Essay on Ergotism, Hysteria, and Disorders Detected in Salem

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Many people believe the Salem Witch Trials were caused by Ergotism, while others believe it to be just a form of hysteria, but what if I told you it could have been all of those combined together with another theory added in? In the story, The Crucible, mass hysteria broke out all through Salem being caused by the witch trials. The witch trials, however, may not have been the only thing causing the hysteria. Argot poisoning in the water along with puritan pressure causing the little girls to act out and throw fits could also be blamed on starting the hysteria. Disorders that could have been passed down through heredity could also have a part in this. Hysteria was a common contribution to the Salem Witch Trials. The first instances of…show more content…
In late winter and early spring of 1692, residents of Salem Village, Massachusetts, a thinly settled town of six hundred began to suffer from a strange physical and mental malady. Fits, hallucinations, temporary paralysis, and “distracted” rampages were suddeny occuring sporadically in the community. The livestock, too, seemed to suffer from the unexplainable illness. With the limited scientific and medical knowledge of the time, physicians who were consulted could only offer witchcraft as an explanation. Psychiatric disorder is used in a slightly different sense in the argument that the Witchcraft crisis was a consequence of two party factionalism in Salem Village in this account the girls are unimportant factors in the entire incident. Their behavior “served as the kind of Roschach test into which adults read their own concerns and expectations.” Possessed individuals exhibited learned behavior patterns and that words and actions varied only slightly among them. The affected women experienced an inner conflict which was explained by the ministers as a struggle between good and evil. As to the physical symptoms: the fits, trances, and paralyzed limbs, among others, Karlsen attributes them to the afflicted girls’ actual fear of witches as well as the idea that once they fell into an afflicted state they were free to express

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