I am new to Mint as well, but have been using linux since the mid '90s (SuSE, then openSuse). This mouse problem started showing up for me about 2 or 3 years ago. Specifically when using XFCE. That is when I looked around and found LXDE, which I love btw. My old distro has been giving me fits over the last two year, so from looking around and testing I found Ubuntu and then Mint (and LOVE it!).
All of that said, in my testing I have run across this problem quite often. It is still not a problem with LXDE (I tested Lubuntu, it was great, but couldn't get it to run multiple monitors), but it is in multiple DE's and distros. I have changed out multiple mouses. USB, PS/2 and USB wireless. The PS/2 runs with the fewest freezes, but it still does happen. Cinnamon showed more freezes than Mate, so I have landed with Mate. It is a clean install of 17.3.
Additional issues with the freeze have been when watching video on line, the clip periodically locks and does a Max Headroom effect, sound and video flickers and repeats. It also freezes the system periodically when using the mouse, selecting an object or dragging an object.
I am searching for that final fix. I ran across the following when testing Xubuntu. (I thought that was awesome until I tried Mint. OK, its a close second, lol). https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+sour ... omments/17
The answer he presents is adding a kernel boot parameter. "processor.max_cstate=1" I haven't tested it yet, but will once I get a few setting finalized.
Glad to have found a new linux home, hoping to get this solved soon.