New Disorder: The Compulsion to Make Up Disorders

In the beginning, sadness became depression. Then trouble concentrating (and plain old restlessness) became attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. There’s seasonal affective disorder for the winter blues. Shyness became social anxiety disorder. Recently, video game obsession became a candidate for becoming a new disorder. OK, many people do suffer from hampered skills and emotional confusion. But making common difficulties sound so clinical seems to lead to exaggerating the incidence and getting some people dependent on medication, instead of learning to manage their minds on their own. So, how about the Disorder Inventing Disorder, also known as Syndrome Fabrication Syndrome? The symptoms include (a) fancy names (b) redefining a set of normal feelings as a cluster of suspect symptoms (c) the “coincidental” existence of drugs that can be sold to treat said malady. What do we prescribe for this? A good strong dose of skepticism, laughter and indifference.

Along a related path, see previous post, see “Would Somebody Study How Many Studies Prove Bogus?

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