Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

This is the place for discussion and voting on various aspects of werewolf life, social ideas, physical appearance, etc. Also a place to vote on how a werewolf should look.
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Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by Rosiewolf »

I was wondering if werewolves would be susceptible mental disorders? Like... schizophrenia, ADD, etc.
Just kinda thought of it since people always ask about werewolves and getting sick.
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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by RedEye »

Mental Illness in Werewolves is, I believe, a new one.

First: Let's get rid of Clinical Lycanthropy. That is a Humans-Only mental disease. They think they are Werewolves- or just plain Wolves when they are not. What they are is so far around the bend, they don't remember the curve.
Now; if we take the mentally gone totally animal werewolf of the movies; then, NO: you have to have a mind to lose it.
If, on the other paw, we take the normal, intelligent person with that silly little ability to change shape from human to wolf; then yes! A Werewolf of that sort would be subject to all the mental diseases that any other human would be. Mental Illness isn't healed like non-silver bullet wounds, or being hit with a car. A crazy Werewolf would probably be just as crazy as their human side was.
And that can be very crazy indeed... :(
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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by Berserker »

My idea is that becoming a werewolf rewires a person's brain and fixes pesky chemical and genetic problems like schizophrenia. Just like it cures physical diseases. Being a werewolf is being "realigned."
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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by Terastas »

Absolutely. With the exception of only one or two diseases that are the direct result of physical deterioration (Alzheimer's, for example), I think werewolves would be just as prone to mental defectiveness as a normal human would be, if not more so.

First, I think werewolves would be more vulnerable to any sort of shock-induced trauma, especially during the first shift. There is, after all, no possible way for anyone to know what it really feels like to shift until they've done it, so I don't think it would be that uncommon for someone shifting for the first time to snap, cave in or just plain hyperventilate and/or pass out.

And I hope I'm not overusing this phrase, but there's also the possibility for Hollywood Syndrome: when someone believes something untrue of werewolves adamantly enough that, upon becoming a werewolf, they develop a psychological complex which encourages their original misconception.

So yes, I think a werewolf's enhanced physical regeneration would be balanced by an increased vulnerability to mental illness. They're only human after all.

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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by Celestialwolf »

Berserker wrote:My idea is that becoming a werewolf rewires a person's brain and fixes pesky chemical and genetic problems like schizophrenia. Just like it cures physical diseases. Being a werewolf is being "realigned."
Yeah, I tend to think along those lines as well-not because it's logical, but because it sounds better to me (imagine some werewolf with Alzheimer's walking into a crowd of terrified people and saying, "now how did I get here again?" Yeah, not so good for stealth!). Now, as far as mental complexes and quirky personalities-those aren't really sicknesses and would still exist.

So anything chemical or genetic=fixed.

Anything purely mental based on what that person believes/thinks due to their life experiences=still there. :wacko:

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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by RedEye »

Lazywolf wrote:
Berserker wrote:
(You know what we need? A Joker wolf emoticon! Maybe even the Joker morphing into a Joker wolf! I have no talent-any volunteers?) :o
:jester:

Will that do? It's in the emoticons, with several others
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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by Celestialwolf »

RedEye wrote: :jester:

Will that do? It's in the emoticons, with several others
I was actually thinking more along the lines of the Heath Ledger Joker.

Here I tried to make one: Image

I think it looks more like makeup, but then that's why I was hoping someone else would make this!
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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by Infinite_Path »

Terastas wrote:Absolutely. With the exception of only one or two diseases that are the direct result of physical deterioration (Alzheimer's, for example), I think werewolves would be just as prone to mental defectiveness as a normal human would be, if not more so.
This raises an odd point: Would werewolves be resistant to just general mental decay, as a result of aging?
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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by Scott Gardener »

Having lycanthropy cure all mental illnesses sounds neat, but it makes for terrible writing. You're throwing away some of the best and most dramatic werewolf material you could possibly have!

