Seekin

noun: [SEE-ken] / a sufferer of: [seek-END] / verb: [SEEkh]

Seekin is a condition ranging from a short-term sense of feeling astray from one's purpose, to a more chronic and aggressive depression.   To suffer from Seekin is to feel lost, misguided, or confused, varying in intensity from a passing state to a more chronic unwellness. It is used both as a generalized term and social jibe ("I'm seek of your mess!") or as a more direct nod to the feelings themselves ("Boy's got a powerful Seekin to get under control.")   A sufferer of Seekin is known as a Seekind, who is Seek.

Transmission & Vectors

Though the initial infection is through an imbalance in mental or physical health for an individual, Seekin is also viewed as being transmittable as a social disease, transmitted through an untreated infected's regular interactions with a community.

Causes

Typically, one is at risk for Seekin after major life changes and during the course of everyday life. However, one may begin to experience symptoms of Seekin if they lack fulfillment in everyday life, or as a complication from other physical or spiritual illness.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Seekin may include:

  • Mood: anxiety, apathy, general discontent, a sense of unease, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, mood swings, or sadness without cause
  • Sleep: changes or disruptions in sleep, such as early awakening, excess sleepiness, insomnia, or restless sleep*
  • Whole body: excessive hunger, fatigue, loss of appetite, inflammation, or restlessness
  • Behavioral: agitation, excessive crying, irritability, or social isolation
  • Cognitive: lack of concentration, slowness in activity, inability to shift away from loops of thought, reliving unpleasant memories, or thoughts of suicide
  • Weight: weight gain or weight loss
  •   *Practitioner must rule out Kichede as a possible source of sleep disruption

    Treatment

    For many mild cases, requesting a Telling may help settle the mind and reset the personal compass.   More serious cases require intervention by the social group, usually led by the village Intercessor, and whose exact prescription is informed by visits with the village Teln. Treatment usually involves being paired with another for observation against self-harm, and enforced lifestyle changes, typically in diet, daily, and exercise routines, but occasionally also in a change of occupation should it be deemed necessary.

    Prognosis

    Initial expressions of Seekin appear in symptomatic behavior that begins to compound. Mild or short-term cases tend to be limited to this behavior, but left unchecked, Seekin may develop into a chronic condition and become vulnerable to other health complications.   As Seekin progresses untreated, the suffering may experience thoughts of harm to self or others, and may build elaborate fantasies of how these harm behaviors would manifest. As these fantasies become more real to the Seekind, left untreated, Seekin may become fatal to the host, and transmittable to their social group.

    Sequela

    Though feelings of anxiety or difficulty sleeping can be separate from Seekin, this condition may make them more acute. Sufferers of Seekin become prone to the risks of other diseases both natural and supernatural.

    Prevention

    As feelings of Seekin can arise normally through the events of life (such as death, loss, or major change), there is no exact prevention for Seekin. Walkingfolk believe that a strong-knit community is the best defense, and during these major life changes, tend to rally around those who might begin to experience Seekin otherwise.

    Epidemiology

    Though most cases of Seekin tend to be initially limited to an individual, it is believed that severe cases can spread through the community. Thus, it is considered not only normal but prudent to seek treatment before cases become pronounced.

    Cultural Reception

    Though it is sometimes used as a jibe on others or as a self-deprecating remark, and there are often short-term bouts of Seekin following change, it is important to note that actual and chronic cases of Seekin are treated seriously. Should someone joke too often that they are Seekin, others in their social group would not hesitate to pull them aside and encourage them to seek a Teln or Intercessor.

    Liora shook her head, signing furiously: "You can't send him on patrol, not with him like this! Boy's Seekin' to get hurt, and it's going to get the rest of us killed!"
    Type
    Mental
    Origin
    Natural
    Cycle
    Chronic, Acquired & Congenital
    Rarity
    Uncommon
    Affected Species


    Cover image: Kkaxe River banner by M Kelley

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