A case report on lycanthropy

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20 Responses to “A case report on lycanthropy”

  1. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Physical transformation is now referred to as ‘fursploding’.

  2. fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

    Can you imagine how dangerous a were-gerbil would be?

    With occasional dramatic but (population level) irrelevant exceptions, if a species is big enough for rifle fire to be a serious threat it’s either a cow or on the endangered species list.

    Smaller animals, by contrast, move with near impunity through the teeming crevices and warrens of human civilization. A gerbil with human-level intelligence(to avoid traps), and powerful seed-crushing teeth and jaws that hunger for the blood of the helpless would be nigh unstoppable…

  3. evets32 says:

    Here’s a hornet’s nest waiting to be kicked…

    We say they are “demonstrably human” and treat lycanthropy as a psychological disorder, but if someone has a penis and a Y chromosome, we refer to that person as a female simply because she believes she is one.

    Should we treat lycanthropes’ beliefs with more respect?  Is it ethical to try to ‘cure’ it?

    • Ryan_T_H says:

      This… Would actually be an interesting conversation. Unfortunately it would also be doomed to end in fire and tears

    • fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

      According to the blog post (I don’t have access to the article behind the paywall), the lycanthropic beliefs most commonly occur in the context of psychotic symptoms. That probably doesn’t help their credibility any. 

      It might also be the case, though TFA doesn’t provide much evidence one way or the other, that lycanthropy patients find being turned into an animal acutely distressing. A fair number of psychological states cross the line into be ‘disorders’ if they cause the patient sufficient distress.

      (Also, even in reasonably progressive circles, isn’t it generally the case that people’s beliefs about their gender might be accorded respect; but sex is treated as a (sometimes ambiguious and sometimes medically modifiable) anatomical fact?)

  4. stringmonkey says:

    “…But it doesn’t really explain the gerbil.”

    Have you ever had a pet gerbil?

    • Syndaryl says:

       My parents bred the horrid things. By accident, but it doesn’t change how horribly familiar I am with them. Not good pet choices.

  5. feetleet says:

    Just like crawdads are, like, evil shrimp.  

  6. Thomas Shaddack says:

    Chiming in from the cyberpunk/Shadowrun gallery…

    Similar phenomenons, including feelings of becoming inanimate things, were described by Stanislav Grof in his works with psychedelics, notably ketamine. Brain imaging shown high activity in proprioception brain regions during the lycanthropic episodes.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_lycanthropy

    This leads me to a hypothesis that this phenomenon is potentially exploitable in future brain-computer interfaces, allowing the operator to not merely control a machine/vehicle, but subjectively *becoming* it, with all the benefits of cutting down the interface-imposed limitations and delays. 

    For great descriptions of subjective perception of being a hovertank or a fighter aircraft, see e.g. Walter Jon Williams, “Hardwired”.

  7. smut clyde says:

    I am disappoint that the list of post-transformation animals does not include ‘Donkey’. Is there no respect for the classics?

  8. blindidiotgod says:

    How to be a werewolf:
    http://satanismcentral.com/werewolf.html

    Happy Nov. 1…:-D

  9. Gyrofrog says:

    See also: Aissawa (1), (2)

    (Granted, these are old accounts)

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