Honeymind

Honeymind is a mental debilitation caused by excessive consumption of raw Almenan honey. The condition is characterized by listlessness, submissiveness, and drowsiness.  

Causes

Honeymind is caused by eating large amounts of Almenan honey. The honey, produced by a species of bee native to Almena on Tashur, is very sweet with a mild chocolaty flavor. It is considered a delicacy in Almena and the surrounding areas, with thousands of barrels harvested every year. In its raw form, Almenan honey also acts as a sedative and mild hallucinogenic. Honey sold for commercial use has to be specially refined in a process that reduces the volume by nearly 90%. Because of the high cost of refined honey, unscrupulous individuals often sell unrefined Almenan honey, particularly to the poor or those who do not know the difference. Additionally, some use the unrefined honey for the sedative effects, using it to induce sleep, calm extreme anxiety, or numb pain. The hallucinogenic effects typically are not sought out, as they are minor.   The mechanism of the affliction is due to the honey's excess of elemental void. This void creates an imbalance in the consumer's pneuma, creating increasing amounts of lethargy and subservience. In small amounts, this is not noticeable and will eventually be counteracted by the body's natural generation of nivose and fuliginous energy. However, excessive consumption can cause a build up of void faster than the body can counteract it. A typical adult human can consume around 1 ml of raw Almenan honey a day without lasting effects. As accidental doses tend to be much higher, regular consumption of raw honey can have deleterious effects.  

Symptoms

Initial consumption of raw Almenan honey results in drowsiness followed by a decrease in sensation of the entire body and mild auditory and visual hallucinations (such as seeing spots or a buzzing in the ears). Many who consume it accidentally will fall asleep before noticing any of the secondary effects. Consuming a large amount can have a general anesthetic effect, effectively rendering the consumer unconscious, paralyzed, and with no response to pain. For an adult human, it takes about 200 mL of honey to induce unconsciousness.   Continued consumption gradually leads to constant lethargy and sleepiness, often presenting as an urge to nap for periods of thirty minutes to an hour. Additionally, the affected will become increasingly susceptible to suggestions from others. This initially manifests as agreeability and willingness to do minor unusual tasks for people they trust. This grows stronger the longer and greater the consumption occurs, progressing from the following of general requests from those they trust without complaint to following orders from those they only know passingly to an eventual zombie-like state. Additionally, those effected frequently crave more honey and will begin to consume it more frequently. In its final form, an individual afflicted by honeymind will do nothing of their own volition but lay down or eat more Almenan honey, but will follow any command given to them by any person, regardless of the danger or difficulty.  

Prognosis

Early stages of honeymind typically resolve themselves without issue once the afflicted ceases consumption of raw Almenan honey. Even those with more advanced cases can recover with no lingering effects, assuming they can refrain from consuming more raw honey. This tends to be difficult given the addiction experienced in these advanced states. Those who reach the final stage are no longer capable of recovering without intervention. They can survive without consuming more honey, but will have a constant craving for it and can become agitated if kept from it. Because they will do nothing if not ordered, they require a caretaker who will tell them to eat, bathe, and take care of other biological needs.   Treating early stages of the condition, or the final stage, is possible through the use of powerful restorative magics or through treatment with elemental energies. The restorative magic necessary to treat the condition are rare, while the elemental treatment is long and expensive due to the cost of pure nivose and fuliginous energy. Elemental treatment additionally caries the complication of gradually reversing the stages of the condition, meaning patients will regress to a stage where they crave Almenan honey while having the mental faculties to actively and deceptively seek it out. Purified honey helps control the cravings in some, but does not always provide full relief.


Cover image: by Denis Khusainov

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