A woman in France has been granted the right to claim disability allowance based on the fact she is “allergic to wifi”. Crazy, right? It isn’t just wifi, but apparently, she has a heightened sensitivity to electrical impulses from things like mobile phones and electrical items of a similar nature. The condition she claims to have is called Electromagnetic hypersensitivity or more commonly EHS.
If you are familiar with the show Better Call Saul it is the condition that Jimmy’s brother, Chuck believes that he has. Except everybody in the show thinks he is just crazy.
Howling at the moon?
That reaction to the condition is pretty common! Medical opinion is very much divided on whether it actually exists or not!
Apparently, though the evidence is good enough for the French court. They ruled that Marine Richards, aged 39 will receive approximately $615 a month to aid her with living costs.
Richards is said to be delighted with the ruling. She has been living in a barn with no electricity in order to avoid the pain she suffers when being around these type of items. Can you imagine? No Angry Birds? Possibly the worst condition since man discovered the paper cut!
Cull the mast.
Throughout Europe, there are campaigns to have phone masts removed due to the effects of them on the populace. Although respected medical journals have claimed there is no scientific evidence to suggest that EHS is even a thing!
Studies have been carried out and it would appear that people who claim to have EHS are not able to differentiate between being exposed to and not being exposed to electromagnetic fields.
The World Health Organisation’s policy on the condition is that people who think they have EHS should be tested for other conditions that could cause those specific symptoms. In particular environmental factors should be explored. Physicians are encouraged to ascertain whether there are other possible causes for the suffers symptoms. If none can be found then to pursue the psychological evaluation.
Art imitating life.
Going back to the example of Chuck in Better Call Saul it seems the show managed to capture perfectly the condition. Although Chuck was dramatically affected by his ailment it’s later proven to be in his head, in a courtroom no-less. This is consistent with the idea that the condition doesn’t really exist and instead is possibly paranoia.
I guess it’s similar in some ways to the guys who would wear tin foil hats in order to stop the ‘insidious’ government from seeing their thoughts. I mean yeah, big brother may be watching to an extent but really Brian from Kent, he has no interest in what shopping you and Carol are getting this weekend. (it’s probable eggs).
Although both are consistent with mental illness. Perhaps in some ways what it also helps to illustrate is how not everybody is so great at adjusting to all of the worlds technological marvels.
The bigger picture
Of course, Chuck’s condition is anchored in real life reports. But it could be seen as a metaphor. Or in actuality just a human response to a species that skipped learning to crawl and advanced to trying to perfect the waltz. I’m not sure using that metaphor what the next step in the evolution of mankind is, nor am I sure of the real world next step of man’s evolution.
No matter what is it there are always going to be those that struggle with changes. And sometimes that will come to the fore by a seeming disdain for the “youth today”. Sometimes that will present itself in some made up disease. Ultimately it’s our bodies ways of rejecting what we can’t control and don’t want. That’s actually a pretty powerful statement and one worth hearing.