Shock to the System

Thats right, she has a bee in her bonnet

That's right, she has a bee in her bonnet

A futuristic bee-keeper? A bold fashion statement? Centrally-heated headwear for the cold weather?

No, this is Sarah – a woman who feels the pressures of modern living more than most. She’s one of a growing number of people reporting sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) emitted by appliances, mobile phones and Wi-Fi networks.

Struck down with “electro-sensitivity” (ES) ten years ago, Sarah had to give up work and stay at home, with symptoms including hair loss, sickness, high blood-pressure, memory problems, severe headaches and dizziness. At one stage things were so bad that she felt a violent shock even picking up the handset of a landline…

Obviously, now she wears protective wire netting over her head, has installed radiation reflecting foil wallpaper and has Nasa-designed curtains to keep out radiation from mobiles, transmission masts, power lines and wireless broadband.

Is this just 21st Century paranoid hypochondria – our equivalent of the witch’s curse of yesteryear – or are we looking at our generation’s asbestos? If so, tech journalists and PRs are likely to be the first to find out! Let’s hope not, eh?

French health secretary Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin recently warned against excessive phone use and award-winning neurosurgeon Dr Vini Khurana has spoken out against the potential dangers of the technologies we all now take for granted. However, the majority of scientists and researchers currently take the opposing view, stating that there is no proven link between EMR and an increased risk of cancer. Symptoms vary wildly between ES sufferers and no clinical trials have established any link.

No doubt these sufferers are experiencing real symptoms, but could they be psychosomatic in nature? Freud described patients experiencing psychosomatic blindness and even paralysis brought on by hysteria…

But who needs Freud, Richard and Judy are on the case:


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2 Responses to “Shock to the System”

  1. Bo Says:

    Absolutely. This is the new M.E.: a somatised form of hysterical neurosis cultivated by those whose purposes it serves to Refuse Life.

  2. Nick Says:

    Indeed, chronic fatigue syndrome is not something to be taken lying down.

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