That said, my own werewolves do have a certain tolerance, but more the result of shock value and recovery than of direct brain rewiring. That is, the experience of becoming a werewolf is so mind-blowing and so much a disruption of one's sense of continuity about life that one rethinks priorities and quits worrying about so many other things. When you have the power to save or wipe out humanity or the ability to give up on those hairless apes altogether and move into the wilderness, suddenly having a stressful job, breaking up with a girlfriend, or having your iPod break down just doesn't really seem that important any more. But, that decontextualization, while great for addressing psychological issues, does not neccessarily address psychiatric ones, in which brain chemistry itself is screwy.

Here's my take:

Bipolar ("manic-depressive"): At first, it makes it worse--a whole lot worse. Gradually, as the modified brain compresses and expands in and out of wolf and human forms, the lability problems are fixed, but the memory of having the problem isn't, and, let's face it, to some, lycanthropy is a metaphor for this disorder. For some, it's a way of understanding the problem and coping, while the problem quietly cures itself in the background. For others, you're just trading in one biochemical explanation for another, and the personality remains just as troubled and chaotic as ever.

Depression: Like bipolar--worse, then better. When you're depressed, you'll actively look for more things to feel depressed about. But, loosing your humanity... that's throwing gas on a fire. Just ask the angst-ridden vampire community for tips about moping pointers or annoyance that suicide now requires precious metal investments. Chemical depression would get fixed, but not the habit of being depressed; getting out of which requires a lot of work.

Generalized Anxiety: could cure it instantly; could follow the worse, then better formula; or, it could permanently throw one over the edge, rendering one a feral animal that bites and claws at anything that comes near. "Spiders... dark rooms... elevators... heights... snakes... but, at least with werewolves... I used to take comfort in knowing... I mean, believing... I mean... I could tell myself that, you know... werewolves don't really exist. I could let myself be scared of them, because they... you know... aren't real. But, if you're telling me they are, and that I'm... you know... one of them... "(gasping, struggling to catch one's breath)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: a variation of anxiety, in which the same rules apply. An OCD sufferer could get shock-valued into being cured or could end up like the lead character of Monk. Lycanthropy-related elements could work their way into compulsions. In my storylines, werewolves do not have to shift on full moons, but I picture at least a few who find themselves shifting uncontrollably anyway.

Personality disorders: these seem to stem less from specific neurotransmitter imbalances and more from a summation effect, the core of one's being. Thus, flamboyant histrionics and eccentric schizotypals would be just as off-the-wall, only with more material for their routines. Antisocials and psychopaths--well, we've all seen horror movies.

Schizophrenia: not "multiple personality disorder" as is commonly believed (which is actually dissociative identity disorder, which is so rare that there are more cases in two or three seasons of TV than in the entire medical literature), but instead a collection of disorders in which one's ability to relate to reality breaks down. Sufferers of schizophrenia hallucinate, they believe strange and disjointed ideas, and they often speak in disjointed or scrambled ways. Imagine if the real world were as confusing and disjointed as if you were dreaming, and you get a rough idea. (I've met one person who was convinced he had a heart transplant done through his arm, and another who repeatedly got advice from Satan to run for U.S. President.) It's a big enough problem that there are likely defects in the source DNA that lycanthropy would not be able to patch, though it could compensate and bring about some improvement. But, the last thing someone with paranoid delusions needs is tangible proof.

Alzheimer's dementia: the current working theory involves the build-up of amyloid plaques in the brain. I postulate that lycanthropy would prevent these plaques from forming, so someone who would have had it instead never gets it. Someone who already has it in the early stages might have remission as the lycanthropy-affected brain removes the clutter. Someone in later stages would be too likely to die during the first shift or the initial infection process beforehand, if not from overall frail physiology--most Alzheimer's sufferers late in life get pretty weak and cachexic from malnutrition--then from the plaques themselves, breaking down inside the brain, tearing up neurons, causing seizures, stroke, and cerebral edema. At least it's fairly quick.

