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Person-World Disconnect


From a copy of Practical Binding for the Non-Religious, an authoritative source of healing, curative and medicinal approaches to a variety of health concerns.   If your copy of Practical Binding is older than two Ana, a new copy must be obtained and the old one either burned, or given to trainees to help them understand the history of the (usually non-Mystical) healing arts.

What is Person-World Disconnect?

Person-World Disconnect, or Mistwalking, is a relatively newly discovered mental health condition. At least, this is true within Qal'ath, whereas similar symptoms have been on record within the Byantē Alliance for some time, though advances in communication have only recently enabled us to share knowledge across the Grànousii-an-Ormàszil Ocean faster than by ship.   The definition of Person-World Disconnect (or PWD) is thus:  
A haze - visible to the afflicted or otherwise - rendering a sensation of life happening around oneself while being unable to mentally and emotionally connect with the events and people nearby.
 

Analogies

To aid the reader's understanding, it is akin to the over-tiredness experienced after little or no sleep for one night. Or when one has spent too long in the Alchemy labs with little ventilation. But unlike these, true PWD persists.  
 

Species/Races Unaffected

By "species" we are referring to sentient, self-directing bipeds, rather than "pure" animals.  
Feline and Canine
While we cannot say for certain that some species are immune to PWD, neither Qal'ath nor Byantē Alliance Territory have recorded cases among Fàlōndii nor Kyadii.   Our hypothesis is that their enhanced vision when compared with Paràntii and related races (such as the Elelupii) counteracts the effects by "seeing through" the mist. A secondary hypothesis is that the unaffected races instead experience the head pain and attribute all other symptoms to that.
Foyii
With the exception of the mystically-induced variation, when we explained the symptoms to various Woodsmen throughout the Forest of Doon, though they rely on mystical (or even tribal) healers, they were honest enough to say that such "challenges" had not been heard of by them.   When I explained to Chief Ki-E-Vwa my theory on why the Kyadii were especially resistent, he informed me that, though not a patch on Kyàdonii, Foyii had slightly better vision than the Paràntii.
 
More Research to Follow
While this does not constitute "proof", it highlights that we need to conduct research into the hypothesis of the physical capability of sight lessening, or annulling, PWD. If that is true, then we may be able to work with Alchemists, Botanists and even the cooks of the Realm to see how we may improve the eyesight of the Paràntii and Elelupii to better resist this frustrating condition.  

Transmission & Vectors

At this stage, we do not believe a person with PWD can pass it onto another simply by their presence in the vicinity. Research is actively underway to see if families or people groups have a greater likelihood or frequency of experiencing PWD. If this is true, then the part of Elemental Make-up that passes through parents to children may well also lead to further research or, more hopefully, preventative treatment.  

Causes

As we (along with our partners in the Byantē Alliance) seek to grow our knowledge of all health matters, we must also acknowledge where our research falls short, rather than claim to understand something in order to appear an expert. That said, here are our initial findings.  

Self-Inflicted PWD

Although this should not rightfully be called Person-World Disconnect, it nonetheless should go on record that a patient exhibiting PWD symptoms still requires our help. While the examples above were used to explain the sensation of PWD, they can also be "self-inflicted PWD".  
A Definition
Self-inflicted, defined here means
Intentional action or inaction leading to symptoms of an illness or condition, whether said condition pre-exists or not.
 
Examples
  1. Foregoing the usual quantity of sleep normal for that person - that can be insufficient sleep, but also having too much of it.
  2. Overindulgence of strong drinks or foodstuffs not within their usual diet.
  3. Certain professions can cause this, if the worker does not take sufficient breaks: Alchemists, Herbologists and Miners, for example.
  4. The consumption of "overpurified" water may also cause this. Nature has given us a rich heritage. Extracting everything from our water through filters (whether stone, paper or alchemy) may inadvertently remove the benefits as well as the potential hazards.
"Treatment"
This does not warrant an entry in the treatment section, which has been reserved for healers and binders to quickly reference for the non-self-inflicted. To overcome PWD in this case, the binder must simply ensure the patient does the opposite of what they have been doing: return to the usual quantity of sleep, avoiding for a time the food or drink which caused it, ensuring at-risk workers balance their passion for their work with an equal passion for the air around them.  
A Final Note
Self-induced PWD is no less real and, as Binders and Healers, we are not in the seat of a judge. We do not know all of a patient's story. Advise them firmly, not harshly. Efficiently but not brutally. Then move onto other patients.
 
 

Myst Sensitivity Overstretching

An issue more common in Acolyte or Apprentice Mages (and in those not Authorised Mages - note) is "Myst Sensitivity Overstretching" - a draining of ones Elemental Energies without having taken time to regenerate them.  
To those not Myst Sensitive, please be aware that even master Mages still study, write and read, which can push their physical limits in the same way as those not Myst Sensitive. This is even more the case for the Apprentices, who are so often focused on refining their arts that they forget the source of them.
Elemental Essence Degradation
While PWD does not cause Elemental Essence Degradation, it may (as part of a wider lifestyle choice-set) be induced by it. This is because the common thread is the need to replenish Elemental Energy. The primary outcome for a sufferer of EED (and be under no misapprehensions, Elemental Essence Degradation is a form of suffering) is, should they subsequently develop PWD, the recovery time will be much longer and the Mage affected will need more time around a source of their Elemental alignment, or a more intense source of it.
 
