Over the last decade there has been a substantial increase in stress‐related illnesses in industry. The most bizarre and yet worrying form of this development has come in the form of what the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health term “mass psychogenic illness”. They define it as “the collective occurrences of physical symptoms and related beliefs among two or more persons in the absence of an identifiable pathogen”. In other words, a situation in which a number of workers in a particular plant or factory develop what appears to be some mysterious disease although there is no clearly identified micro‐organism. The specific symptoms seem to vary from one industrial situation to another but they all consist of subjective somatic complaints, such as headaches, nausea, sleepiness, chills, etc.
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