I also pictured lycanthropy causing at least one new illness: Lycanthropy-Associated Dementia, or "going feral." Werewolves left alone for months at a time with little or no social interaction and in wolf or Gestalt form most or all of the time will gradually lose sense of being human. After several months, one experiences confusion and disorientation when shifting human, as well as a difficulty getting out of a feral mindset. After about five years, one is pretty much reduced to the equivalent of severe autism, and only advanced, futuristic brain-mapping and reconstruction technologies or an overwhelmingly talented and patient group of very good therapists with years to spare can bring one back. It's rarely an issue for any of us, but if a werewolf should ever crash land on an island with only a volleyball named Wilson for company, one better bring plenty of Sudoku puzzles.
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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by RedEye »

Relating to the OCD cite:
Imagine someone who has OCD and is covered with fur. They'd comb themselves hairless in a week.
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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by Dreamer »

Interesting you mentioned OCD, because I was actually planning on putting in a throwaway mention of the werewolf from Bisclavaret having OCD, explaining why he couldn't change back unless he put on his clothes.

And, speaking of disassociative identity disorder, I actually have 3 characters planned who have something like that, although only one of them has the actual disorder (And his life has been really crappy up to that point, almost to a comical extent, so that it's understandable why he has it). One of the other two has a much more unusual cause for his other personality (invloving fetus-in-fetu symdrome) and the other's "other self" is not so much another personaity as a twisted (And oh boy is it twisted/freuidianly metaphorical) extension and slight tweaking of his normal personality, caused by the parasite that gives him his powers (I haven't done his profile yet).

But also, I kinda came up with an idea for a disorder somewhat similar to it that only exists in werewolves. It's called Hazelton Syndrome, named after the infamous Sarah Hazelton from Peter is the Wolf. BAsically, it's sort of the creation of an alternate personality that surfaces in one's werewolf form, coming from a combination of instinacts and said persons view of the werewolf as an alternate personality mingling, thus unleashing all that person's repressed emotons in the form of an alternate personality. Usually this comes from sexual repression in that person's human life, and the alternate personality usually is harmless unless you are aprude (Thus why I named it after Sarah HAzelton). Oddly enough, this variant usually occurs more in women than in men, as (Sorry if I'm generalizing) society seems to force women to repress their sexualities much more than men. But the male variant of this variant of the disorder does tend to be a bit more dangerous, as it tends to lead to... the r-word. I'm no psychiatrist, so I wouldn't know how to come up with a plausible cure or psychiatric therapy for the male-sexual-variant, so maybe Scott might help me flesh out he idea on how to cure this variant of the disorder (Please?). But there's an even more dangerous variant, that basically unleashes all the worst variants of a person in their werewolf form, whether it be bloodlust, sadism, hatreds, jealousy, or just plain old sociopathy. The only cure for this variant would be to contfront those inner demons, come to terms with them, and hopefully somewhat decrease their prescence in yourself (Sorry for the vagueness and lack of scientific terminology, but like I told you, I'm no psychologist). All except for sociopathy, which cannot be cured (Correct me if I'm wrong on this Scott).
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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by Dreamer »

And by the way, I just noticed: with the male sexual variant of Hazelton's syndrome, I do beleive I have deconstructed the premise of Peter is the Wolf (EG, by reversing the gender roles). Yay! :P
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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by Scott Gardener »

Brilliant! It's even got a great-sounding name, and a better reference than the more obvious "Jekyll-Hyde" thing.

Treatment for such a disorder would be extremely difficult, I would expect, based on real-world counterparts. It would be largely a disorder of personality rather than primary chemistry, though depending on how you envision lycanthropic physiology, it could again be pouring gasoline on a flame.
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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by Terastas »

Scott Gardener wrote:Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: a variation of anxiety, in which the same rules apply. An OCD sufferer could get shock-valued into being cured or could end up like the lead character of Monk. Lycanthropy-related elements could work their way into compulsions. In my storylines, werewolves do not have to shift on full moons, but I picture at least a few who find themselves shifting uncontrollably anyway.
This is the big one for me as OCD and other forms of paranoia are the ones I'd think an otherwise normal human being would be most likely to develop upon becoming a werewolf, or at least they would be in our current present-day world. A pack's survival in present day would greatly depend on their anonymity -- their ability to blend in, so I think a lot of newcomer werewolves would become more self-conscious of themselves and worry if they may be giving something away. A certain toothpaste commercial comes to mind where the actor said: "Regardless of whether people are looking at your teeth or not, you always feel like they are" or something to that effect. Werewolves would be prone to a similar logic: even though most normal human beings don't even give werewolves half a thought outside of Halloween and B-horror movies, werewolves would continually worry that people suspect or that they may be unknowingly giving themselves away.