 

Chronic PWD

Whether simply drained from exertion, forgetting to balance Elemental Energies (which is something all living beings must do) or whether it is related to mystical arts, it is always possible for PWD to become chronic - meaning, persistent, long-term and potentially life-affecting. While we always believe in the methods and future discoveries of research, until we have a direct treatment, chronic PWD must instead be managed.  

Symptoms

It is the symptoms of Mistwalking that led to its name. They can be divided into two categories - physiological and psychological.  

Physiological

While uncommon, the ability of one's eyes to focus as they usually would can be a result of Mistwalking. This can lead to a "mist" or "heat mirage" effect, causing the sufferer to experience disorientation and difficulty in assessing physical spaces. Naturally, this may also lead to accidents and injuries that would not have occured under normal circumstances.  

Psychological

PWD causes some or all of the following symptoms - though it varies from patient-to-patient:  
Cognitive Disfunction
Processing simple thoughts and words becomes very difficult. This also adversely affects conversations with others.
Head Pain
Whether a direct symptom of PWD, or as a result of trying to focus, sufferers usually report some level of head pain, especially at the front of the head.
Short Focus
An ability to remained focused on one thing, leading to many started but few completed tasks.
Disorientation
This can occur whether or not one experiences the visible "mist" mentioned earlier. As thought processes are interrupted and impeded, becoming "lost" has been observed. For the avoidance of confusion, usually the patient knows where they are but stuck between tasks and lacking a clarity of thought, they can easily forget where they are going to.
 

Symptoms caused by Symptoms

Other side-effects which are seen in sufferers of Person-World Disconnect are those caused by the primary symptoms.  
High Anxiety
Despite clearly having a psychological health challenge, patients with PWD still expect themselves to achieve the same outcomes each day as a person without this condition. This reality-expectation gap leaves sufferers tense (physically and mentally) and anxious.
Irritability
Whether directed towards themselves or others, it is not uncommon for those with PWD to display high irritability, sudden mood changes and, in extreme cases, angry or violent outbursts.
 

Before Treatment

As we seek to approach the treatment, it is of first-order priority to understand the person (without PWD) before suggesting the treatment, assistance or life changes. They must feel valued as a being in their own right, rather than someone to be feared - or worse, punished, for circumstances they likely did not choose.  

Treatment

Emergency Treatment

The only time PWD will be classified as an emergency will be if they also have Elemental Essence Degradation and a mage has pushed themselves too far. This will never happen to the non-Myst Sensitive.   It is an emergency if:
The patient is dying, or clearly fading (literally) and their Elemental Essence must be immediately remedied or their life will be lost. PWD is not known as a method people choose to end their lives, so we must assume the illness was not intentional. Therefore, their life must be saved, if possible.
 

Pure Elemental Gas

The focus here is on the key Elements required for survival. These steps should take three minutes. While that is done, the patient must be outdoors. If it is raining, all the better.  
  1. Grind down demi-crystals (or naturally-occuring Elemental Shards) of Erdé (ground), Aevyen (air) in equal parts.
  2. Mix into naturally-occurring stream water (Ousii) in a phile, leaving three finger widths at least unfilled. Do not use Sea water, that will instantly kill them in this state.
  3. Cork the phial and heat gently (Fire Rock ideal, flame if necessary) until the glass is warm.
  4. If the patient is still breathing, open the phial under their nose or mouth.
  5. If they are not - but you can still hear their heart (in this state they are fading), heat the phial for one more minute. This transforms the fluid to gas (which is why we left three finger-widths). Open the phial over their head and let it "rain" over them.
Within one more minute you will see either a stabilising of the breathing or their form appearing less translucent. If the mixture has no effect, then please proceed as usual with the care and attention required to the dying and ensure any known relatives are informed with due speed.  

Why This Works

We know that water near a porous stone will seep into it. A door to warm building being left open in Winter will see the heat escape and the cold enter. Elements move and shift. In the same way, the Elemental mixture moves to where there is almost no presence of those Elements in an attempt to balance them.   This mixture replenishes the desperately lacking Elements required for existence:
  • Erdé: there is a reason some are buried underground when they pass. Those that choose this cite "returning their essence to the land". More scientifically, we exist within Nature. Using Erdé crystals helps draw a patient back to nature, the thing they are being separated from.
  • Ousii:: nearly all sentients inside our borders require water to survive. As do most plants. By using naturally-occuring water, we ensure that no biped interference gets in the way of how Nature is supposed to work. Indeed, this mixture will fail if the water is not naturally occuring, as the interaction with the Erdé and Aevyen crystalettes/shards will not take place.
  • Aevyen:: It is said of mystics that fade, that their essence is - at the last - blown away by the air. While this is not a principle we can support as Binders, it is a helpful analogy. Their essence will fade if the air they breathe is denied at the last moment. The wind is powerful: it can carry people, destroy houses and remake landscapes. Yet it can also be constructive - carrying vessels, aiding flying creatures, granting calm. Very often, the wind carries fragments of other materials in it - grains of sand, droplets of water, lightning storms. Thus, Aevyen is required as much as Ousii and should not be underestimated.
 
