, and are changing drastically as they settle and grow, whereas teenagers souls are just becoming rigid and finding a steady rhythm. This can often lead to people overexerting themselves because they're unsure of their boundaries.
Because of the lack of knowledge about Ingersol's cause and who will be effected by it, the best prevention is to avoid over-working one's soul. Often stretches and exercises can train the soul like a muscle to strengthen and become more flexible, which can help prevent soul strain and making one less likely to contract Ingersol's.
Ingersol's has been studied for quite a long time, as people have been actively straining their souls for centuries. However, at the beginning no one was aware of the connection between soul strain and Ingersol's Syndrome, then referred to as Sudden Soul Imbalance. Before this was discovered, people believed it to be a sudden dissolution of the soul without rhyme or reason. Some thought it to be a punishment by the gods. Lerwick Ingersol was the first to begin thoroughly studying the condition after the death of eir young cousin. Ingersol was the one who discovered the link between soul strain and Ingersol's, as every victim had experienced it the same day the first symptoms began. The knowledge of what can "set off" Ingersol's has caused soul strain and therefore cases of Ingersol's to greatly decrease.
Ingersol's is rare and therefore often overlooked, though those cases that do become known are often regarded with pity and some fear. Very public cases of Ingersol's tends to lower the frequency of soul strain for months afterwards. Most people are of the mindset that it will not happen to them, and aren't too concerned with it.