A Morbid Affliction of the Patience
Many henna artists are afflicted with Gryphoemia.  They often suffer silent and alone, unaware that their pain has a name, a treatment, and that there are others similarly afflicted. This discussion is offered in the hope that henna artists and others can recognize and treat this terrible condition, and gain some comfort knowing that, although there is no cure, there is relief! 

Gryphoemia is not unique to henna artists, most people who work in service occupations are at risk for this disease.  This discussion, however, will focus on Gryphoemia as is suffered by henna artists.


Causative organisms:
The causative organism of Gryphoemia in henna artists is a client that is exasperating, impatient, rude, unable to hold still, inebriated, arrogant, ignorant, and insulting.  An attack of Gryphoemia may be set off by a single client (for instance a bride) who exhibits all of the above characteristics, or an 8 hour session of 50 clients each of whom exhibit some of the above characteristics.

Environmental factors:
Environmental factors can exacerbate the influence of the causative organisms.  Working environments of near darkness, blazing heat, deafening music, full body contact crowds of screaming causative organisms, strobe lights, beer spilled on expensive pattern books, yelling running children knocking things down and interruptions are typical environmental factors that will magnify the effect of causative organisms.

Pathogenesis and Pathology:

Gryphoemia is rarely ingested, though the sufferer may consider sinking their teeth into the causative organism.  The transmission is most commonly through auditory and visual vectors, which pass straight into the sufferer's brain, creating fear and loathing.  As the Gryphoemia escalates, the normally patient and sweet  henna artist attempts to resist the increasingly intense urge to throttle the causative organisms or flee the environmental factor.  This repression of these reasonable self-preservation behaviors endangers the henna artist's gentle disposition and may cause bruxism that will shatter rear molars or  bring on headaches that feel like an alien is about to burst out from just over the left eyebrow. Rapidly progressing Gryphoemia magnifies the annoyance level of each causative organism and environmental factor until the afflicted person is ready to kill anything that moves.

Specific Pathogenic Organisms Causing Gryphoemia:

These pathogenic organisms are so virulent that they can precipitate an onset of rapidly escalating Gryphoemia even with brief contact:

Organisms that insist on "black henna"
Organisms that want a penis hennaed on their forehead
Organisms that want their penis hennaed
Organisms that say they can get it done better for 3 rupees in India
Organisms that declare loudly that their tattoos are "real"
Organisms that move constantly
Organisms that want to know if your henna skill is from channeling a past life experience
Organisms that don't understand the concept "do not touch it until its dry"
Organisms that are sweating profusely and twitching uncontrollably from ingestion of recreational pharmaceuticals
Organisms that change their mind mid pattern
Organisms that declare that you are "stealing their culture"

Symptoms and Signs:

A henna artist suffering from Gryphoemia may exhibit symptoms of:

Screaming into a cell phone at an innocent and bewildered spouse.
Screaming into a cell phone at a guilty event organizer.
Seeking sanctuary in the ladies' room and refusing to come out.
Throbbing blood vessels in forehead that appear similar to 2 cats fighting under a blanket.
Gritting teeth so hard the fillings whimper.
Throwing large objects and pattern books.
Hands shaking with fury so hard that the henna lines are all squiggly.
Dangerously elevated blood pressure.
Dangerous cravings for a pitcher of Margaritas, with no intention of sharing.
Dangerous urges to commit felonious assault.


The diagnosis of Gryphoemia may be made by consideration of clinical signs, environmental factors, the proximity of a group of causative organisms or exposure to a single pathogenic organism.   Self diagnosis is common, and should be taken seriously by all bystanders.  Any one who does not take seriously a Gryphoemia diagnosis may place themselves at grave risk of being included in the group of causative organisms, and summarily shredded by the sufferer. 

NEVER say to a person who has self diagnosed Gryphoemia, "You're just being silly" or "You're so cute when you're angry" or "Why are you all upset about it?".  The Gryphoemic may administer to the commenter a high velocity intracranial lead injection, and it would be ruled in court as justifiable. 

Gryphoemia should be suspected in any henna artist who is otherwise a gentle, patient and gracious person who is found foaming at the mouth, screaming, hyperventilating, clenching fists, with constricted pupils and full body trembling at the end of a henna session. 37% of sufferers have smoke and flame billowing from cranial orofices, others merely smoulder.  If the sufferer has not self diagnosed their Gryphoemia, but these clear symptoms are evident, gently lead the sufferer away from the environmental  and causative organisms and hand them their favorite palliative and allow them to start screaming or swearing to relieve some of the interior cerebral  pressure before their head explodes like a 1940's cartoon character.


Gryphoemia generally responds to treatment, and is rarely fatal except to the causative organisms.


The ideal prophylaxis for Gryphoemia is to avoid contact with causative organisms.  However, since this amounts to never leaving one's room, prophylaxis is incompatible with having a life and earning a living.  The sufferers therefore must have treatment available, much as asthmatics should always carry an inhaler.


Appropriate supportive therapy is essential to Gryphoemia treatment. Gryphoemia is successfully treated by indulgence in vice and general naughtiness.

Suitable Gryphoemia treatments are:
Vicious sarcastic rants delivered upon the causative organisms. 
Cursing causative organisms, though this may have to be out of earshot  if continued financial compensation is desired from these organisms.
Drinking a soothing fermented fruit or grain beverage until deeply relaxed.
Indulgence in recreational herbs.
Indulgence in thoroughly satisfying sexual activity, preferably something noisy and wicked.
Consumption of generally forbidden, calorie heavy and highly delicious foods.
Shopping for expensive and frivolous delightful objects.
Partying until dawn with best friends.

Management of Complications:

If Gryphoemia is carefully monitored and treated as symptoms develop, the sufferer will probably not require a priest, a bail bondsman, a lawyer, an ambulence, a declaration of a national disaster area or large cash expenditures to cover repairs on damaged items and organisms. 


A day's convalescence is usually sufficient to recover from ingestion of palliative substances and exuberant partying.  Bubble baths and continued ingestion of double chocolate ice cream hot fudge and brownie sundaes with whipped cream and slivered almonds are highly recommended. 

Case Histories:

True Gryphoemia Stories from The Henna Page Artists!

Deepvali Diva
Halloween Henna Horror

Gryphoemia by Proxy
It Hurts, It Hurts, Please Don't Stop
The Dead Beemer Is an Exquisite Corpse
Not a Picnic
Drunks, Smudges, and $70
Shark Bait
A Wretched Ren

And .... Oldies but Goodies: 
The OzzFest Diaries
And the Secret Henna Diaries

Gryphoemia from The Henna Page Forum Archives

Graphic Gryphoemia
Gryphoemia in pictures: coming soon!

Do you have a True Gryphoemia Story to share?

If you write a True Gryphoemia story for The Henna Page, it will not only assist research into diagnosis, treatment and management of thise dread disease, but The Henna Page will send you FREE a packet of experimental Gryphoemia relief nuggets as compensation for your efforts!  Yes, indeed, you will recieve one packet of chocolate covered espresso beans, to have on hand for your next onset of Gryphoemia! 

Want to contribute to The Henna Page Gryphoemia Case Histories?
Contact The Henna Page with a brief description of  your Gryphoemia outbreak. It must have something to do with henna, and it has to be true.  If the event is accepted, write a 500 - 1000 word essay, email it to The Henna Page, and The Henna Page will send you your packet of chocolate covered espresso beans and some extra goodies!

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