In fact, one of the two primary protagonists in Happy Hamster Land (it's a working title :grinp:) is obsessive-compulsive to some degree. Ever seen Ken Rosenberg from GTA: Vice City? That's more or less what he's like: sharp and resourceful, but very tightly wound.
I also pictured lycanthropy causing at least one new illness: Lycanthropy-Associated Dementia, or "going feral." Werewolves left alone for months at a time with little or no social interaction and in wolf or Gestalt form most or all of the time will gradually lose sense of being human. After several months, one experiences confusion and disorientation when shifting human, as well as a difficulty getting out of a feral mindset. After about five years, one is pretty much reduced to the equivalent of severe autism, and only advanced, futuristic brain-mapping and reconstruction technologies or an overwhelmingly talented and patient group of very good therapists with years to spare can bring one back. It's rarely an issue for any of us, but if a werewolf should ever crash land on an island with only a volleyball named Wilson for company, one better bring plenty of Sudoku puzzles.
This is the other big one for me. We've already had plenty of discussions which, in one way or another, forced us to question whether werewolves could be considered human anymore. Once someone becomes a werewolf, he'd start asking himself this even before his first shift, and more likely than not would stop thinking of himself as human and just as "something else."

This would likely be amplified by the new sensory organs he would acquire after the first shift; the heightened smell, possible decrease in vision, sensitivity to noise, etc., which would have them experiencing the world in a whole new way the brain was not originally programmed for. It would be a very rare werewolf that would make it through the first shift and not even be so much as humiliated afterwards.

That's the problem my other protagonist has: he snaps during the first shift and lashes out, then once his packmates restrain him and talk him back down, he breaks down and cries, which his packmates latter assure him was one of the better turnouts they could have hoped for. This is why I think werewolves would stick together in packs even if it isn't instinctive -- because the only thing that would suck more than being a werewolf is being the only werewolf. Misery loves company; when we know our problems are not unique unto ourselves, we tend to find them more livable.

The bottom line, I guess, is that nobody could ever possibly know what it's like to be a werewolf until they become one. Even perfectly normal people can develop severe disorders, so normal people would be expected to have problems and people that already had problems would be expected to get worse. Chemical imbalances and brain damage might be undone by lycanthropic regeneration, but I think it would almost always get worse before it gets better.

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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by Silent Hunter »

To be honest I do not see why not. One of the problems with werewolves to me is that they can be overpowered sometimes to stupid levels (the healing vs bullet wounds comes to mind). I think that the shift and its stresses will cause mental problems in some and various changes in senses could be too much. This werewolf healing makes sense for physical wounds but if the brain is not fixed up right then it can do little.
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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by RedEye »

"Could a Werewolf think of him/her self as a Human anymore?" :?

This has two answers, because the defiinition of being human has two distinct forms. One is physical, one is mental.
On the Physical side, Adolf Hitler was a human; even though he was about as purely inhuman as they come. Genetically, if a Werewolf retained >99.4% of the genetic makeup posessed by a human he would be human; by court decision.* :o
Mentally Human is a whole different ball of wax. We tend to measure the humanity of people by using the same values we use to call ourselves human; variously; charity, intelligence, industry, compassion, inventiveness, social awareness...the list goes on and on and varies by the social group involved.
So, by this measure, Adolf Hitler was decidedly not human.
Add in that the root word for human means "Somebody like us" and you see what I mean by a ball of wax. :lol:

