What is Wendigo Psychosis?On literary notes, the term ‘Wendigo’ refers to a cannibal monster or evil spirit of Atlantic Coast and Great Lakes Region of both USA and Canada.  In medical terminology, psychiatrist has lend the name ‘wendigo’ to define a dramatic mental illness of culture-bound syndrome “wendigo psychosis” which involves intense craving for human flesh and a fear of becoming a cannibal beast (eating flesh beast). 
Generally this weird mental illness of eating human flesh is associated with deepest winter-the time of famine and insatiable greed of cannibalism. Eating human flesh is considered as mental disorder in modern times, more than a cannibalism practice because it drove the Algonquin-speaking peopleinsane and invincible to eat more and more victims and their fear and guilt of snacking on a dude turned them into lunatic people, ending up in loss of human beings and getting executed by other people in the surroundings. People affected with wendigo psychosis were executed or burn alive as it is believed that a wendigo is a mythical beast who constantly searches for new victims as he never satisfied after consuming one person. Moreover, it is reported that humans can turn into wendigos by being in contact with them for too long. 
Symptoms of Wendigo PsyhosisAs it’s been told that, Wendigo psychosis is a culture-bound syndrome-linked to American culture, even more specifically to Northern tribes i.e. Chippewa, Ojbwa, Cree and Inuit.
Following are the symptoms, which are believed to transform a normal human being into a cannibalistic monster.
- It is said that wendigo psychosis (crave for human flesh) usually occurred when an individual became highly anxious and depressive, believing that other humans are edible.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Poor appetite or starvation
- Anti-social behavior
- Suicidal tendencies to prevent wendigo possession
Causes of Wendigo PsychosisYou all must be thinking that for what possible reasons, a decent human being could transform himself into a mythical beast.
As a matter of fact, a wendigo is believed to possess supernatural power, according to traditional belief of Northern tribes of Algonquian-speaking people. The desire to eat human flesh developed in winter and coldness, in the northern forests of USA and Canada. When the people of that realm were isolated and confined to their cabins because of heavy snowfall. The cannibalistic practices induced into Algonquian community when they experienced hallucination, depression and insomnia in state of starvation. Once it was begun, they never switched to real food even if it was available in bulk.
Treatment of Wendigo PsychosisAccording to a myth, the Wendigos have to be executed, buried and their graves covered with a large pile of logs as they could never be satisfied eating one person, but crave for more.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, wendigo psychosis was treated by traditional native healers by force-feeding of copious doses of hot grease, including bear fat, melted deer tallow, and sturgeon oil, stuffing the individual to satisfy the cravings and if their cure attempts failed, the wendigos were executed.
Although, the modern medications suggest that a cannibal beast suffering from wendigo psychosis can be treated with proper nutrition including fats, proteins and vitamins. And for safety of a wendigo and other people, he should be kept in isolation in initial stages to control his craving for human flesh.
But it is believed that the stigma of wendigo psychosis was vanished in the late 1900’s before it could be verified in real medical ways. In 20th century, Wendigo Psychosis cases decreased sharply when Algonquian people came in to greater contact with Western ideologies and more sedentary lifestyle.
Wendigo Psychosis CasesSome people with rational mind might google that is wendigo psychosis real? Well the answer is .. Yes! It is damn real. No doubt it is rare but yes it existed as this dramatic mental disease has left many eye witnesses and real life stories.
One of the famous cases of wendigo psychosis is of Swift Runner. During the winter of 1878, his family killed the elder son and ate him, which pushed him to kill his wife and remaining 5 children and ate them to suppress his appetite. Later he confessed and was executed by authorities at Fort Saskatchewan.
In 1896, a man reported a weird creature in Trout Lake, in northern Alberta, who was literally witnessed as a wendigo beast by villagers. The villagers killed and buried him and piled logs on his grave to make sure he couldn’t come back to life.
In recent 2014 a case was reported by DAWN new Pakistan Mohammad Arif & Mohammad Farman, were caught inDarya Khan locality in Bhakkar district Pakistan, reported to eat flesh from corpses and involved in cannibalism.
Wendigos and this mental disorder has really left many tales of eating human flesh to chill your bones as they really existed in the old times and still it does exist with no notable incidents.
- Cash Ahenakew, The birth of the ‘Windigo’: The construction of Aboriginal health in biomedical and traditional Indigenous models of medicine Critical Literacy: Theories and Practices 5:1 2011
- Brightman (1988:337-8, 374)
- Bhakkar cannibals back to eating human flesh, in Dawn News
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