Erethism or erethism mercurialis is a symptom complex of mercury poisoning, presenting with excessive shyness, timidity and social phobia. This was common among hat makers of old England who used mercury to stabilize the wool in a process called felting. The phrase mad as a hatter is likely a reference to mercury poisoning. The character the Mad Hatter in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland is often believed to be an example of someone suffering from erethism.--Wikipedia
Monday, April 27, 2009
I was reading about social anxiety on Wikipedia and came across this fun fact.