Why The Gas Does Not Burn
The gaseous version does not cause burns despite being heated. While this description sounds impractical, this is where the mystical and non-mystical differing interpretation of "Elements" must respect the Mystical.  
Ice has never been seen as an Element for it is the basis of two, or, according to some three, Elements.   As Air (usually) cools that which it blows over, Ice (Glàsi) is a result of Aevyen and Ousii. In the North, it is believed Light (Orma) plays a role, especially to the Deenfeiss Leen Kyadii, near the Glàsdei-an-Ormà. Elsewhere, it has been seen that Erdé, when naturally cooled, say, by rivers and streams, then interacts with Aevyen to make Ice (the Ethereal version, if not the literally one).
  In short, by combining Aevyen and Ousii crystals, that mixture more than counteracts our feeble manual heating, so that it is a cool mist over the patient.  
 

Non-Urgent Treatment

Non-urgent should not be used as a synonym for "unimportant" or "deprioritised". However, so long as the patient does nothing to aggravate their condition, remedies and action plans may be created from more widely accessible ingredients.  

Practical Treatment for the Myst Sensitive

It is a common misconception that physical medicines and treatments may not be used to aid and cure those mystically sick. If the healing arts of magick may be used to repair a physical injury, why can the reverse not be true? And indeed it is! The task is to show care and understanding, then demonstrate your knowledge and back up your recommendations with evidence. If the treatment is experiential or experimental, then approach it as you would your research - regular visits to record the patient's state.   Thus, the recommendations set out below may equally apply to mystic and non-mystic alike.   It is not for Practical Binding to provide a complete "course", however a Structured Plan to aim to reduce symptoms or - more likely - reduce the chance of the patient aggravating their own symptoms. Each Plan will need to be created, tailored and subsequently amended for each individual patient. However, the following are similar threads that can help build a workable plan.  
Dietary Change
The patient's current food (and drink) balance must be assessed and reworked. Bear in mind the social level of your patient before recommending food they cannot afford. Do not add stress to a PWD patient, who is already likely highly anxious about the future.
Savàni Salve
For any new acolytes, this is no medicine, paultice or potion. Our land (Savàni) is rich and varied and must be experienced as such. By spending time in and around the Elements, we can calm and, to some degree, "mend" mentally. This is true of the mage and non-mage. While this may not, in itself, reduce PWD symptoms, by taking the patient away from more dense surroundings may ease some of the tension the condition causes.
Sight Treatment
While eyes are delicate, with preliminary results showing Kyadii and Fahlōndii seemingly unaffected, we can safely perform basic sight clearance procedures, through the usual alchemic processes. If done alongside dietary changes and Elemental regeneration, the whole person may begin to feel more complete. No Apprentice, however experienced, should undertake to treat someone's eyes without the presence of a Master or Veteran Binder. Possible naturally-occuring ingredients to mix into the usual base fluids: Migwort, Flower of San, Purple Riverweed, Glàsdei Crystalette.
 
Elemental Recharging
Mages
For a mage, this is usually self-evident. To be accepted as being Myst Sensitive an Elemental Alignment is assigned - even if it begins between two, or evenly split between two Elements. Thus, for Mages, as with Elemental Essence Degradation, they should cease spellcasting (except for necessity) and bathe in their Element. (For Ousii-alignment this is literal. All the others are metaphorical).
Non-Mages
While non-mages (or at least, non-Myst Sensitive), a brief interview about places they have felt calmer in will begin to tease out an in-built "alignment" (for want of a proper term). Even if the patient is calmer at home, an assessment of the materials making their home, plus the immediate environs may yield answers. If they undertake work at or near home, a request to stay there as their "treatment" should be refused, or strongly advised against, with environs similar to their homeland, but away from pressures of work.
 
 

Past Treatment

Recent archaelogical discoveries on Nirryi Isle led to our historical records being amended. It seems an emergency treatment for "fading" (as we have seen, a by-product of PWD) was to use Lunarblooms. While no such flower exists within our borders, we may pursue avenues of enquiry into any similar ones elsewhere.
Section Menu
Vital Elements
  • Ousii
  • Aevyen
  • Erdé
Unproven Elements
  • Ormà
May Become Chronic
Yes
Life-threatening?
Only in the case of the Myst Sensitive who have far outstretched themselves
Immune Species
Kyàdonii (not only the Kyadii), Fahlōndii
Resistent Races
Foyii / Woodsmen
Type
Neurological
Origin
Natural
Rarity
Uncommon
Affected Species

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