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Ross Murray's Border Report
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Ross Murray
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is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at ross_murray@sympatico.ca
Posted 05.06.10
Stanstead, Quebec

ROSS MURRAY

It's a psych thing

The American Psychiatric Association (motto: "You'll Come for the Analysis, You'll Stay for the Pills") has introduced the first draft of its upcoming revision to its go-to guide, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM for short.

The proposals put forward by the Editorial Committee (motto: "You don't have to be crazy to edit the DSM, but it helps") include classifying as mental illness binge eating and temper tantrums in children. The latter would go by the name "temper dysregulation disorder with dysphoria," but will be known by millions of parents eager to shirk responsibility for their children's abhorrent behaviour as TDD.

While these disorders, along with out-of-control sexual behaviour (quickly becoming known as TWS or Tiger Woods Syndrome but sometimes called Tonight Show Punchline), are the only brand-spankin' new psychoses to have made headlines so far, there are many other soon-to-be-common disorders proposed in the revised DSM (subtitle: "Defining Normal Since 1952").

For example, individuals who can't stop themselves from making crude jokes, fart noises with their armpits, and leaning too close when they talk to others (with food in their teeth, no less) are most likely suffering from Obsessive Repulsive Disorder. Treatment involves regular doses of Howdyagetsogross and a strict regimen of bathing.

Do you agree with everyone, even if it goes against your beliefs?

When someone tells you that all the problems in the country would be solved if we didn't let in no more immigrants, do you nod and say, "You know, you have a point," even though you know in your gut that the person is a chowderhead (that is to say, a veritable plantar wart on the sole of society).

Do you, in fact, give in every time rather than put up a fight? Then you are likely suffering from ADD -- Argumentative Deficit Disorder. If you are perfectly content with this condition than you may be ADHD -- Argumentative Deficit and Happy-About-It Disorder. Is something seriously wrong with you? "I guess so," you shrug. Seriously, get this guy some drugs! ("Fine with me," you say.)

Children who are chronically picked last for sports teams, have never won a ribbon at a track meet, and always strike out are likely suffering from Extreme Not-On-The-Team Esteem Dysphasia. While there is no cure for what's colloquially known as "chronic wimpiness," the devastating effects of the mocking and the wedgies and the long hours stuffed in lockers can be controlled through prescribed dosages of Athleticus Notsogoodatiticus.

(Note: This treatment supersedes an earlier recommendation to encourage the subject to find self-worth in other venues, such as the arts or academics, since science now knows that athletic self-esteem is the only valid self-esteem, even if experienced vicariously. Go Habs!)

Children who talk back to their parents, challenge their belief systems, listen to loud music with offensive lyrics, hang out with questionable peers and insist on wearing clothing and hairstyles that cross the line, mister! -- these children are clearly suffering a severe mental imbalance that left untreated could result in severe emotional consequences (for their parents). Clearly, only a strong administration of psychotherapeutic drugs is the only solution to assuage the misery of these victims (again, the parents).

There are many other new disorders (take your pick): thinking too much about sex (obviously); not thinking enough about sex (can lead to hyper-concentration on your job and family); putting ketchup on things that ketchup has no right to be on (hello, scrambled eggs!); chronically talking to your spouse when your spouse clearly isn't listening (also known as "marriage"); and the overuse (and one might say aggressive overuse) of parenthetical phrases (that is to say, brackets) in the unseemly need to reach the minimum word count (600) in a column (newspaper). All these can now be identified and treated. Mostly with drugs. (Much easier and quicker than actual therapy.)

Thank you, American Psychiatric Association and the DSM! (And Pfizer.)

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