SO: By the physicality method, a Werewolf would be not-human and genetically maybe human if the genetic numbers work out. That would make them a Race if they had more than 99.4% in common with the "standard" human genome values. A Werewolf with 99.5% of his/her genes in common with the rest of humanity would be genetically human. :roll:
Mentally, though, it would be a toss-up. Since the basic term Human means "Like Us", then the Wulf would flunk that test. If they thought like us enough, then they would be human in that case. :P
And using the "Like Us" method, we Smoothskins would not be "Human" by Werewolf terms.
Quite a mess, eh? ??
*The >(more than) 99.4% value is the legal result of a trial wherein a chimp was put forward as being legelly "human". The judge used the genetic value as the reason he said no. This became pretty much the standard for genetic humanity; > than the magic number and you're human, less and you're an ape.
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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by Scott Gardener »

(Sorry to nit-pick, but "<" is "less than"; ">" is "greater than." Consider: "12 > 11", or "4x < 4x + 1". The jaws of the shark, or alligator, or Pac Man, or whatever mnemonic creature you were taught, want to eat whichever number or numerical string is bigger. But, that's just picking a nit.)

Was this 99.4% an actual case? If so, it carries some important implications for genetic engineering. Maybe not a big issue today, but in, say, 2050, it could be a huge one, unless we get to work today separating being a human organism from being a person with an identity.
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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by RedEye »

Yeah, the 99.4% value is the current definition of "Genetically Human".
Apparently, Chimps have something like 99.35% of their genes in common with Homo Sapiens, or us.
The "case" was one where a group of people were trying to get Chimpanzees declared human beings on the basis of their genetic structure. They wanted to have chimps declared human and thus gain access to "civil rights" on that basis. That would mean Social Security Numbers, Medicare, Public Assistance; indeed the whole enchilada.
The Judge did view both the PRO presentations and the CON presentations, and ruled that Chimps, Gorillas, and the other Great Apes were not human genetically; and set the 99.4% value as the break point between Genetically Human and Genetically Simian/non-Human.
I'm using that in Wulfen Blood. My Werewolves test out at 99.55% Human genetically; thus creating Homo Sapiens Simiensis ( the non-wolfy types) and Homo Sapiens Lupensis (Werewolves, etc.).
Normally, people vary as much as four-tenths percent on the basis of race and genestocks from the "Standardized Human Genome Value" determined (I believe) three or four years ago.
That would make Werewolves a Race of Humanity... if they existed. :o
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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by heartlessfang »

This is such an awesome discussion. There's so much material here I'm crying tears of joy! T__T

I would agree that imbalances of the chemical kind would be dealt with to a certain extent. But psychological and emotional are all the were's or their pack's burden to work through.
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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by Scott Gardener »

But, there's some loopholes.

A human / chimpanzee hybrid: would be close enough to pass for human. None are known to exist, but it's theoretically doable.

A person with Down's Syndrome, Klinefelter's Syndrome, or any other chromosomal disorder: is still considered human. The person has an extra chromosome or an extraneous duplicate part of a chromosome. Granted, it's an extra chromosome entirely of human origin, so the law wouldn't be an issue.

My hypothetical werewolves: Have 34 extra chromosomes worth of DNA, all of which is capable of bunching itself up and replicating itself like a virus. I imagined a scientific community racking its collective brains and arguing among itself whether or not a person with 80 chromosomes, including all 46 human ones and a bunch of extras that aren't, still counts as human. One can be born human, given this thing, and then transform at times into something decidedly different, which bears an uncanny resemblance to another species on the planet. The final consensus, with some political pressure from the Lycanthrope Global Freedom Federation, is that a werewolf is a symbiosis of human and virus-like organism. A werewolf does not count as a wolf, since the inserted DNA, while including things copied directly from wolves, were added after the fact and were not organized into wolves' traditional 78 chromosomes. My werewolves can mate with humans. A werewolf father and a human mother gives you a werewolf child--usually one, rather than a litter--as well as a werewolf mother, since it's contageous from body fluids. My werewolves can't mate with wolves. Well, they can, but they don't get offspring, and it's usually frowned upon, because it freaks out the humans, who are already pretty edgy.
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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by RedEye »

My Werewolves have a similar set-up, only the Viroid selectively activates already present but dormant Human Genes as well as making the template in the cell bi-morphic between two life forms, one of them "Smooth Human" and the other being "Werewolf". The Wolf-only chromosomes are only active and thus readable during the Shift.
Thus, my Wulfen test out with 46 chromsomes that respond to the replication material in the test media, yet have more "sleeping" until needed when triggered by the Shifting chemistry.

