That period saw the emergence of the first stray currents to which living beings were exposed. It was then that one saw the appearance of diseases of civilization such as neurasthenia, which afflicted Frank Lloyd Wright and Theodore Roosevelt, among other well-known figures. It should be noted in passing that neurasthenia is very similar to electro hypersensitivity, which is the more modern term for the same sensitivity to electricity. Around half of the telegraphists who were employed to manipulate the electrical current sent through the lines, and were thus exposed to very strong electromagnetic fields, were afflicted by telegraphic sickness. Once again, the symptoms were the same as those of EHS. Later on, in around 1915, it was the telephone operators who were experiencing the same symptoms – for they were exposed to electromagnetic fields from the communications for hours on end at their desks. In 1989, it was noted that in Winnipeg 47% of the telephone operators were suffering from the same symptoms.
However, in 1894, the noted Viennese psychiatrist Sigmund Freud wrote an article whose effect was disastrous for all the unfortunates who suffered from telegraphic sickness, neurasthenia, microwave syndrome or EHS. Rather than seeing the external cause ‒ which was electromagnetic pollution – he attributed these symptoms to disordered thoughts or poorly controlled emotions. As a result, today millions of citizens affected by electronic smog are being medicated instead of reducing their exposure to this pollutant. Sigmund Freud renamed neurasthenia – which was known to be caused by electricity – as a neurosis anxiety, an anxiety attack or a panic attack. This opened the way for the reckless deployment of electrification to continue unimpeded.
It should be noted that in Russia, neurasthenia is listed as an environmental illness, as Freud's damaging redefinition was rejected there.