Leaving Condition in Vellikka | World Anvil



Vellich Believe...

The Vellich don't know what causes Leaving. They see it as a mysterious unforeseeable event and as a result it has a lot of stigma attached to it.   They believe it is when the mind starts leaving before the body is ready, thus the name.


Leaving is caused by heightened anxiety or stress levels. The person's brain, in order to deal with the stress, fires additional neural pathways which cause over-stimulation. This, in turn, leads to a form of brief paralysis and panic which amplifies the situation.   These over-stimulated neural pathways become overwhelmed and effectively short-circuit, killing off the pathways and preventing the person from accessing the information stored along that pathway.


Symptoms include:
  • Forgetting words or phrases
  • Forgetting minor short-term things (e.g. where something was put)
  • Forgetting what they're doing (e.g. why they entered a room)
  • Forgetting what they are talking about


There are no successful known treatments on Vellikka.   In the past, people have tried treating it with various potions including Sweet Vale tonics. None of these have been found to be successful, although there are some who believe that applying packed mud on to a person's head for 7 days and then wet cold leaves for 7 days will solve the problem. It doesn't.   Others believe that if you behave as normal and hope it goes away it will improve on its own. Ironically, this can help if the person's anxiety and stress is allowed to subside, or given the space to talk through their problems. Unfortunately, due to the stigma of this illness, hoping it'll go away normally adds to the stress and makes it worse.


The forgetfulness gradually gets worse (or not so gradually, depending on the levels of stress and anxiety the person is under). The person's ability to focus deteriorates and and is likely to eventually revert to a child-like state if left to run its full course. However, due to the cultural stigmas around it, the person can find themselves emotionally debilitated and can cause severe depression and worse. It is not a terminal illness in and of itself, but once the person reverts to a child-like state it can't be reversed.

Cultural Reception

The people of Vellikka don't understand Leaving, and as a result there is an amount of trepidation about it. Some think it's infectious and worry that if they spend time around the person they are likely to catch it too. Others believe it's a sign that the spirits have blighted this person for some slight against them. This can lead to them being ostracised from their settlements.    Whatever the Vellich think, they are often treated with an amount of pity by those around them which can make the situation worse.

Related Articles

Nature Sweet Vale
Culture Vellich World View
Chronic, Congenital
Affected Species


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Jan 2, 2024 20:01

This might be one of the more terrifying conditions that I could relate to and I don't blame the Vellikka for their want to distance themselves from the idea of it - though the thought that someone who is going through it might be isolated further because of it is another layer of depressing. A terrible spiral, really. I think it's especially rough because they have no known way of treating it, much akin to our own way of losing our minds. We certainly try, to an extent, but there is the social pity aspect humans have too. I like both the differences but the parallels, too. It helps frame the condition in a way that is both relatable but... still horrifyingly sad.

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Jan 2, 2024 21:12 by Elspeth

Yes exactly. I went through some things a couple of years ago, and found myself forgetting really obvious words and phrases more often. That made me panic and it only got worse. Eventually I spoke to a professional about it and they suggested that it's because I was processing too many things at once, so I saw a therapist and things got much better so quickly. This is inspired by that. I'm really glad you can see the horror in it, because that's what it is. Thank you so much for commenting. <3

Jan 2, 2024 22:13

I have something a bit similar though less of a happy ending XD Had a problem crop up that requires me to take some meds - the side effect of said meds is memory loss. Bout 10 years ago I'd have sworn on my memory but now... I forget the most basic things. It's been a huge adjustment though thankfully not quite so isolating. But it is quite terrifying. You nailed that. Going through something definitely helps with writing it and I felt that through and through.

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Jan 3, 2024 08:29 by Elspeth

Oh that's really rough! I'm glad it's not so isolating, but appreciate how terrifying it is. <3