While they are like Scott's, they differ in that they carry some of their Wolf heritage all the time, as in Teeth, ears, eyes, naughty bits, tails and feet. These are either hidable or disguisable when passing in Smooth.
My take was that being completely human when in hiding was too easy; so I kept some things that didn't change with the body. Justification: Energy saving at the Shift.
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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by Celestialwolf »

I'm glad there are smart/creative people here like Scott Gardener and Redeye to make up for the lack thereof on my part! I love all the interesting ideas presented on this thread and the rest of the forum; they help me refine my own definition of what a werewolf is!

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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by Scott Gardener »

Thanks. Many of us have our own takes, and some of us get pretty attached to them. It's nice to swap ideas, though, and revise our working models.

When I started my storyline as a daydream back in 1987, my werewolves were vulnerable to silver and changed on the full moon. I had other, weirder things; they needed silver chromate to catalyze the first shift, for instance. And, I decided for some kooky reason that wisteria plants were toxic, just like wolvesbane was. I've come a long way. I dropped the vulnerability to silver when I couldn't find good folklore to back it. (Though now I can, but I've already gotten used to their not being affected.) And, I dropped the full moon for the same reason--and, I couldn't come up with a good biological reason, since I was aiming for a hard science approach and gravity-based models just weren't working.

However, I applaud those who purposefully avoid explanations or science, while maintaining a sense of in-story believability. And, I also appreciate those of you who offer your own biological takes.
Taking a Gestalt approach, since it's the "in" thing...

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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by RedEye »

My Wulfen are still vulnerable to Silver, but for the simple reason that the stuff's a heavy metal poison, and the Wulfen are very sensitive to it.
In a wound, it prevents the R-cells (Repair) from healing the wound, and the I-cells (Immunity/Infection control) which control infections are also killed by the stuff. As a result, a silver bullet wound will not heal, and will become septic literally overnight.
Powdered Silver in a soluble agent (like K-Y Jelly) will poison a Wulf. If it gets in the bloodstream, it will eventually kill the Wulf so poisoned unless said Wulf is dialyzed within a very short time.
Regular bullets will kill IF they hit in the right spot: A .45acp hollow-point through the brain is as lethal the wulfen as it is to smooths. Ditto the heart; if there is enough destruction, they die.
Heavy Silver plating on a solid bullet will act like a pure silver bullet, because the tissues are reacting to the Silver that is plated onto the bullet itself.
They are also sensitive to Potassium in foods; I killed a character that way, in fact. She was in a Sanatarium, and was given "Lite Salt" (Potassium Chloride) instead of regular salt for her food. She died of a heart attack, brought on by HyperKalemia (too much "K", or potassium); and because she was a stroke victim, she didn't realize what she was eating. In that way, Wulfen are more at risk than Smoothskins to such poisoning in the amount needed to cause harm.
I'm trying to keep them believable by giving them weaknesses that are reasonable and unique to them and their special nature.
RedEye: The Wulf and writer who might really be a Kitsune...

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Re: Werewolves and Mental Health Problems

Post by Dreamer »

Scott Gardener wrote:Brilliant! It's even got a great-sounding name, and a better reference than the more obvious "Jekyll-Hyde" thing.

Treatment for such a disorder would be extremely difficult, I would expect, based on real-world counterparts. It would be largely a disorder of personality rather than primary chemistry, though depending on how you envision lycanthropic physiology, it could again be pouring gasoline on a flame.
Correct. Actually, I was watching Trailers from Hell, and I saw the trailer for "I Was A Teenage Werewolf", and I was thinking, why not use that "male-sexual Sarah Hazen Disorder" idea as the premise for a remake of "I Was a Teenage Werewolf"? Because, the lycanthropy resulted from the main character's psychological issues, so this idea could work as a twist on that idea. I'd think of it as somewhat similar to the remake of The Fly: A disturbing twist on a cheesy fifties movie (this version would be basically about the destructive power of the male sex drive, with a lot of twisted, disturbing gender theory). That would be a unique idea.
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