Syndrome E: series, book, what is it exactly?

Syndrome E is the name of a series broadcast since September 29 on TF1 based on the eponymous novel by Franck Thilliez. It characterizes ordinary people who turn into murderers and executioners of defenseless victims. Decryption with our psychiatrists.

  Syndrome E: series, book, qu'est-ce que c'est exactement ?

[Updated September 30, 2022 at 12:06 p.m.] How can ordinary citizens turn into torturers and executioners defenseless victims? the syndrome E would be at the origin according to the Pr Itzhak Fried who characterized it. We discover it in a series composed of 6 episodes of 52 minutes broadcast on TF1 since September 29 . Among the actors are Vincent Elbaz, Jennifer Decker, Kool Shen, Emmanuelle Béart, Michèle Bernier, or even Anne Charrier. The series was at the top of the audiences Thursday, September 29 with 3 million viewers for the first two episodes according to Mediametry . The next two episodes will air on October 6. The series is adapted from eponymous novel by Franck Thilliez released in 2020. It tells the story of police officers who investigate the world of mind control and neuroscience after corpses are found mutilated (due to Syndrome E). Interview with experts to learn more about Syndrome E.

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What is Syndrome E?

Syndrome E has been characterized and named by American neurosurgeon and psychiatrist Itzhak Fried , Professor of Neurosurgery, psychiatry and Bio-Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1998.” The transformation of previously non-violent groups of individuals into repetitive killers of defenseless members of society has been a recurring phenomenon throughout history. This transformation is characterized by a set of symptoms and signs suggestive of a common syndrome, Syndrome E ' he says in an article in the magazine The Lancet . This would be the name given to the transformation of seemingly ordinary citizens into murderers and executioners of defenseless victims (for example during genocide or war crimes). Syndrome E would be a personality trouble and not a mental illness, as the syndrome d'Hubris .

What are the symptoms of Syndrome E?

Syndrome E according to Itzhak Fried would include a series of distinctive signs such as:

  • a loss of affect
  • ideas obsessive
  • a temporary arousal due to violent acts followed by a habit where the violence became banal
  • an effect of compartimentalisation (the executioners can exterminate in the morning, and live a tidy family life in the evening)
  • an effect of contagion of the group

Does Syndrome E exist in medicine?

And syndrome E does not seem to exist in medicine . ' It is not not referenced in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ( DSM ) , reference manual for pathologies and syndromes. From the description, it must be closer to the sociopathie/ psychopathy : individuals who commit murderous acts. The author of the book has surely invented this syndrome to justify the acting out of the characters in the story ' comments Johanna Rozenblum, clinical psychologist.

Sources :  Syndrome E , Itzhak Fried. / The Lancet, December 1998